Cricket news - Revitalised Sri Lanka target series win

After losing the ODI series, the visitors registered a comprehensive win in the first T20I

The shortest format of the game is usually capsulised by batsmen dominating the proceedings and tall scores on the board. Fans throng the stadium in anticipation of witnessing a string of shots and a high-scoring game. However, the first T20I between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Lahore bucked the trend as the visitors posted a thumping 64-run win in a relatively low-scoring game.

On a slightly two-paced track, the likes of Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep and Co. used variations as Pakistan collapsed in a heap to be bowled out for a mere 101. On the batting front, Danuskha Gunathilaka continued to shine brightly with an impressive fifty and stitched a fine 84-run opening stand with Avishka Fernando. It was the kind of clinical performance the visiting side would have hoped for in the just-concluded three-match ODI series, which they lost 2-0.

Meanwhile, Pakistan, the number one ranked T20I side, have a few areas of concern going into the crucial second game. Ahmed Shehzad, the opener, on a comeback trail, continued to struggle in the T20 format of the game, scoring just four. Umar Akmal also failed on his comeback, getting out for no score. Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Pakistan skipper, also would hope to return to form after another failure. The wicketkeeper-batsman has compiled a mere two fifties in limited overs internationals this year.

On a positive note, Mohammad Hasnain, the tearaway fast bowler, gave a glimpse of his potential by becoming only the ninth cricketer to pick up a hat-trick. The pacer bowls with a good burst of pace and can also land the yorkers in the slog overs.

What: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I

Where: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

When: Monday, October 7 (6:30 pm local)

What to expect: The weather forecast is promising with little or no chance of rain playing spoilsport. The track could again turn out to be on the slower side, with bowlers looking for variations

What they said:

"Both are experienced players and once they settle in, they will perform. So I give my full backing for them" - captain Sarfaraz Ahmed in support of the comeback duo - Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal.

Team news:

Pakistan: Even though Haris Sohail hasn't exactly made an impression in the T20 version, the Pakistan camp would be tempted to pick the southpaw. Mohammad Nawaz, the all rounder, is also an option.

Sri Lanka: Meanwhile, the tourists could continue with the playing XI that took Sri Lanka to their first win of their short limited overs tour.

Squads:

Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Oshada Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama(w), Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Dasun Shanaka(c), Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Lahiru Madushanka, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, Wanindu Hasaranga

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Asif Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed(w/c), Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari