Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2nd T20: Anwar and Afridi lead Pakistan to stunning come-from-behind win

Ali smashed three boundaries and four sixes during his match-winning knock of 46

Ali smashed three boundaries and four sixes during his match-winning knock of 46

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan pace bowler Anwar Ali smashed 46 runs off just 17 balls and captain Shahid Afridi hammered 45 runs off 22 deliveries to carry their side to a nail-biting one-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Colombo.

However, Sri Lanka batsman Chamara Kapugedara deserves some credit as he walloped an unbeaten 48.

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first even though Kapugedara and debutant Shehan Jayasuriya were the only two batsmen to make valuable contributions.

Jayasuriya made 40 off 32 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, while Kapugedara gave Sri Lanka a major boost towards the end of their innings by blasting 48 off 25 deliveries, which included two boundaries and four sixes.

Kapugedara made a gutsy 48 not out

Kapugedara made a gutsy 48 not out

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With the rest of the batting line-up failing to fire, Sri Lanka finished on 172/7 off their 20 overs.

Shoaib Malik was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Ali, Afridi, Mohammad Irfan and Sohail Tanvir chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 173 to win, Pakistan got off to a disastrous start and found themselves in all sorts of trouble when they were reduced to 40/5 in the eighth over.

However, Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan amassed a vital 61-run partnership before Rizwan was clean bowled by Thisara Perera for 17.

Afridi went on to score 45 off 22 balls, which included one boundary and four sixes, before he was cleaned up by Jayasuriya.

Afridi played another vintage innings

Afridi played another vintage innings

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Following Afridi’s departure, Ali began hammering the Sri Lankan bowling attack all over the ground. As a result, he and Imad Wasim put together a 58-run stand before he was caught behind off the bowling of Malinga.

Ali’s match-winning knock of 46 came off just 17 deliveries and included three boundaries and four sixes.

Despite losing Tanvir two balls later, Wasim kept his cool and launched the second ball of the final over for a huge six over long-on to lead Pakistan to an unbelievable come-from-behind victory.

Wasim ended up finishing on 24 off 14 balls, which included two boundaries and a six.

Binura Fernando was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Malinga, Perera, Jayasuriya and Milinda Siriwardana claimed one wicket each.

Malinga was gutted to have lost the match, and said: “I should have bowled well for the team. Today I didn’t do that. I’m happy for the young players. Sri Lanka have a good future with their cricket. We had to get [Shahid Afridi] out early. Shehan has lot of experience in domestic cricket, that’s why I brought him on.”

Afridi still couldn’t believe what he had witnessed, and said: “170 was a chaseable total. We panicked early on, didn’t play well early on. Awesome innings from Imad Wasim and Anwar Ali. Hopefully they will do really well in the future for the team. If I don’t perform while bowling, there is more responsibility as captain [when I bat]. I’ve got an excellent bunch of guys. We have the next series against Zimbabwe, we will try some other youngsters as well, but this victory was very important for us. No more Mahela, no more Sangakkara, so Malinga is trying his best with these youngsters. The more they play, the more they will learn and improve. Thanks to the Sri Lankan board for their hospitality, and thanks to the crowd also.”

Ali was named Man of the Match, while Malik was bestowed with the Player of the Series award.

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