After a heartening return to international action, Sri Lanka will be looking
to carry forward their momentum when they play Pakistan in the second T20
on Sunday. The hosts won the first match by 37 runs at Hambantota.
Pakistan have only themselves to blame for the defeat as they fell away badly
in a small chase of 132. Only two batsmen reached double-figures after twin
strikes off the first two balls pegged them back. Mohammad Hafeez admitted
that there were no excuses for the poor batting show and vowed to make amends
in the second match.
Click for Live Score Card of Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan
There could be a move seeing Umar Akmal move up the order to boost an
otherwise fragile top order. Though the bowlers kept runs in check, there will
be a couple of worries still as Umar Gul conceded far too many while Mohammad
Sami's comeback was no different from his usual old self. Sohail Tanvir
bowled well and Saeed Ajmal will again be the key.
Sri Lanka will be thrilled by the way they clawed back to eventually win the match.
The win also halted their run of defeats against Pakistan that dated back to the
ICC World Twenty20 final in 2009.
Captain Mahela Jayawardene expressed his delight with the manner of the win, though
remained concerned about areas that need improvement. Only a late onslaught from
Thissara Perera propelled them to 132 while their other batsmen struggled.
Nuwan Kulasekara gave them the perfect start before Lasith Malinga picked
up crucial breakthroughs, and the duo will once again be a threat to the troubled
Pakistani batting line up. Angelo Mathews' bowling ability has provided a balance
to the side that was beneficial in the first match.
The match will be played in Hambantota, the newest venue in Sri Lanka, starting
at 7.00pm local time.