Cricket Article

Pakistan Edge Sri Lanka to Win T20I Series

Pakistan Edge Sri Lanka to Win T20I Series Photo: IBL

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka off the penultimate ball to win their second ODI in Abu Dhabi.

It was a thrilling match which swayed to and fro, with the result in doubt right until the end. However, despite the best efforts of the Sri Lanka top order, a Fahim Ashraf hat-trick and a lower order collapse meant the visitors’ total was just within reach of Pakistan.

Both teams were unchanged from the first match, with Pakistan winning the toss and decided to field.

This time around Sri Lanka’s openers Gunathilaka and Munaweera gave their team a much better start, taking advantage of the power play to push the scoring rate alone, playing some attractive shots in the process. The pair put on 43 for the first wicket before a direct throw from Imad Wasim ran out Munaweera for 19.

Gunathilaka and Samarawickrama then put together a second wicket partnership of 63, before another run out by Mohammad Hafeez accounted for the latter for 32. Gunathilaka went in the same over for 51, at which point the Sri Lankan innings began to subside as they chased quick runs at the end. Six wickets fell in three overs as the visitors sank from 110 -3 to 124 - 9 at the end of their 20 overs.

For Pakistan the star was Fahim Ashraf who became the first Pakistani to take a T20 hat trick, whilst Hasan Ali chipped in with 2 for 31.

Pakistan started their chase well enough, with openers Shehzad and Zaman putting on 30 for the first wicket, before Zaman was run out for 11, with Babar Azam falling for just a single shortly afterwards.

When Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera dismissed both Shehzad and Shoaib Malik in quick succession, the visitors looked as if they might snatch victory. But Pakistan stayed in touch with the run rate and some late hitting by Shadab Khan who scored 16 off just 8 balls saw the hosts squeeze home.

Shadab was named man of the match as Pakistan took a 2-0 lead in the series. For Sri Lanka disappointment tempered by the consolation of having put up a much better performance than they had shown in recent matches.

Sunny c
Sunny C Sports Pundit staff writer

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