Sun, Jun 03, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Sri Lanka ease to 37-run T20 win over Pakistan

AFP, HAMBANTOTA, SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka put on a brilliant bowling and fielding performance to post a comfortable 37-run victory over Pakistan in their opening Twenty20 international on Friday.

Pakistan were bowled out for 95, their lowest T20 total against Sri Lanka, after restricting the hosts to 132-7 in Hambantota.

Sri Lankan pacemen Nuwan Kulasekera, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga and debutant off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake took two wickets apiece after man-of-the-match Thisara Perera scored a crucial 32 not out.

Opener Ahmed Shehzad top-scored for Pakistan with 36 while the extras contributed 19 runs, the second-highest of the innings. Umar Akmal (12) was the other batsman to reach double-figures.

Pakistan never recovered after losing two wickets off the first two balls of the innings, with Kulasekera removing skipper Mohammad Hafeez and debutant Shakeel Ansar.

The Sri Lankan bowlers were backed by their fielders, with Perera and Kulasekera each taking a superb catch.

Left-arm paceman Sohail Tanvir earlier grabbed three big wickets as Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka.

He jolted the top order when he dismissed Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in his opening three overs to reduce the hosts to 31-3.

Tanvir finished with 3-12 off four tight overs, his best performance in Twenty20 internationals, while off-spinner Saeed Ajmal bagged two wickets for 20 runs.

Perera smashed two sixes and as many fours in his 16-ball knock to help his team make 43 runs off the last 22 balls.

Lahiru Thirimanne, making his T20 debut, was the other main scorer with a 25-ball 30.

Sri Lanka made a poor start after electing to bat, losing four wickets in the opening eight overs with just 39 on the board.

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