Sri Lanka delivered a clinical performance with bat and ball to register a comprehensive 64-run win over Pakistan in the opening T20I of three-match series played at Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.
Earlier, Pakistan Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bowl first. His decision proved a to be good one as bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to a score of 165 runs for the loss of five wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
Opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka was the standout performer for Sri Lanka in the batting department and finished with the top score of 57 off 38 balls with the help of eight boundaries and a six. He was well supported by Avishka Fernando, who chipped in with 33 off 34 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Debutant Bhanuka Rajapaksa also produced a splendid innings and scored 32 off 22 with the help of two fours and two sixes to help Sri Lanka post a competitive score on the board.
Danushka Gunathilaka scored a splendid half-century to help Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 64 runs in the opening game of the T20I series.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Hasnain became the youngest Pakistani bowler to take hat-trick in the T20 format. He bowled well and finished with figures of 3 for 37 in his four overs.
Chasing 166 runs for victory, Pakistan had a worse possible start to their innings as new-ball pair of Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana made early inroads for Sri Lanka
Iftikhar Ahmed and Sarfaraz Ahmed put on a 46-run partnership to give a glimmer of hope to the home side. Once Iftikhar and Sarfaraz perished in quick succession, the tail could not offer any resistance as Pakistan were bundled out for 101 runs in 17.4 overs.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed look good in his innings and scored 24 off 30 balls, whereas Iftikhar Ahmed finished the innings with the top-score of 25 off 24 balls with the help of two fours.
For Sri Lanka, the pace of Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana claimed three wickets each. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga also bowled well and finished with figures of 2 for 20 in his four-over spell.
Danushka Gunathilaka was awarded man of the match for his splendid century against Pakistan.