Visiting Sri Lankan side won the series against blundering Greenshirts
They may be the top-ranked side in the world, but Pakistan was outclassed by Sri Lanka in Lahore. The visitors not only played well in the T20s, but they also didn’t let the hosts recover once their plan was in motion. In fact, they made as many as 5 changes in their winning combination and managed to win. The Greenshirts dropped three players without ending the match on the losing side.
Sri Lanka won the crucial toss in the final tie
Although they had clinched the series by winning 2 matches, Sri Lankans used the final match to test their bench strength. They made five changes in their winning combination as opposed to Pakistan’s three, and that’s where they had the edge. Pakistan thought that by dropping Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, their fortunes would change, but they forgot others too. Asif Ali was still there, so was Shadab Khan who failed to impress yet again. With the visitors electing to bat first, Pakistan’s chances vanished when they dropped catches and gave a lifeline to the tourists. Oshanda Fernando’s unbeaten 78 proved to be the difference as it helped Lankans post 147 for 7 in 20 overs. Usman Shinwari and Shadab Khan went for runs where Iftikhar Ahmed wasn’t used for no reason.
Comedy of Errors cost Pakistan the series
They batted like clueless school kids, fielded as if they weren’t accustomed to the floodlights and bowled without a plan. Chasing 148 would never have been difficult had the batting order been changed, but that’s what courageous leaders do. Sarfaraz Ahmed sent hapless openers, promoted himself despite his form and sent Imad Wasim and Asif Ali before Iftikhar Ahmed. The result was, Pakistan didn’t lose the match due to wickets but because the 20 overs had ended. Haris Sohail’s nearly run-a-ball 50 couldn’t win the match, neither did late order heroics of Wahab Riaz and Iftikhar Ahmed. They fell short by 13 runs as Sri Lanka sealed the whitewash, which seemed impossible a few days back.
Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara took 5 wickets to seal whitewash
This was Pakistan’s second T20 whitewash; it was more shocking considering Sarfaraz XI was ranked as number 1. They couldn’t handle junior Sri Lankan bowlers and it would be a miracle if they could recover before Australian series. One hopes that this series marks the end of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, and that management looks for new talent. If Sri Lanka can do it, so can the Greenshirts!