Excellent Sri Lanka beat Pakistan | Sunday Observer

Excellent Sri Lanka beat Pakistan

Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka (L) plays a shot (AFP)
Sri Lanka’s Danushka Gunathilaka (L) plays a shot (AFP)

Sri Lanka made a strong come back in their series against Pakistan taking the first T/20 by 64 runs in the first confrontation played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore yesterday.

The victory was made possible with the impeccable bowling display by Pradeep and Udana who captured three wickets each to force the hosts into trouble.

Hasaranga too bowled well to finish with 2 for 20 runs to contribute towards this great victory.

Sri Lanka began well with Dhanushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando batted with aggression but not losing their wickets easily. They put on an opening stand of 84 runs before Gunathilaka was dismissed for a well compiled 57 runs. He faced only 38 deliveries and hit a six and eight fours. Then Fernando was joined by Bhanuka Rajapakse who went into business quickly. He began briskly to hit two sixes and two fours to score 32 runs off 22 balls.

Dasun Shanaka also went for the shots and scored 17 runs off ten balls with two sixes. Thereafter, two wickets fell in two balls with the total on 153 runs. Shanaka and Shehan Jayasuriya were back in the pavilion and the scoring rate dropped drastically.

Sri Lanka finished on 165 for five wickets off the 20 overs.

Nuwan Pradeep made the early break through in the Pakistan innings taking two quick wickets in his first spell. He took the wickets of the danger man Babar Azam for 13 runs and Umar Akmal for nought. Then Isuru Udana also took an early wicket when he bowled out Ahmed Shehzad for just four runs to put Pakistan on 22 for three wickets. Then their skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Ifthikhar Ahmed batted with caution and added 46 runs before Ifthikhar Ahmed was run out for 25 runs off 24 deliveries.

Sarfaraz Ahmed did not last long thereafter and was bowled by Hasaranga for 24 runs off 30 balls. This had the Pakistanis in sorts of trouble in their chase. The run rate climbed to more than 20 runs an over by then.

Pakistan did not seem to recover with wickets falling at short intervals. They reached 100 runs for 8 wickets in the 17th over and was far behind the target.