Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed admitted his players need to work on all three aspects of the game after a second-string Sri Lankan team swept the T20 series 3-0 in Lahore on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka batted first for the third time this series but posted a seemingly manageable total of 147-7, thanks to a fighting 78 off just 48 balls from Oshada Fernando.
In reply, Pakistan top order fared miserably as opener Fakhar Zaman was out for a golden duck. Babar Azam (27 off 32 balls) and Haris Sohail (52 off 50) got runs on board but they took a long time to get them, putting extra pressure on the next batsmen. The hosts ended on 134-6 in 20 overs to lose by 13 runs.
Pakistan – the No 1 T20 team in the world – have now lost six T20s in seven outings in 2019.
"We were subdued, we didn't express ourselves throughout this series," Sarfaraz said after the defeat.
"We just wanted to try out as many players as possible. We need to work a lot on all three fronts, especially fielding. We can't beat any team if we drop catches like that in the middle overs."
Needing 54 runs off the last five overs with eight wickets in hand, Pakistan couldn't get a move on with leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga once again stealing the show by picking up three wickets in two overs and also taking a fine catch at long on to dismiss Imad Wasim.
Earlier, Sri Lanka scored 147-7 despite resting five players who featured in the first two wins.
Debutant Fernando held the innings together as left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir took 3-27. Fernando dominated a 76-run stand with captain Dasun Shanaka (12) as they pulled Sri Lanka out of trouble from 58-4.
In the absence of rested frontline seamers Isuru Udana and Nuwan Pradeep, Sri Lanka bowled with discipline. Fast bowler Lahiru Kumara gave excellent support, picking up 2-24.
Sri Lanka lost the preceding ODI series 2-0 but turned the tables in the Twenty20s by sweeping a three-match series for the first time.