Mohammad Hafeez derailed Sri Lanka's progress    Getty Images
Mohammad Hafeez derailed Sri Lanka’s progress in the middle overs Getty Images

Stand-in skipper, Thisara Perera, asked Sri Lanka‘s fringed players to take full responsibility ahead of the series opener of the three T20Is versus Pakistan. Nonetheless, nothing clicked for the visitors in the first innings of the match. Opting to bowl, Pakistan bowlers again wrecked havoc of Sri Lanka’s batting order to bundle them for 102 in 18.3 overs. Imad Wasim and Fahim Ashraf chipped in with breakthroughs, but Mohammad Hafeez’s spin strangled visitors. His work hard was consolidated further by Usman Khan and No. 1 ODI bowler, Hasan Ali.

Asked to bat first, Sri Lanka lost plot from the second ball itself. Dilshan Munaweera was clean bowled by Imad. Dimuth Gunathilaka and Sadeera Samarawickrama kept the scoreboard moving with few boundaries, but fell soon after. While Gunathilaka got a thick edge, the latter’s stumps were rattled by Ashraf.

Sri Lanka pressed the panic button and their inexperienced showed trying to play their shots against Shadab Khan and Hafeez. Hafeez deceived batsmen by bowling slow in the air, and it paid dividends. Sri Lanka were soon reduced to 68 for 7.

Perera came out to bat at No. 9 and went after the attack from ball one. He slogged and missed by a big margin; showing no planning whatsoever. His stay was cut-short by Usman. He bowled a short ball, climbing upto Perera’s nose, and the batsman pulled in sheer desperation only to be caught by his counterpart Sarfraz Ahmed.

Seekkuge Prasanna fought a lone battle and propelled the team score to 102. Nonetheless, the final nail in the coffin was provided by Hasan who once again stood tall with the ball. He accounted for Sachith Pathirana and tail-enders’ wickets.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 102 all-out in 18.3 overs (Dimuth Gunathilaka 18, Sadeera Samarawickrama 23, Seekkuge Prasanna 22*; Hasan Ali 3 for 23, Usman Khan 2 for 20, Mohammad Hafeez 2 for 10) vs Pakistan.