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1st T20I: Top-ranked Pakistan fall to humiliating defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka

Even though young pacer Mohammad Hasnain created history by becoming the youngest ever to pick a 5-wicket haul in T20Is, Pakistan succumbed to a 64 run defeat at the hands of a weakened Sri Lankan side, thereby conceding a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
1st T20I: Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 64 runs (AP Photo)

Pakistan suffered a 64 run defeat in the 1st T20I of the 3-match series vs an under strength Sri Lankan side as they failed to chase the target of 166 runs after opting to bowl first on Saturday. Incidentally, this was Sri Lanka’s 1st win on the tour and they have now taken a 1-0 lead in the series. The ODI leg was won by Pakistan with a margin of 2-0 as the 1st match was washed out due to rain.

The chase started on a horror note for Pakistan as Sri Lanka bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana claimed 3 top-order Pakistan batsmen to leave the hosts reeling early. While Babar Azam and Umar Akmal were dismissed by Pradeep off successive balls, Shehzad was bowled by Udana. Though Sarfaraz and Iftikhar Ahmed tried to resurrect the side, their dismissals in quick succession have dimmed the home team’s hopes which were on a high after Mohammad Hasnain became the youngest ever to pick a T20I hat-trick.

From then on it was a downward slide as one Pakistan player followed the other to the dressing room and the team threatened to get bowled out for less than a 100.

Earlier, Danushka Gunathilaka’s knock of 57 runs helped Sri Lanka post a score of 165/5 in the allotted twenty overs after being asked to bat first. Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Minod Bhanuka were handed their T20I debuts for the Sri Lankan side. While for Pakistan, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad came back into the side after a long gap.

Sri Lanka raced to 84 with opener Gunathilaka scoring 57 off 38 balls including a six and eight boundaries and Avishka Fernando making 33 off 34. Fernando and Gunathilaka brought up the team 50 in just 29 balls.

Debutant Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 32 off 22 with two sixes and as many boundaries while skipper Dasun Shanaka chipped in with 17 including two sixes.

Shadab Khan got the breakthrough as Gunathilaka departed for 57. But Rajapaksa and Fernando continued to hit boundaries at will until Shadab’s direct hit found Fernando short of the crease.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka then hit a few lusrty blows to keep hopes of a 180+ total alive for the Lankans. However, Hasnain had something else in store.

At 19 years and 183 days old, became the youngest ever cricketer to take a hat-trick in T20Is. While playing against Sri Lanka on Saturday, Hasnain removed Bhanuka Rajapaksa (32), Dasun Shanaka (17) and Shehan Jayasuriya (2) off successive deliveries to achieve this feat.

The second match will be played on Monday and the 3rd on Wednesday – all in Lahore.