Pakistan v SL T20: Umar Akmal flops, Mohammad Hasnain hat-trick in vain
Islanders register thumping 64 run-win over No1 T20 side in Lahore
Pakistan – the No 1 T20 team in the world – suffered a crushing 64-run defeat at home against a depleted Sri Lankan side on Saturday.
Pakistan quick Mohammad Hasnain picked up a hat-trick across two overs as the visitors posted 165-5. That total proved well beyond Pakistan as they folded for 101 in 17.4 overs with seamers Isuru Udana (3-11) and Nuwan Pradeep (3-21) doing the bulk of the damage.
The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was ready for Pakistan's favourite format but the Sri Lankans, who had already shown good fight during the ODI series, silenced the crowd immediately.
Sri Lanka openers Danushka Gunathilaka continued his good form as he hit 57 and added 84 for the first wicket with Avishka Fernando.
Hasnain came back towards the death after an expensive start to take the wicket of Bhanuka Rajapaksa off the last ball of the 16th over before picking up the wickets of captain Dasun Shanaka and Shehan Jayasuriya off the first two balls of the 19th over to complete the hat-trick. Hasnain, 19, thus became the second youngest bowler to take a hat-trick in international cricket.
But the target of 166 proved too much for Pakistan. They got off to the worst possible start – star batsman Babar Azam only managed 13 while the returning duo of Umar Akmal (0) and Ahmed Shehzad (4) also failed.
Akmal was making a comeback in T20s after a gap of three years but fell lbw first ball to Pradeep. Both Shehzad and Akmal were given fresh opportunities under the new Misbah-ul-Haq regime but faltered in their first test.
In all, only three Pakistan batsmen reached double figures as the men in green lost their fourth T20 in five outings this year.
Sri Lanka captain Shanaka was pleased to put in such an effort without top players, who had pulled out of the tour citing security concerns.
"It's a great achievement for us without our top guns," said Shanaka.
"Our openers were tremendous on this wicket. We had great belief in this team. All the credit needs to go to the openers and debutant Banuka (Rajapaksa). The bowlers also started well."
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said losing a top player like Babar early in the chase cost the team in the end.
"Sri Lanka played better than us and that's why we were wary of them," he said. "We lost Babar early and that put pressure on the batting."
Published: October 5, 2019 10:59 PM