Sri Lanka traveled to Lahore after 8 years but failed to notch up a win as Pakistan won the 3rd and final T20I match by 36 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday to clinch the three-match series, 3-0.
The first two T20Is, which Pakistan won by seven and two wickets respectively, were played in Abu Dhabi. Today’s match marked the return of the Sri Lankan team to Pakistan after their team bus was attacked in the same city, forcing the suspension of international cricket in the terror-hit country.
After being sent into bat, Pakistan rode on Shoaib Malik’s 24-ball 51 to post a challenging 180 for 3 before restricting the visitors to 144/9 in 20 overs. This is Sri Lanka’s 16th consecutive loss in limited-overs cricket.
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Chasing a challenging target of 181, Sri Lanka lost 3 wickets for just 21 runs in the 4th over as Pakistan made early inroads. All-rounder Dasun Shanaka gave some hope for the islanders cracking his maiden T20I fifty which included 5 fours and 3 sixes. Shanaka’s 36-ball 54 was not enough as left-arm seamer Mohammed Amir playing his first international match on home soil, returned with best figures of 4 for 13 from his quota of overs to dismantle the Lankan batting surge.
Earlier, Pakistan batting clicked yet again as each and every batsman chipped in with valuable contributions. Umar Amin who came in place of Ahmed Shehzad made a controlled 37-ball 45 while experienced Shoaib Malik, the only player from both the sides to have also featured in the fateful 2009 Lahore Test proved to be the difference once again slamming a game-changing 24-ball 51 with 5 fours and 2 sixes.
Malik added 75 runs for the 3rd wicket with Babar Azam to set the tempo for the hosts after their openers constructed a solid 57 runs. Sri Lanka’s inability in the death overs were once again exposed as they leaked 72 runs in the final five overs including 23 runs off Vikum Sanjaya final over.
“It is a tough tour. Thanks to the Pakistani fans. In a short time, we have gelled like a nice family. Last three games, we can take a lot of positives. Last game, we almost won. Looking forward to doing well in the future series.” Sri Lanka T20I skipper Thisara Perera said.
This becomes Pakistan’s second 3-0 whitewash in a T20I series, having previously beaten the West Indies in the UAE last year.
- Man of the Match – Shoaib Malik
- Man of the Series – Shoaib Malik