Pakistan humble Lankans by 15 runs in World T20 warm-up clash
Pakistan humble Lankans by 15 runs in World T20 warm-up clash

Kolkata, March 14 (IANS) Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim came up with a four-wicket haul as Pakistan produced a clinical display to humble Sri Lanka by 15 runs in a World Twenty20 warm-up match here on Monday.

Replying to Pakistan’s 157/5, Sri Lanka could only reach 142/9 before around 15,000 spectators at the Eden Gardens.

Mohammed Hafeez led the charge for Pakistan with an unconquered 49-ball 70, that was inclusive of nine fours and a six.

The Sri Lankan innings began with a jolt, as Tilakratne Dilshan got out in the very second over without bothering the scorer. The other opener Dinesh Chandimal (30; 21 b, 5×4) went on the offensive with some delectable shots, and added 37 for the second wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne (45; 37b, 4×4, 2×6).

Wasim then got into the act, getting rid of Chandimal in the sixth over, with Hafeez taking the offering at mid-wicket. Sri Lanka were then 39/2.

Chamara Kapugedera and Thirimanne tried to retrieve the situation with another 37-run partnership, that came to an end with the former becoming Wasim’s second victim.

Thirimanne was looking solid, as he plundered 14 runs off a lacklustre Shahid Afridi in the seventh over, and then lifted him out of the ground in the 12th, but was also lucky to be the beneficiary of a dropped catch by Hafeez at deep mid-wicket.

However, he failed to take advantage of the reprieve, and was out a little later at the same score of 39, giving another wicket to the 27-year-old Wasim. The Wales-born, who carries a dual passport, did more havoc to the top order by seeing the back of Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews (10), with the Lankan score reading 101/5 in the 13th over.

The skipper’s dismissal opened the floodgates, as Sri Lanka lost three more wickets by adding only 19 runs. The match was virtually over. And the remaining overs were a mere formality.

Sri Lanka had earlier lost to New Zealand by 74 runs in their first warm-up game.

Earlier, the Pakistan innings was built around three partnerships, with Hafeez being involved in two of them. Openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad provided the perfect launch with a 39-run stand before Sharzeel was devoured by Sachitra Senanayeke with an incoming ball in the sixth over.

It was a revenge of sorts for Senanayeke, who was clobbered by the Pakistani batsman for a four and six of consecutive balls in his previous over. Shehzad (18) departed a little later, following which Hafeez and Sarfraz Ahmed (13) put on 39 for the third wicket.

Pakistan were 63/2 at the halfway stage of the innings.

Rangana Herath plotted Sarfraz’s dismissal in the 13th over, with Dinesh Chandimal doing a smart bit of stumping.

Hafeez then showed some blitz batting in the company or Umar Akmal (13), with the pair adding 53 runs of 34 balls.

Akmal departed in the penultimate over, which gave Thisara Perera a double wicket, as Afridi lasted only three balls and could not even open his account.

Brief scores: Pakistan 157/5 in 20 overs ( Mohammad Hafeez 70 n.o.; Thisara Perera 2/21) vs Sri Lanka 142/9 in 20 overs (Lahiru Thirimanne 45; Imad Wasim 4/45)

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