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Bridging The Gap
Sri Lanka thrash Pakistan by 64 runs in first T20I
  Saturday 05 October, 2019
Sri Lanka thrash Pakistan by 64 runs in first T20I

Sri Lanka thrashed the number-one ranked Pakistan side by 64 runs in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) between the two sides at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday.

Chasing a target of 166, Pakistan were jolted by early strikes at the start of their innings. Prolific batsman Babar Azam was the first to depart, after an outstanding one-handed catch from wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka, off the bowling of fast-bowler Nuwan Pradeep.

Opener Ahmed Shehzad and batsman Umar Akmal, who made their comeback, then departed in quick succession to leave Pakistan in a precarious situation at 22 for three in 4.2 overs.

Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and all-rounder Ifitkhar Ahmed then tried to rebuild the innings with a partnership of 46 while keeping an eye on the climbing run-rate. The pressure however got to the duo, when a miscommunication between the two resulted in the run-out of Iftikhar, who made 25 off 24 deliveries.

Sarfaraz fell soon afterwards, bowled by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, to leave Pakistan at 76 for five in 13.2 overs and a required run-rate of over 12 runs.

Wickets tumbled in quick succession as batsman Asif Ali, all-rounders Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf and tail-ender Mohammad Amir tried to swing their way out of trouble.

Pradeep and fellow pacer Isuru Udana claimed three wickets each to reduce Pakistan to 101 all-out in 17.4 overs and cap a dominant victory for the Islanders.

Earlier, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start after being put in to bat first by Sarfaraz. Openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando combined for a first wicket partnership of 84.

Gunathilaka continued his fine One-day International (ODI) form into the first T20I by scoring a breezy half-century. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan finally broke the opening partnership when he trapped Gunathilaka leg-before wicket (LBW) in the ninth over. The opener scored 57 runs off 38 deliveries.

Fernando departed soon afterwards, courtesy of a direct hit from fielder Shadab, having scored 33 runs off 34 deliveries.

Fast-bowler Mohammad Hasnain then pegged Sri Lanka back with a hat-trick removing batsmen Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, and Shehan Jayasuriya. The young pacer finished with three wickets off 37 runs.

All-rounders Isuru Udana and Wanindu Hasaranga remained unbeaten on 5 and 7 respectively as Sri Lanka posted 165 for 5 in their allotted overs.

For his scintillating knock, Gunathilaka bagged the award for the player of the match.

Source: https://cricketpakistan.com.pk/en/news/detail/live-pakistan-win-toss-opt-to-bowl-first

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