Sri Lanka’s bowlers powered a shock victory in the first T20I of the series led by crafty seamer Nuwan Pradeep.
Pakistan will need to bounce back quickly if they are to avoid a humiliating defeat to a weakened Sri Lanka team.
Second T20I | Monday 7 October 2019 | Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore | 15:30
To Win MatchPakistan
The batting spectacularly gave way in the first match of the series chasing a decent but not mammoth total. Through the ODI series and now into the T20s Pakistan have shown a propensity to respond poorly to being placed under any sort of pressure.
Mohammad Hasnain’s hat-trick in the first match proved in vain though it did prevent Sri Lanka from getting a big finish.
Faheem Ashraf disappointed with the new ball in the series opener and contributed little with the bat, and he could find himself dropped for the must-win second T20I.
Pakistan’s bowling lacked penetration until Hasnain padded the stats with his late hat-trick and Safraz needs to get more out of x-factor bowlers like Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir.
Umar Akmal’s return to the Pakistan team was an inauspicious one as he was trapped leg before by Pradeep first ball up.
When Babar Azam fails to make runs, Pakistan almost always lose and while he will be keen to regain his form, the team must equip themselves to win even if their star man misfires.
A few little things going your way can create a massive shift in the mood of the camp, and Sri Lanka have built on the positives gleaned from the tail-end of the ODI series well.
Sri Lanka were able to put Pakistan under pressure with both the bat and ball which was enough to earn an emphatic win through solid batting and great bowling.
Pradeep was well-supported by Isuru Udana, who looks a much better bowler in the shortest format of the game and leggie Wanindu Hasaranga who appears to have come of age on this tour. The trio were able to take wickets regularly ensuring Pakistan were always chasing the game.
The battle between Pakistan’s top-order and Sri Lanka’s bowling but the Lions opening pair of Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando could also have a big say. It was their 84-run opening stand that got the ball rolling for the tourists in their first win on this trip.
Misbah Ul Haq should be able to coax a response out of his star players that will be enough to level the series.
Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets.