October 10 (India Today) -An inexperienced Sri Lanka side thrashed top-ranked Pakistan by 13 runs in the final T20I at Gaddafi Stadium to pull off a momentous 3-0 series sweep in Lahore. The victory holds more significance because Sri Lanka outplayed Pakistan in their own backyard in absence of some of their most senior players.
With the 13-run win over Pakistan in the 3rd T20I, Dasun Shanaka also became only the third skipper to win first 3 T20I against Pakistan. Former India skipper MS Dhoni (2007-2012) and Australia captain Michael Clarke were the other two to do so.
Dasun Shanaka, 28, was named Sri Lanka’s T20I captain for the Pakistan tour after incumbent skipper Lasith Malinga, among others, refused to travel to Pakistan stating security concerns.
It was the first time that Sri Lanka won a series 3-0 and also the only time when Pakistan were whitewashed in a three-match series. Prior to the T20I series, Sri Lanka were handed a 2-0 defeat by Pakistan in the 3-match ODI series.
Speaking at a press conference after the series win, Shanaka said the reason behind Sri Lanka’s win is the unity among the team.
It’s a good victory. Thanks to the Pakistan crowd, they supported not just the home team but us as well.
“All the players bond well in our team and that is our key to success. They are very talented and I think unity is the secret behind our success. If we play smart cricket there is always a chance to win and each and every one took good decisions which helped us win the series.”
“It’s a good victory. Thanks to the Pakistan crowd, they supported not just the home team but us as well. We should thank everyone in Pakistan, especially for PCB for inviting us to come and play a series here.
After winning the toss Sri Lanka opted to bat first and lost their top four within the first 10 overs of the game.
Debutant Oshanda Fernando held the innings together with a gritty unbeaten 78 off 48 balls as Mohammad Amir grabbed 3-27. Fernando dominated a 76-run stand with captain Dasun Shanaka, whose contribution was only 12 but the partnership pulled Sri Lanka out of trouble from 4-58 and helped the side set up 147 in 20 overs.
Chasing 148, Pakistan needed 54 runs off the last five overs with eight wickets in hand, but were restricted to 134-6 with leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga claiming three wickets in two overs and also grabbing a catch at long-on boundary to dismiss dangerman Imad Wasim.