Danushka Gunathilaka, Mohammad Hasnain, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, and Wanindu Hasaranga top-performed as Sri Lanka achieved their first victory of their tour to Pakistan in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Leher Reddy Challuri DP 1
After losing the toss and being put into bat, Danuskha Gunathilaka played some cracking shots along the ground and arially during and after powerplay, while Avishka Fernando was quietly working his way into the innings, with occasional boundaries. Gunathilaka got to a blazing fast half-century off just 32 balls with a six over cow corner in the 8th over, which came as a result of a difficult catch being dropped. He was eventually dismissed LBW, trapped in front for 57 runs off 38 deliveries in the 10th over, with a review not helping his cause, but contributed greatly to an 84-run partnership between the pair.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa began his innings a lot like Gunathilika, smoking a six over deep midwicket on the 6th delivery he faced. The partnership between him and Avishka Fernando was going well, but did not last long enough as Fernando was run out by extra cover for 33 runs off 34 balls in the 15th over. At this point, Sri Lanka were 120-2, in a perfect position to unleash and score 50-60 more runs.
For a while, it looked as though they could do it, with Rajapaksa, and later, Dasun Shanaka hitting some massive sixes, but a Mohammad Hasnain hat-trick, in which he dismissed Rajapaksa LBW with a pacy yorker on the last ball of the 17th over for 32 off 22 deliveries, Shanaka for 17 off 10 deliveries and Shehan Jayasuriya for 2, who were both caught after mistiming the ball on the first two balls of the 19th over. As a result, Sri Lanka ended up at 165-5, about 15 runs short of where they would have wanted to be at the end.
The bowling display was decent but nothing special. Imad Wasim (0-24 off 4), Mohammad Amir (0-25 off 4) and Ifthikar Ahmed (0-7 off 1) were quite economical. Faheem Ashraf was quite expensive, conceding 31 runs in 3 overs without a wicket. Shadab Khan was also expensive, conceding 35 runs off his 4, but picked up 1 wicket. Mohammad Hasnain was also very expensive, but had the hat-trick to show to his name, recording figures of 3-37 off 4 overs.
After starting his innings with two boundaries, Babar Azam was dismissed for 13, edging off to the wicket-keeper, who took a wonderful diving one-handed catch in the 2nd over. The very next delivery, Umar Akmal was trapped in front by a delivery darted into his pads, being dismissed for a first-ball duck. More trouble for Pakistan came calling as Ahmed Shahzad chopped onto his stumps attempting a cut shot for 4 in the 5th over. At 22-3, Pakistan needed some recovery.
Ifthikar Ahmed provided them just that, at least for a brief period, hitting some boundaries to keep the run rate at a runner ball. The partnership was going well until a mix-up meant that Ifthikar was run out for 25 off 24 deliveries in the 12th over. Two overs later, Sarfaraz was bowled for 24 off 30 deliveries. In the next over, Imad Wasim was dismissed as well, slogging the ball straight to extra cover for 7.
The collapse continued as in the next over, Asif Ali was dismissed for 6, slogging the ball straight to the fielder in front of the sidescreen running in from the right. Faheem Ashraf was dismissed in the 17th over, clipping the ball to deep square leg for 8. Shadab was dismissed in the 18th over for 6, slogging the ball straight to deep midwicket. On the very next delivery, Mohammad Amir was dismissed for 1, hitting the ball straight to deep extra cover on the very next delivery as Pakistan’s innings folded for 101 runs off 17.4 overs.
Lakshan Sandakan bowled economically without success, recording figures of 0-24 off 4 overs. Kasun Rajitha bowled well with some success, recording economical figures of 1-20 off 4 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga found more success, recording better figures of 2-20 off his 4 overs. Nuwan Pradeep was relatively expensive but found great success, recording excellent figures of 3-21 off 3 overs. The star of the innings was Isuru Udana, who recorded outstanding figures, in terms of both his economy and wickets taken, of 3-11 off 2.4 overs.
With two more T20s to go, Sri Lanka have given themselves a good chance to win the series with a comprehensive bowling display, leading to a victory by 64 runs. Will they pile on this initial success or will Pakistan hit back? Join us on The Sreenidhian on the 7th of October to find out!