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Oshada blitz helps Sri Lanka sweep T20I series over Pakistan

Pak v SL, 3rd T20I, report

An airtight Sri Lankan bowling performance allowed them to defend 148 to win against Pakistan in the third T20I.

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That they reached even that seemingly lowly total was down to a brilliant knock from Oshada Fernando, who notched eight fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 48-ball 78. His innings helped Sri Lanka recover from 58/4 as the tourists struggled early on.

Sri Lanka put on an excellent bowling display
Sri Lanka put on an excellent bowling display

Mohamamd Amir bowled Danushka Gunathilaka for 8, Sadeera Samarawickrama was pinned LBW by Imad Wasim for 12, Bhanuka Rajapaksa holed out off Amir for 3, and Angelo Perera was run out coming back for the second for 13.

Sri Lanka needed someone to play a long innings, and Oshada delivered. He had sterling help from captain Dasun Shanaka. Though he only made 12, the 25 balls he faced allowed a partnership of 76 runs to develop, and gave Sri Lanka something to bowl at.

The Sri Lankan defence started perfectly, Kasun Rajitha shaping one back in to bowl Fakhar Zaman, and barely let up from there. Rajitha continued to star early on, conceding just eight runs from his first three overs, but Wanindu Hasaranga emerged with the pick of the figures.

Haris Sohail made a stodgy half-century
Haris Sohail made a stodgy half-century

He has developed a happy habit of striking multiple times in succession, and this time effectively decided the contest when he removed Asif Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the space of an over as Pakistan slide from 94/2 to 111/6, a collapse of 4/17.

That 94/2 is a misleading scoreline however – at that point, Sri Lanka were already ahead thanks to the parsimony of their bowling effort. Babar Azam scored at well under a run a ball in his 27, finding the rope just once, while Haris Sohail scored only slightly quicker, stumped off Hasaranga for 52 from 50 balls.

A late flurry from Iftikhar Ahmed and Wahab Riaz proved too little too late, and Sri Lanka emerged victors by 11 runs, sealing a whitewash few saw coming.

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