Friday, June 1, 2012

First T20 match Sri Lanka Win by 37 Runs

HAMBANTOTA: It was a refreshing return to international cricket after almost 2 months of the IPL, but the end result was as affected as any of the allegedly doctored results in the recently-concluded cash-rich league.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan kicked off their extended tour with the 1st of 2 Twenty20s at the Emerald Isle’s hottest international venue – Hambantota – and the outcome was quite in keeping with the desire of the crowd in attendance.
The home team overcame Sohail Tanvir’s magnificent opening spell and gained immensely from a 43-run 8th-wicket partnership between Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara to post 132, after Sangakkara selected to bat. Sri Lanka then inflict upon Pakistan a torrid initial session through Kulasekara and Angelo Mathews to restrict them to 95 in the 18th over, for a comprehensive 37-run win. Perera was named Man of the match for his game-changing 16-ball 32.

Pakistan did everything right in the 1st innings, but came undone despite Sri Lanka being kind enough to bowl 17 wides defending a miserable total. The visitors lost 2 wickets off the first 2 balls of the chase, as Kulasekara dismissed Mohammad Hafeez and Shakeel Ansar for golden ducks, and when Mathews pried out Khalid Latif – out to a stunning catch behind the wickets by Sangakkara – Pakistan were in an opening they were unable to clamber out of.
Pakistan stumbled from pitfall to pitfall and lastly ended a ruinous pursuit woefully short of what had firstly appeared to be an easy target. Earlier, Shahid Afridi, Mohammed Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal all conceded runs at less than six-per over, and were duly complement by Tanvir – who removed Jayawardene, Dilshan and Sangakkara in his first 3 overs. The heroics confined Sri Lanka to 132.

Tanvir, however, was lucky that all his victims fell largely to their own devices. Jayawardene edged behind, Dilshan hit directly to fine leg, and Sangakkara played on. Chandimal and Mathews could have been run-out as it happened they were bowled chasing big hits.
Sri Lanka were 89 for seven in the 17th over when Perera and Kulasekara revived the innings with a 43-run partnership in just 22 balls – a record – and it was ultimately this association that stood them in excellent stead as they closed out a 37-run win.

We had our moments but we couldn't exploit on them. Perera made the disparity; we were looking not to give away too many runs. We shouldn't get too discouraged as it is only one loss," Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafiz said later.

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