Inexperienced Sri Lanka ended Wednesday with a 13-run win in Lahore and clean-swept their Tewnty20 international series against world number one Pakistan 3-0. Trying to chase down a reasonable 148-run target, Pakistan was on route to win. Harish Sohail scored 50-ball 52 with four boundaries and a six but Wanindu Hasaranga flipped the script with 3-21 to hold Pakistan to 134-6 in 20 overs.
In the 16th over Sohail had stumped by Hasaranga and then on the 18th Sri Lanka was allowed to win as Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was dismissed (16-ball 17) on a match day, designated for breast cancer awareness as Pink Day.
With three sixes and eight boundaries, Oshada Fernando struck a brilliant 48-ball 78— On T20| debut, this was the highest by a Sri Lankan player in 20 overs to lift Sri Lanka to 147-7.
Both Jehan Mubarak and Danushka Gunathilaka scored 46 each.
The victory of Sri Lanka — their first-ever whitewash Twenty20 series — was completed in absence of their top ten players along with Lasith Malinga, their regular Twenty20 skipper, who over security fears had refused the tour to Pakistan.
But that didn’t hurt Sri Lanka, as they made a stunning return after losing the one-day 2-0 series by winning 64 and 35 runs, respectively, in the first two matches of the T20 series.
Before that, in 2015, Pakistan’s only T20 loss was in the United Arab Emirates at the hands of England.
Once again, the start of Pakistan was disastrous as they lost aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman of their first ball of innings, as he was bowled for naught by Kasun Rajitha.
For the second wicket, Babar Azam (32-ball 27) and Sohail added 76, but Sri Lanka dried boundaries.
Although Iftikhar Ahmed hit 17 off 8 balls in the last two overs, 28 in the last were beyond Pakistan, which only managed a six and a boundary.
Later, Fernando, who kept the innings together, after Sri Lanka lost two wickets for 28 runs in four overs, rode on a brilliant maiden half-century.
They then fell to 58 -4, crashing for just 3 with Bhanuka Rajapaksa, the star of the second match.
For the fifth wicket, with skipper Dasun Shanaka, who made 12, Fernando repaired the damage with a 76-run stand.
Once again, Pakistan was careless in the field, dropping as many as four catches, and Sarfaraz, behind the wicket, spurned a stumping chance.
Paceman Mohammad Amir, who went wicketless in the last two matches, ended with figures of 3-27.
The tour of Sri Lanka continued Pakistan’s attempts to revive the country’s international cricket, which was suspended in March 2009 following terror attacks.
Pakistan had since hosted last year’s World XI, Sri Lanka (both in 2017) and the West Indies.