Bhanuka Rajapaksa proved a point to the national selectors in insulating himself at long last from being sidelined with a classic daring 48-ball 77 packed with 6 sixes and 4 boundaries in taking Sri Lanka to a 35-run second T20 triumph and the series with a 2-nil lead with one to go over Pakistan at the Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore yesterday.
Player of the Match Rajapaksa shared in a 94-run third wicket alliance with Shehan Jayasuriya who made 34 off 26 balls inclusive of 4 boundaries to script the victory which was further buttressed by a quickie unbeaten 27 by skipper
Dasun Shanaka containing 3 boundaries and a six.
Then Hasaranga de Silva accounted for the No.3 batsman Ahmed Shehzad clean bowling him for 13 and the next two batsmen Umar Akmal trapped leg before wicket for a duck and clean bowlin Asif Ali for 29 taking 3 wickets in four balls. That was after Kasun Rajitha had started the slide bowling Fakhar Zaman for a duck in reducing Pakistan to 9 for 1 and Nuwan Pradeep had bowled Babar Zaman for 3 making it 2 for 11. Pakistan never recovered from there folding up for 149 in 19 overs with Nuwan Pradeep claiming 4 for 29, de Silva 3 for 38 and Isuru Udana 2 for 38.
Sri Lanka 182/6 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 9.1
(P.B.B. Rajapaksa 77, G.S.N.F.G. Jayasuriya 34,
M.D. Shanaka n.o. 27, M.D. Gunathilaka 15)
Pakistan 147 All Out (19 Overs) Run Rate: 7.7.
(I. Wasim 47, A. Ali 29, A. Shehzad 13, N. Pradeep 4/29, W.H. de Silva 3/38, I. Udana 2/38)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-