Sri Lanka ease to T20 win over Pakistan

Sri Lanka put on a brilliant bowling and fielding performance to post a comfortable 37-run victory over Pakistan in their opening Twenty20 international on Friday.

Pakistan were bowled out for 95, their lowest T20 total against Sri Lanka, after restricting the hosts to 132-7 in Hambantota.

Sri Lankan pacemen Nuwan Kulasekera, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga and debutant off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake took two wickets apiece after man-of-the-match Thisara Perera scored a crucial 32 not out.

Sachithra Senanayake, Kumar Sangakkara
Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake (left) celebrates with wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara (right) after dismissing Pakistan's Ahmed Shehzad (unseen) during the first Twenty20 international. Pic/AFP

Opener Ahmed Shehzad top-scored for Pakistan with 36 while the extras contributed 19 runs, the second-highest of the innings. Umar Akmal (12) was the other batsman to reach double-figures.

Pakistan never recovered after losing two wickets off the first two balls of the innings, with Kulasekera removing skipper Mohammad Hafeez and debutant Shakeel Ansar.

The Sri Lankan bowlers were backed by their fielders, with Perera and Kulasekera each taking a superb catch.

Left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir earlier grabbed three big wickets as Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka.

He jolted the top order when he dismissed skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in his opening three overs to reduce the hosts to 31-3.

Tanvir finished with 3-12 off four tight overs, his best performance in Twenty20 internationals, while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal bagged two wickets for 20 runs.

Perera smashed two sixes and as many fours in his 16-ball knock to help his team make 43 runs off the last 22 balls.

Lahiru Thirimanne, making his T20 debut, was the other main scorer with a 25-ball 30.

Saaed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul
Pakistan cricketer Saeed Ajmal (left) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne (unseen) during the first Twenty20 match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Pic/AFP

Sri Lanka made a poor start after electing to bat, losing four wickets in the opening eight overs with just 39 on the board.

Tanvir struck with his third delivery when he had Jayawardene caught by Shoaib Malik in the covers and then had Dilshan caught by Umar Gul at fine-leg in his next over.

Sangakkara (19) hit three successive fours off paceman Mohammad Sami before he inside-edged a Tanvir delivery onto his stumps.

The second and final Twenty20 match will be played on Sunday. 


Sri Lanka:

M. Jayawardene c Malik b Tanvir 2

T. Dilshan c Gul b Tanvir 5

K. Sangakkara b Tanvir 19

D. Chandimal b Sami 10

A. Mathews b Ajmal 9

L. Thirimanne c Gul b Ajmal 30

K. Lokuarachchi run out 11

T. Perera not out 32

N. Kulasekera not out 6

Extras (b1, lb3, w4) 8

Total (for seven wickets; 20 overs) 132

Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Jayawardene), 2-11 (Dilshan), 3-31 (Sangakkara), 4-39 (Chandimal), 5-65 (Mathews), 6-89 (Lokuarachchi), 7-89 (Thirimanne).

Bowling: Tanvir 4-0-12-3 (w1), Gul 4-0-43-0 (w3), Sami 2-0-22-1, Afridi 2-0-9-0, Hafeez 4-0-22-0, Ajmal 4-0-20-2.



Mohammad Hafeez c Dilshan b Kulasekera 0

Ahmed Shehzad b Senanayake 36

Shakeel Ansar c Dilshan b Kulasekera 0

Khalid Latif c Sangakkara b Mathews 3

Shoaib Malik c Perera b Mathews 9

Umar Akmal c Kulasekera b Malinga 12

Shahid Afridi c Lokuarachchi b Senanayake 1

Sohail Tanvir run out 1

Umar Gul c Thirimanne b Malinga 5

Mohammad Sami not out 4

Saeed Ajmal c Sangakkara b Perera 5

Extras (lb2, w17) 19

Total (for all out; 17.4 overs) 95

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Hafeez), 2-0 (Ansar), 3-12 (Latif), 4-46 (Malik), 5-68 (Akmal), 6-70 (Afridi), 7-71 (Tanvir), 8-85 (Shehzad), 9-87 (Gul), 10-95 (Ajmal).

Bowling: Kulasekera 3-0-13-2 (w5), Malinga 3-0-12-2, Mathews 4-1-8-2, Perera 2.4-0-23-1 (w5), Lokuarachchi 2-0-17-0 (w5), Senanayake 3-0-20-2 (w2).

Result: Sri Lanka win by 37 runs

Toss: Sri Lanka

Umpires: Asoka de Silva (SRI) and Ranmore Martinesz (SRI)

TV umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)

Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)

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