Afridi Leads Pakistan To Series-Levelling 23-Run Win
Pakistan 122-6 (Shahid Afridi 52no) beat
Sri Lanka 99 (Mohammad Sami 3-16) by 23 runs
Second Twenty20 International, Hambantota
The Twenty20 International series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was tied 1-1 after Pakistan won a second low-scoring match by 23 runs in Hambantota.
The match followed an almost identical pattern to the first one as Pakistan posted 122 for six before bowling Sri Lanka out for 99.
Pakistan had been dismissed for 95 chasing 133 to win the opening game two days ago and they used conditions to their advantage to give Mohammad Hafeez his first win since being appointed as captain of the Twenty20 team.
He played a key role with the bat, hitting 24 in 34 balls at the top of the order, before Shoaib Malik (27 in 26) and Shahid Afridi (52 not out in 33 balls) shifted through the gears.
Afridi's brutal innings included five fours and a six and it undid the good work done by Sri Lanka in reducing Pakistan to 41 for four early on.
He and Malik added 68 for the fifth wicket. Nuwan Kulasekara and Kaushal Lokuarachchi both took two wickets for the home side.
With Mahela Jayawardene absent, Sri Lanka were forced to alter their batting line-up, Kumar Sangakkara (8) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (18) opening, but putting on just 19 runs together.
Kulasekara (0) and Chamara Kapugedera (19) came in at numbers three and four to try to take advantage of the fielding restrictions but the plan backfired as wickets tumbled.
From 39 for two, Sri Lanka lurched to 85 for six and finally 99 all out as Mohammad Sami (3-16) and Yasir Arafat (3-18) cut a swathe through the batting line-up.
Afridi sealed the man-of-the-match award by taking the wickets of Dilshan and Kapugedera while Sohail Tanvir and Saeed Ajmal grabbed a wicket apiece to dismiss Sri Lanka in 18.4 overs.
The two sides begin a five-match One-Day International series in Pallekele on 7th June.
© Cricket World 2012