Lahore: Another inexplicable display of Sunday league fielding and irresponsible batting saw Pakistan lose to Sri Lanka by 13 runs in the third and final T20I at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on Wednesday.
The result heaped on the world’s top-ranked side the embarrassment of being whitewashed 3-0 on their own turf by a side that had not only left as many as 10 players home but was also resting five others.
The Greenshirts once again suffered a horrible start to their run chase, losing their first wicket on the very first ball of the innings. Fakhar Zaman was the casualty as he was bowled by Kasun Rajitha.
Haris Sohail and Babar Azam, Pakistan’s best batsmen, were tasked with anchoring the innings and help their side secure a face-saving win. The duo did not disappoint, guiding Pakistan to 63-1 at the halfway mark.
But their 76-run stand was broken in the 12th over when Lahiru Kumara had Azam caught behind. He contributed 27 off 32 balls.
Sohail, who had overshadowed Azam for much of their partnership, brought up his 50 in the 14th over.
With Sarfaraz Ahmed struggling for runs, the responsibility was on Sohail’s shoulders to bat till the end. But in the 16th over he came down the track and was stumped out. Imad Wasim followed him back in the pavilion soon after. He chipped in with just three.
Asif Ali and Sarfaraz did not last long as the possibility of a 3-0 whitewash neared.
Danushka Gunathilaka and Sadeera Samarawickrama opened the innings for the islanders, whereas Imad Wasim and Usman Shinwari shared the new ball for the hosts. Sri Lanka did not start any differently than they had in the first two matches, with a couple of early boundaries forcing captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to change bowlers instantly.
Sarfaraz, already under immense pressure, invited more criticism by dropping a catch off of Mohammad Amir’s bowling in the 3rd over. The left-arm pacer took the matter in his own hands a few balls later, bowling out the in-form Gunathilaka (8).
Another catch was downed in the very next over, with the usually brilliant Shadab Khan being the culprit. But as it happened in the last over, a wicket eventually came with Samarawickrama (12) being caught plumb in front of the wicket.