PAK v SL, 3rd T20I Review: Pakistan register a huge win on cricket's historic return to their country

PAK v SL, 3rd T20I Review: Pakistan register a huge win on cricket’s historic return to their country

It was a big moment for the hosts and the victory was just a perfect icing on the cake.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

It was a big occasion for the entire country of Pakistan as they were hosting Sri Lanka in Lahore for the first time in 8 years. Thankfully, things went on according to the plans and the complete focus remained only on cricket. Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir’s individual brilliance helped them inflict another whitewash in the tour.

Batting first, Pakistan got off to a steady start with Fakhar Zaman and Umar Amin setting up a good platform for the middle order. The duo added 57 runs in 8 overs and though the run-rate was a little below par, they played some good shots against a stringent bowling effort from the visitors. Fakhar was the first to get dismissed as he swung his bat hard and missed the ball completely, only to see the cherry remove the bails.

Umar Amin and Babar Azam kept playing the same way. The partnership kept ticking the scoreboard, but there weren’t enough boundaries coming in to entertain the crowd. But after Amin was dismissed in the 13th over, Shoaib Malik, the most loved veteran of their nation, entered the battlefield to add some color to the game.

He spanked 5 fours and 2 sixes on his way towards a 24 ball 51 and the scoring rate went up close to 9 with his exploits. Azam kept supporting him well from the other end and remained unbeaten throughout the innings. Fahim Ashraf, after picking up a brilliant hattrick the other day, faced three balls towards the end and struck 2 sixes to help his side finish on a high.

From 91 in 12 overs, they clobbered 89 runs in the final 8 to register 180 runs in their 20 overs. Azam remained unbeaten on 34 off 31 balls whilst Umar Amin scored 45 off 37 balls. Munaweera was the pick of the bowlers who gave away just 26 runs and picked up a wicket.

Top order falters as Amir runs riot

Sri Lankan top order yet again depressed their fans with a poor show. Mohammad Amir got his first wicket off the day with an absolute scorcher and Munaweera was back in the gallery just in the second over. Spinners Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim chipped in with a wicket each in the Powerplay and the Lankan top 3 aggregated a paltry 14 runs.

Dasun Shanaka’s innings was the only good thing that happened to them in the entire day. The all-rounder remained out of the radar for some time and he announced his arrival with a much-needed fifty for him and his side. He and Chaturanga de Silva managed to halt the flow of wickets for some time, but eventually, the Pakistan bowlers were in the mood and no one was going to stop them.

Fahim Ashraf first picked up Shanaka after the Islander scored 54 off 36 balls. Amir came back into the attack to pick up his second wicket of the day. Hasan Ali was never going to miss out on taking a wicket on such a big occasion. He got the prized-scalp of the skipper Thisara Perera and the final few overs were a disaster for the visitors.

Though Seekuge Prasanna bludgeoned a couple of monstrous sixes in the penultimate over, Mohammad Amir picked up 2 wickets in the final over of the innings to finish with figures of 4/13 in his four overs. Sri Lanka could manage only 144 in their 20 overs for the loss of 9 wickets. It was a big moment for the hosts and the victory was just a perfect icing on the cake.