Pakistan batting collapses once again as Sri Lanka win T20 series in Lahore
Islanders secure 35-run victory to take unassailable 2-0 lead after Wanindu Hasaranga picks up three wickets in one over
Pakistan suffered more heartbreak as a depleted Sri Lankan side thrashed them for the second successive time and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20 series in Lahore on Monday.
Pakistan – the No 1 T20 team in the world – lost the first match of the series by 64 runs and were hoping for a much better effort in the second match. But that wasn't to be as Sri Lanka dismissed the hosts for 147 after posting 182-6, sealing a 35-run victory.
Batting first, the Sri Lankans put in another commendable effort. Bhanuka Rajapaksa (77) made his second decent contribution in as many matches to set an even bigger target than the visitors managed in the first game – 165.
Pakistan, who were forced to bring in opener Fakhar Zaman to strengthen the top order, collapsed once again in the chase.
Star batsman Babar Azam failed at the top while Zaman could only manage six. Ahmed Shehzad (13) and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (26) tried to steady the ship before leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga broke the hosts' back with three wickets in one over.
In the eighth over, Shehzad tried to launch the leggie over the inner circle but completely missed the line to be bowled. Next batsman Umar Akmal, who made a golden duck in the first match, was deceived by a googly first ball to be out lbw. And one delivery later, Sarfaraz lost his woodwork to another fine googly by Hasaranga. Pakistan were reeling at 52-5.
All-rounder Imad Wasim (47) and Asif Ali (29) hit a few boundaries to take the total past 100 but Sri Lanka kept pulling away.
Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep (4-25) ended the contest when he had Asif bowled off a slower ball in the 19th over. It was Pakistan's fifth defeat in six T20s in 2019.
Pakistan's run of defeats in T20 cricket will be a cause of concern because their results in the other two formats aren't inspiring either.
Captain Sarfaraz congratulated the visitors for outplaying them. "We didn't play good cricket. Congratulations to Sri Lanka. They batted, bowled and fielded better than us," the wicketkeper said.
The keeper-batsman said the middle overs is where the match changed – Sri Lanka were powered by Rajapaksa while Pakistan lost three wickets in four balls.
"We missed a couple of run-out opportunities that could have changed the game. They had a good partnership in the middle overs, while we lost five wickets in the first 10 overs. If you don't take wickets in the middle overs, you cannot stop the flow of runs."
Updated: October 7, 2019 10:01 PM