Sri Lanka stuns Pakistan despite Hasnain hat-trick

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Mohammad Hasnain’s hat-trick was in vain as a young Sri Lanka side shocked Pakistan with a 64-run win in the opening match of the Twenty20 International series in Lahore.

Top-ranked Pakistan had won six consecutive T20 contests with Sri Lanka and the tourist was smarting from a 2-0 ODI series defeat, but it pulled off an upset under new captain Dasun Shanaka at Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.

Sri Lanka posted 165-5 after losing the toss, Danushka Gunathilika top scoring with 57 from 38 balls before 19-year-old Hasnain (3-37) took a hat-trick across two overs in his second international in the shortest format.

Pakistan was bowled out for 101 in reply to suffer a fourth loss in its last five T20s,  Nuwan Pradeep (3-21) and Isuru Udana (3-11) starring in a superb Sri Lanka display in the field.

Gunathilaka got Sri Lanka off to a great start after it was put in, setting about Faheem Ashraf and Hasnain to bring the 50 stand up in the fifth over.

The left-hander timed the ball sweetly and continued to score freely through the leg side, taking 14 off Shadab Khan’s first over and pulling the spinner for six to reach his half-century.

Shadab gained a measure of revenge by trapping Gunathilaka leg before to end an opening partnership of 84, but Avishka Fernando (33) and debutant Bhanuka Rajapaksa (32) kept Sri Lanka ticking along.

Hasnain had a moment to remember when he removed Shehan Jayasuriya to claim a hat-trick the next ball after seeing off Shanaka, having snared Rajapaksa lbw in the last ball of his previous over.

Pakistan was in big trouble on 22-3 with star man Babar Azam (13) and the recalled Umar Akmal falling in consecutive balls to the excellent Pradeep, who missed out on a hat-trick of his own, before Udana cleaned up Ahmed Shehzad, playing for his country for the first time since last June.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed (24) and Iftikhar Ahmed (25) got starts but were unable to go on as Sri Lanka held their catches in a sharp fielding display, Udana finishing off Pakistan after Wanindu Hasaranga (2-20) also did damage.

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N Krishnamurthy