Lahore: Danushka Gunathilaka’s knock of 57 runs and Nuwan Pradeep’s three-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka defeat Pakistan by 64 runs in the first T20I of the three-match series.
Chasing 166, Pakistan got off to a bad start as the side lost its opening two wickets in successive balls as Pradeep dismissed Babar Azam (13) and Umar Akmal (0) in the second over of the innings.
Ahmed Shehzad (4) was sent back to the pavilion in the fifth over, reducing Pakistan to 22/3. Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Iftikhar Ahmed then retrieved the innings for the side.
The duo put on a partnership of 46 runs, but their stint at the crease was cut short via a run-out as Ahmed (25) was dismissed in the 12th over, reducing Pakistan to 68/4.
Sarfaraz’s (24) dismissal in the 14th over proved as the final nail in the coffin. Sri Lanka chipped away at the wickets in the final overs and the team registered a win by 64 runs.
Earlier, Gunathilaka’s knock of 57 runs helped Sri Lanka post a score of 165/5 in the allotted twenty overs after being asked to bat first.
Openers Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando provided a quickfire start to Sri Lanka. The duo put on 84 runs for the first wicket inside ten overs. Pakistan got their first breakthrough in the tenth over as Shadab Khan dismissed Gunathilaka (57).
Bhanuka Rajapaksa next came out to bat and he along with Fernando put up a 36-run stand, but their stint at the crease was cut short by Shadab as he ran out Fernando (33) in the 15th over, reducing the Islanders to 120/2.
After Fernando’s dismissal, Sri Lanka lost their next three wickets pretty cheaply as Mohammad Hasnain bagged a hat-trick for Pakistan and Sri Lanka was reduced to 159/5 in 19 overs.
With this hat-trick, Hasnain became the youngest player to achieve the feat in T20Is.
The side managed to score just six runs in the final over, taking their tally past the 160-run mark.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan will take on each other in the second T20I on October 7.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 165/5 (Danushka Gunathilaka 57, Avishka Fernando 33, Mohammad Hasnain 3-37) defeat Pakistan 101/10 (Iftikhar Ahmed 25, Sarfaraz Ahmed 24, Isuru Udana 3-11) by 64 runs.