With one game to play, Sri Lanka’s 2-0 lead is unassailable, a remarkable turn-up considering the disparity between the sides’ MRF Tyres T20I Team Rankings. Pakistan’s experimental side hasn’t had the desired effect, while Sri Lanka’s second string have exceeded expectations, and will be hopeful of securing a clean sweep in the third T20I on Wednesday, 9 October.
Newcomer Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit a whirlwind half-century while Nuwan Pradeep and Wanindu Hasaranga recorded career-best bowling figures as the Australia-bound Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 35 runs in the second Twenty20 international in Lahore on Monday.
Rajapaksa’s 77 off 48 balls lifted Sri Lanka to a challenging total of 6-182 – the left-hander blasting six sixes and four fours in a maiden fifty that came in only his second T20 international.
Pradeep finished with 4-25 while leg-spinner Hasaranga (pictured above) took 3-38 – collecting his wickets in the space of just four balls – as Pakistan were bowled out for 147 in 19 overs.
“We played quality cricket and that’s why we won,” said Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka, standing in for regular captain Lasith Malinga who was one of 10 players missing the tour over security fears.
“Rajapaksa played a masterclass innings. These youngsters should get a good chance after the series and I am sure (the) selectors will look at it.”
Victory gave Sri Lanka their first T20 series win over Pakistan in seven attempts as they clinched an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Sri Lanka won the first match by 67 runs, also in Lahore. The last match will be at the same venue on Wednesday.