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Pakistan VS Sri Lanka first T20 was without doubt one of the most exciting games of cricket that was played in 2015. Both the teams played reasonably well, but since at the end one team had to win, it is fair to say that Pakistan deserved to win the game as they were the better team in the match. Anyway, if today’s game was any indication then next and the last T20 game between these 2 teams will definitely be much more interesting. Sri Lankan players showed great promise so they are not going to let the Pakistan team win the series 2-0 as easily as they might expect.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi won the toss and decided to bat first. But Mathews bowled a good delivery and Pakistan opener Mukhtar Ahmed was back to the pavilion early. But other opener Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez were able to build a long partnership and they took the score to a respectable level. By the time both these batsmen got out Sri Lankan bowling attack had lost its sharpness which they got after they were able to get an early wicket. Shoaib Malik came at number 4 and again he proved that his exclusion from the World Cup 2015 team was the worst decision that Pakistani selectors ever took. He scored a glorious unbeaten 46 and none of the Sri Lankan bowlers were able to give him any kind of trouble at all.
The middle order also clicked for Pakistan at the Pakistan VS Sri Lanka first T20 game. The team ended their innings at 175 with the loss of 5 wickets. This is a big total for any team to chase and since Sri Lankan batsmen are not in best of form recently the commentators started predicting that Pakistan will be able to win the match without any trouble at all. But they also mentioned that in this particular game Sri Lankan batting and fielding looked much sharper than it was in the ODI series. Both Matthews and Perera bowled well and took some crucial wickets. The fielding was also not so sloppy. The fielders near the boundary ran well and saved some sure boundaries. If it was not for good bowling and amazing fielding at the end over, Pakistan batsmen were able to take the score to 200. Sri Lankan team management must been feeling good at least thinking the fact the team worked really hard at the ground today.
But the improvements were not just limited to bowling and fielding. Sri Lankan openers came into the bat with a lot of confidence and it was clear that they believed that 176 in 20 over can be done. But sadly Pakistan fast bowlers were able to strike early and both the Sri Lankan openers were gone without taking their score to 10. Anwar Ali and Sohail Tanvir both took one wicket each. After this the shaky start continued when the number 4 batsman gone for just 1. However the middle order batsmen were able to stay at the wicket and gave the innings some much needed stability. At one point it looked like they were able to win the much.
But in Pakistan VS Sri Lanka first T20 game Pakistan bowlers were able to take wickets at the regular intervals and that is why Sri Lankan run chased ended at 146 with the loss of all 10 wickets. Shoaib Malik also took one wicket and bowled economically. Young bowler Sohail Tanvir was declared Man of the match for his brilliant bowling effort at a batsmen friendly pitch. Now all eyes are on Sri Lankan team to see if they can make a comeback in the next game or Pakistan will be able to win the series 2-0?
Shoaib Malik: 46 unbeaten
Umar Akmal: 46
Sri Lanka: 146/10
TAM Siriwardana: 35
CK Kapugedera: 31
Sohail Tanvir: 3/29
Anwar Ali: 2/27