Pakistan thump Sri Lanka to level Twenty20 series

Pakistan thumped Sri Lanka by 23 runs to level the two-match Twenty20 series by 1-1 in the second game at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa in Hambantota on Sunday.

Chasing a modest total of 123 runs to win, Sri Lanka could manage only 99 all-out off 19.2 overs.

Yasir Arafat and Mohammad Sami bagged three wickets each while all-rounder Shahid Afridi claimed two for 17.

An inspired Sri Lanka bowling attack restricted Pakistan to a modest total of 122 for six despite Shahid Afridi’s half-century in their second and final Twenty20 international

Afridi’s 33-ball unbeaten 52, which included one six and five boundaries, was the only bright spot for the Pakistan side in their must-win match.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez’s decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired as his side made a poor start.

Ahmed Shehzad fell to Nuwan Kulasekara for six in the third over of the innings, and youngster Khalid Latif was run out for one as Pakistan slipped to 18 for two in the fifth over.

The tourists suffered another serious blow when their star batsman Umar Akmal was trapped in front of the wickets by Kaushal Lokuarachchi in the 10th over, which left them reeling at 29 for three.

From the other hand, Hafeez tried to provide his side some momentum with a 34-ball 24, studded with three boundaries, but his innings came to an end in the 11th over by Lokuarachchi.

Senior batsman Afridi and Shoaib Malik then joined forces to bail their side out of trouble and added 68 runs for the fifth wicket. But a disciplined Sri Lanka bowling attack kept the Pakistan batsmen in check and didn’t allow them to free their arms.

Nuwan Kulasekara impressed with the figures impress, while Lokuarachchi finished with 2 for 31.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 122 for 6 from 20 overs (Shahid Afridi 52*, Shoaib Malik 27, Mohammad Hafeez 24; Nuwan Kulasekara 2 for 13, Kaushal Lokuarachchi 2 for 31) bt Sri Lanka 99 all-out from 19.2 overs (Chamara Kapugedara 19; Mohammad Sami 3 for 16, Yasir Arafat 3 for 18, Shahid Afridi 2 for 17) by 23 runs.

Man of the Match: Shahid Afridi

Man of the Series: Sohail Tanvir

(Report courtesy Cricketcountry.com)