2nd Twenty20: Tables turned on Sri Lanka

Published: June 4, 2012

All-rounder Afridi stars in 23-run win as Pakistan level series. PHOTO: REUTERS

Shahid Afridi proved once again that he is a match-winner as Pakistan got their revenge in fine style, registering a 23-run win over Sri Lanka to level the two-match Twenty20 series in Hambantota.

Afridi stood out with a superb all-round show, hitting a 33-ball 52 that first propelled Pakistan to a total of 122 before grabbing two crucial wickets to help dismiss Sri Lanka for 99.

A poor batting performance had let Pakistan down in the opener on Friday and it was the same story yesterday as the tourists crawled to 41 for four in the 11th over. However, Shoaib Malik and Afridi added 68 off just 50 deliveries to give the total some respectability.

In reply, Yasir Arafat, replacing Umar Gul in the squad, made the most of his opportunity, getting rid of Kumar Sangakkara as Sri Lanka lost their opener with the score on 19. He then dismissed Nuwan Kulasekara, who played a reckless shot, as Pakistan’s chances got a much-needed boost.

It was then Afridi who pegged back Sri Lanka with the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan and then sent Chamara Kapugedera packing. Sohail Tanvir played his part with a wicket and Mohammad Sami returned to claim three scalps as Pakistan turned the tables on the hosts.

Sami finished with three for 16 and Arafat took three for 18 but it was Afridi’s batting that set up the series-levelling win for Pakistan.

“I am feeling really good,” said Afridi. “The bottom line is that my team won. What else could I want?

“Arafat and Tanvir bowled really well and after that we just put pressure on. Coach [Dav] Whatmore is doing a really good job with the team and has given me some space to focus on my skills.”

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez praised the effort of the players. “It was a great team effort where everybody played his role,” said Hafeez. “The partnership between Malik and Afridi was crucial for us. With the new ball Tanvir was brilliant and then Afridi and Saeed Ajmal applied a lot of pressure on Sri Lanka and that helped our cause.”

Angelo Mathews, who led the side in the absence of the rested Mahela Jayawardene, admitted his side was outplayed. “We lost our way in the middle,” said Mathews. “We were brilliant in the field and they gave 100% but the second-innings wasn’t ours at all.”

The two teams now contest five One-Day Internationals starting from June 7.

View pictures from the match here

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Ahmed
    Jun 4, 2012 - 3:18AM

    This is Sahibzada Afridi the whole world wants to see. A man who can win the match all by himself. It was the same kind of performance he gave in 2009 when Pakistan won the t20.
    It was a great team effort and now selectors have tough time to discard Tanvir, Sami, Arafat and Malik. They all came good as we have always wanted them to be. Khalid Latif didn’t get a fair chance due to bad luck.
    Overall this team has a lot of potential and it could be good enough to go the odis. I think Tanvir and Malik should be in odi team also.

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  • kapt slim
    Jun 4, 2012 - 8:22AM

    There is only one team in this world who can defend a poor total, that’s team Pakistan. Clearly the most unpredictable team in the game of cricket. One must be ready to expect miracles.

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  • Parvez
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:51PM

    If Pakistan were predictable, what a drag it would be and this goes for it’s cricket as well.

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  • Jun 4, 2012 - 3:34PM

    A brilliant high class performance from the super super star Shahid Afridi. over all the team is building but i think that Ahmed Shahzad should have been groomed as captain, he is the yooung blood and he needs to step up and perform well.

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  • alphamale
    Jun 4, 2012 - 6:59PM

    shabaash shabaash shezadoh. good job to sri lanks friends too.

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