Chasing a modest 148-run target, Pakistan were on course for victory with Haris Sohail’s 50-ball 52 with four boundaries and a six but legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga turned the tables with 3-21 to restrict Pakistan to 134 for six in 20 overs.
Hasaranga had Sohail stumped in the 16th over and then dismissed Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed (16-ball 17) in the 18th to give Sri Lanka victory on a match day designated as Pink Day for breast cancer awareness.
The Sri Lankan defence started perfectly, Kasun Rajitha shaping one back in to bowl Fakhar Zaman, and barely let up from there. Rajitha continued to star early on, conceding just eight runs from his first three overs, but Wanindu Hasaranga emerged with the pick of the figures.
He has developed a happy habit of striking multiple times in succession, and this time effectively decided the contest when he removed Asif Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the space of an over as Pakistan slide from 94/2 to 111/6, a collapse of 4/17.
”Yes this is the best I’ve bowled. I tried to get wickets. My wrong’un is what I use to get wickets. I try to absorb the pressure by bowling as many dot balls as I can” said Hasaranga.
Oshada Fernando struck a brilliant 48-ball 78 with three sixes and eight boundaries – the highest by a Sri Lankan player on T20I debut – to lift Sri Lanka to 147 for seven in their 20 overs.
Sri Lanka’s victory – their first-ever Twenty20 series whitewash – was achieved despite missing ten of their top players, including regular Twenty20 skipper Lasith Malinga, who refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.
But that did not hurt Sri Lanka as they staged a remarkable comeback after losing the one-day series 2-0 by winning the first two matches of the T20 series by 64 and 35 runs respectively. Before this, Pakistan’s only Twenty20 whitewash was at the hands of England in United Arab Emirates in 2015.