After an impressive performance in the first T20I, the second string Sri Lanka side crushed Pakistan by 35 runs in the 2nd T20I played at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Monday.
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and decided to bat first. Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando started off to a decent start before Imad Wasim got the dangerous Gunathilaka for 15. Rajapaksa came to the crease and looked positive with his stroke play. Avishka Fernando fell cheaply to leave Sri Lanka at 41 for 2. At the end of 6 overs, Sri Lanka were 52 for 2.
After the power play overs, Rajapaksa and Shehan Jayasuriya put the pressure on the Pakistani bowling line up. The left-handed Rajapaksa made batting look easy and never allowed them to settle. It was an amazing batting display by both these batsmen. Rajapaksa played a blinder of an innings and reached his fifty off 32 balls. A brilliant run out by Asif Ali ended Shehan Jayasuriya innings. Rajapaksa and Jayasuriya added 94 runs for the 3rd wicket. Rajapaksa continued his sublime hitting and scored a brilliant 77 off 48 balls. The captain Dasun Shanaka played a gem of an innings scoring a quickfire 27 off 15 balls to help Sri Lanka post a competitive 182 for 6 in 20 overs.
Chasing the target of 183 runs to win, it was not a perfect start for the Pakistan as Fakhar Zaman was dismissed cheaply for 6 by Kasun Rajitha. Nuwan Pradeep got the big wicket of Babar Azam with a beauty of a delivery. Sarfaraz Ahmed showed some promise with good hits. At the end of 6 overs, Pakistan were 40 for 2.
After the power play overs, Hasaranga produced a game changing over by dismissing Ahmed Shahzad, Umar Akmal and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the same over. Imad Wasim and Asif Ali steadied the innings for Pakistan with aggressive hitting from Imad. Both put pressure on Sri Lankan bowlers. As things looked good dangerous for Sri Lanka, Isuru Udana got the big breakthrough dismissing Imad Wasim for 47. Imad Wasim and Asif Ali added 75 runs for the 6th wicket. After the fall of Imad’s wicket, the Sri Lankan bowlers kept it tight and bowled out Pakistan for 147 in 19 overs. Asif Ali struggled to score runs at quick pace.
Sri Lanka 182 for 6 in 20 overs (Rajapaksa 77, Jayasuriya 34, Imad Wasim 1/27) beat Pakistan 147 in 19 overs ( Imad Wasim 47, Asif Ali 29, Nuwan Pradeep 4/25, Hasranaga 3/38) by 35 runs.
With this win, Sri Lanka steal the series against the number 1 ranked T20I side. The third and final T20I will be played on 9th October.