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Pakistan toppled by Sri Lanka youth

Danushka Gunathilaka
Danushka Gunathilaka
©PCB @TheRealPCB

A Sri Lankan side, largely made up of upcoming fringe players, sprung a surprise by beating Pakistan by 64 runs at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore – the venue of their 1996 World Cup win. The commitment of the touring side was admirable as it went one-up in the three match T20 series.

Match Summary

Pakistan 101 all out

Sri Lanka 165 - 5

Result - Sri Lanka win by 64 runs

Full Scorecard

Sri Lanka put into bat by Sarfaraz Ahmed, got off to a brisk start with 84 runs in 9.4 overs between the in-form Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishkha Fernando. The left-handed Gunathilaka in particular was happy to take on the Pakistan bowling and in the sixth over smashed three leg-side fours off Shadab Khan. He was trapped leg-before by the same bowler but not before reaching his career-best T20 off 57 off 38 balls with 8 fours and a 77-meter pulled six to bring up his fifty.

The 100 of the Sri Lanka innings came up in 11.5 overs as it searched for its first win against Pakistan in a T20I since December 2013. Pakistan, the number one side in the shortest format has pocketed the last six games between the two countries. Rajapaksa, another left-handed was quick to take charge and hit a quickfire 32 off 22 balls, including an 89-meter six, over long off, off Mohammad Hasnain. The bowler too his revenge with a perfect yorker.  

Dasun Shanaka, handed Sri Lankan captaincy, hit two sixes off Faheem Ashraf’s over as the score reached 150 in 17 overs. Both the skipper and Shehan Jayasuriya departed in two successive balls in the 19th over to give Hasnain a hat-trick, spread over two separate spells. The 19-year old is surely one for the future and finished with an impressive 3-37 off his 4 overs. Only nine runs were taken off Mohammad Amir’s last two overs as his probing length restricted Sri Lanka to 165-5. Pakistan came back well through their pacemen for Sri Lanka after 15 overs were 126-2 and aiming for a total around 180.

Babar Azam, looking in regal touch was snapped up by wicket-keeper Minod Bhanuka’s stunning one-handed catch. The spotlight was now on the two comeback kids – Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal – who having suffered a minor collision whilst going for a catch in the deep were both out cheaply. Akmal leg before first ball to Nuwan Pradeep and Shehzad dragging on left-arm paceman Isuru Udana, leaving Pakistan in a spot of bother with the scoreboard showing 22 for 3 in the 5th over.

At the half way mark. Pakistan 57-3 off 10 overs, had her required run-rate shot up to 10.9, i.e. 109 runs off 60 balls. A gettable target in T20 format but not without skill and improvisation which was expected from skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Iftikhar Ahmed. Sri Lanka kept up the pressure through outstanding fielding and it was through a run out that they claimed the fourth wicket as Iftikhar (25 off 24 balls) departed in the 12th over. A four-over spell from slow left-arm chinaman Lakshan Sandakan, who was not shy to give air, put further brakes on Pakistan, as he only conceded 24 runs.

Sarfaraz, not a big-hitting specialist, could have sacrificed his wicket in the run-out mix for Iftikhar was playing much better and would have posed more threat to the opposition. His dismissal left Pakistan 76 for 5 in the 14th over and Imad Wasim too departed in the next over and Sri Lanka could not possibly lose the match from here and so it proved. Pakistan were dismissed for 101 in 17.4 overs as Sri Lanka, helped by three catches from Man of the Match Gunathilaka, recorded a comprehensive margin.

Pakistan - Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed(c)(wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain

Sri Lanka - Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka(wk), Dasun Shanaka(c), Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kasun Rajitha,, Nuwan Pradeep

Start Time: 14:30

Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to field

Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

Officials: Aleem Dar, Ahsan Raza, Shozab Raza, Asif Yaqoob, David Boon

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