Sri Lanka defeat top-ranked Pakistan by 64 runs in first T20I
Sri Lanka's cricketers celebrate the victory in the first Twenty20 International cricket match against Pakistan at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore on October 5, 2019. - Sri Lanka, boosted by a career-best half century from opener Danushka Gunathilaka, posted 165-5 against Pakistan in the first Twenty20 international in Lahore. (Photo by ARIF ALI / AFP)
Sri Lanka, who lost the ODI series 0-2 to Pakistan, started the T20I series with great fervour outplaying the Men in Green by 64 runs to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday.
Danushka Gunathilaka was declared Man of the Match for his 57 off 38 balls.
After an invitation to bat, the visitors scored a challenging 165 for 5 before bundling out Pakistan for a paltry 101 in 17.4 overs.
Earlier, 19-year-old Mohammad Hasnain of Pakistan became the youngest cricketer to take a T20I hat-trick to help stop the visitors from posting a 180-plus total. However, Pakistan’s batting collapse rendered effort in vain.
Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana took three wickets each as they blew the Pakistani top order within the first five overs. Although the hosts ensured that no more wickets fell until the 12th over, they could hardly get going.
The pressure got to them and it was a mix-up that helped Sri Lanka get the next wicket with the scoreboard reading 68 for 4 in 11.3 overs.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed fell to Wanindu Hasaranga in the 14th over after which the Pakistan batsmen could hardly put up a fight. They managed to cross the three figures but hardly looked like being able to revive their chase by the time the 18th over came in which they lost their last wicket.
Talking about the Sri Lankan batting, the guests got off to a good start with an 84-run opening stand between Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando before Shadab Khan provided Pakistan the breakthrough by dismissing Gunathilaka. Fernando too fell soon with Shadab catching him short of crease.
After this, Hasnain was the cynosure of all eyes with a hat-trick. Bhanuka Rajapaksha was threatening to take Sri Lanka close to the 180-run mark but his fiery knock was cut short by a near-perfect yorker from Hasnain off the last ball of the 16th over. In his next over, Hasnain dismissed Dasun Shanaka and Shehan Jayasuriya off the first two balls to achieve the feat.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 165/5 in 20 overs (Danushka Gunathilaka 57, Avishka Fernando 33; Mohammad Hasnain 3/37) vs Pakistan 101 all out in 17.4 overs (Iftikhar Ahmed 25, Sarfaraz Ahmed 24; Isuru Udana 3/11)