Inexperienced Sri Lanka stunned Pakistan by 64 runs in the first Twenty20 international in Lahore on Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Sri Lanka scored 165-5 in their 20 overs with Danushka Gunathilaka scoring 57 off 38 balls including a six and eight boundaries, for which he was awarded Man of the Match.
Teenage Pakistan paceman Mohammad Hasnain took a hat-trick, finishing with 3-37.
Pakistan were bowled out for 101 in 17.4 overs with Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana taking three wickets apiece.
Babar Azam (13 off 10) was the first man down at 1.5 overs, caught out from Pradeep’s delivery. Pradeep then bagged a golden duck, when he took Umar Akmal’s wicket on the next ball. He was not fortunate enough to score a hat-trick, however.
Ahmed Shehzad (4 off 9) found himself dismissed after dragging a thick inside edge back onto the stumps courtesy Udana’s ball.
In a mix up between skipper Sarfaraz and Iftikhar Ahmed over taking a run, which according to ESPNcricinfo characterised much of Pakistan’s innings, Iftikhar Ahmed (25 off 24) had to exit at 11.3 overs.
The skipper (24 off 30) was next to go at 13.2 overs, when he was bowled out by Hasranga.
Over the course of the next three overs, Imad Wasim, Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf all fell, leaving Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir at the crease.
The 18th over saw the match wrap up as the two batsmen were dismissed within a ball of one another by Udana, who by then had a 3-wicket haul along with Pradeep.
Earlier, the visitors, raced to 84 with openers Gunathilaka scoring 57 off 38 balls including a six and eight boundaries and Avishka Fernando making 33 off 34.
Debutant Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 32 off 22 with two sixes and as many boundaries while skipper Dasun Shanaka chipped in with 17 including two sixes.
A heavy presence of Army personnel and police was seen deployed in and around the Gaddafi Stadium to provide security to players and fans.
The surroundings of the stadium have been cordoned off by heavy deployment of the personnel of Rangers and the commandos of the police since Friday night, an official told Dawn.
He said 25 major and small roads around the venue have been blocked for general traffic by placing containers and barriers. More than 13,000 policemen will man roads. Snipers have also taken positions on the buildings declared sensitive in the adjoining of the stadium.
The second match will be played on Monday and the third on Wednesday — all in Lahore.
In the one-day international series held in Karachi, Pakistan won the three-match series 2-0.
Pakistan’s Mohammad Hasnain made the squad for today’s match, beating left-armers Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz for a spot in the starting XI. Faheem Ashraf, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal also made it to the batting lining up. Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail sat this one out.
The Sri Lankan side featured two T20 debutants: Wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka and batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
Bhanuka, who played his first ODI on Wednesday, today played a T20I for the first time. Rajapaksa played the first ever international match of any kind. (Courtesy Dawn)