Sri Lanka made a clean sweep of the 3-match T20 series against Pakistan winning the final match by 13 runs at the Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore yesterday in bringing down the curtain in electrifying style to the controversial tour to Pakistan which had been boycotted by countries following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team in 2009. It marked a champagne scripting of coming out of the long barren run where a series whitewash had been something of the distant past. In doing so, overly this T20 squad drove home the message that durable match winners had been plunged to a backseat by selection policies of opting with the old school belief in the cast of senior players which policy changed only because most of them opted out of the tour through security concerns.
Setting the tone to it was young Oshada Fernando with a belligerent 48-ball unbeaten 78 coming in at No.5 with Sri Lanka wobbling on 58 for 4 in 8 overs in a team composition that saw five changes to the side that won the second encounter. He struck 8 boundaries and 3 sixes in picking up the tempo and bringing Sri Lanka back into the game. Skipper Dasun Shanaka weighed in with 12 off 25.
Sri Lanka’s final impetus of 147 for 7 at a run rate of 7.35 proved to be good enough to peg down Pakistan to 134 for 6 with leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga emerging as Sri Lanka’s new spin craftsman with 3 for 21 to top up the tour as the Player of the Match and Player of the Series. He was well supported by pace-man Lahiru Kumara with 2 for 24.
Sri Lanka 147/7 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 7.35
(B.O.P. Fernando n.o. 78, S. Samarawickrema 12, M.D. Shanaka 12, Mohammad Amir 3/27)
Pakistan 134/6 (20 Overs) Run Rate: 6.7
(H. Sohail 52, B. Azam 27, S. Ahmed 17,
P.W.H. de Silva 3/21, C.B.R.L.S. Kumara 2/24)
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-