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Pakistan wins the T20 series against Sri Lanka

Pakistan continued white ball dominance over Sri Lanka

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The tour of whitewashes continues as Sri Lanka were thumped hard in the T20 series. After winning the ODI series, Pakistan went on to win the T20 series 3-0 as the tourists failed to win any of the 8 white ball matches.

Pakistan batted first in the third T20 played in Qadaffi stadium Lahore. They failed to gain any momentum in first 13 overs. However, Shoaib Malik then came and played a blistering innings of 51 runs off just 24 balls. His innings provided the much needed impetus as Babar Azam struggled completely today scoring just 34 off 31 deliveries. In response, Sri Lanka scored 144 and lost the match by 36 runs despite an explosive innings from Shanaka who scored 54 off 36 balls.

Shoaib Malik was adjudged player of the match as well as player of the series.

Sri Lanka should be proud of this performance by it’s second string team as they played competitive cricket in all 3 matches. The bowlers, specifically, performed excellently and Thisara Perera himself led the team from the front.

Batting Performance

In batting department, only Shoaib Malik stood out with 102 runs with an average of 51 and an excellent strike rate of 136. Babar Azam only managed 36 runs with a strike rate of 87 in the series.

Batting record for T20 series. Credits: espncricinfo

The first two matches were low scoring encounters with the 2nd T20 providing a nail biting finish. However, Sri Lankan batsmen again failed to impress in the T20 series with Gunathilaka being their leading run scorer with 78 runs. The captain, Thisara Perera, also failed miserably with bat scoring just 19 runs in 3 matches.

Bowling Performance

The bowling performance was excellent from both sides. In the first T20, Sri Lanka were restricted to 103 runs which Pakistan chased down in 18th over. The Sri Lankan bowlers were impressive and picked up early wickets, however, a calm innings of 42 from Shoaib Malik ensured that Pakistan won the match without any hiccups.

The second T20 was another great performance by Sri Lankan bowlers as they almost defended a small target of 124. Pakistan managed to chase down the target on penultimate delivery of the innings. With 8 runs required off 3 deliveries, Shadab Khan managed to hit a six, followed by a double to take Pakistan home.

For Pakistan, both Faheem Ashraf and Hasan Ali took 6 wickets each. Faheem Ashraf took a vital hatrick in 2nd T20 which helped in restricting Sri Lanka to a below par target.

Bowling record for T20 series. Credits: espncricinfo

Return Of International Cricket:

The match had high intensity as it was yet another step towards revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Sri Lanka team, after being attacked in March 2009, visited Pakistan first time. The security arrangements were perfect and suitably and quite high.

Pakistani crowd was thankful to Sri Lanka for playing this match in Lahore as it will be a major step in bringing international cricket in Pakistan.

Earlier, World XI visited Pakistan for 3 T20i series. These are signs of excellent development and hopefully the international cricket will return permanently to Pakistan.

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