Pakistan picked up a few positives ahead of the Super 10 group league beating Sri Lanka by 15 runs in a warm-up match of the ICC World T20 here at the Eden Gardens on Monday. Having reached here three days later than their scheduled arrival date, this was the only match available for Pakistan, which meets qualifiers Bangladesh in its first main-leg outing on Wednesday.
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Putting up a better performance after the Asia Cup fiasco, Pakistan maintained the winning run against Sri Lanka, which it beat in the last round-robin league match of the recent tournament in Bangladesh. Left-arm orthodox spinner Imad Wasim came in as an addition to the Pakistan bowling which is dominated by three left arm pacers Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz.
The win also came on the an improved performance by its batsmen, who put up a good 157 for five after deciding to bat first on winning the toss. The bowlers, who have traditionally been Pakistan’s strength, backed up well getting nine Sri Lankan wickets before restricting it to 142.
Wasim, who was not tried in the Asia Cup, came good on a slow turning Eden wicket and overshadowed his fast-bowling colleagues to be the pick of the Pakistan’s wicket-takers, scalping four Sri Lankan batsmen conceding 25 runs in his quota of four overs. Mohammad Hafeez starred in the Pakistan batting with an unbeaten 70 off 49 balls that helped it put up 157 for five.
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Sri Lanka, the defending World T20 champion, found itself falling short in all departments and continued to falter as it did in the Asia Cup where it bowed out with only win against UAE. The Lankans go into the Super 10 losing both their warm-up ties which would not do much good to their confidence. Opener Dinesh Chandimal (30 off 21 balls) gave the side a good start after left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan had got Tillakaratne Dilshan caught behind off a sharp rising delivery in the second over. Lahiru Thirimanne chipped in with a good 45 (37 balls) but the rest of his colleagues could not contribute much to challenge the Pakistan attack.
Brief scores: Pakistan 157 for five in 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 70 n.o., Sharjeel Khan 23; Thisara Perera two for 21) bt Sri Lanka 142 for nine in 20 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 30, Lahiru Thirimanne 45; Imad Wasim four for 25, Mohammad Irfan two for 18) by 15 runsPakistan’s bowling came to the fore after Mohammad Hafeez’s unbeaten fifty as it defeated World T20 defending champions Sri Lanka by 15 runs in its warm-up match at the Eden Gardens here today.