An airtight Sri Lankan bowling performance allowed them to defend 148 to win against Pakistan in the third T20I. That they reached even that seemingly lowly total was down to a brilliant knock from Oshada Fernando, who notched eight fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 48-ball 78. His innings helped Sri Lanka recover from 58/4 as the tourists struggled early on.
Mohamamd Amir bowled Danushka Gunathilaka for 8, Sadeera Samarawickrama was pinned LBW by Imad Wasim for 12, Bhanuka Rajapaksa holed out off Amir for 3, and Angelo Perera was run out coming back for the second for 13.
Sri Lanka needed someone to play a long innings, and Oshada delivered. He had sterling help from captain Dasun Shanaka. Though he only made 12, the 25 balls he faced allowed a partnership of 76 runs to develop, and gave Sri Lanka something to bowl at.
Fernando completed his half-century in 33 balls and stretched that innings for further. His brilliant batting helped the visitors to manage the fighting total. At the end of that innings, Fernando scored unbeaten 78 runs off 48 balls (8 fours and 3 sixes).
Coming to bat at no.5 or lower in T20I debut, it is the highest individual score. The previous record in this list was 68* by Craig Williams (Namibia) against Botswana at Windhoek on 19th August 2019.
Also, the 27-year-old Oshada Fernando became the first Sri Lankan T20I debutant to register a 50+ score. Meanwhile, it is the seventh highest individual score by a T20I debutant.