Sri Lanka’s interim T20I skipper Dasun Shanaka created history when he led Sri Lanka to a 3-0 series win over Pakistan in their own backyard, as the Islanders beat Men in Green by 13 runs in the last and final match of series. He was leading the team in place of regular captain Lasith Malinga, who refused to travel to the country due to security concerns.
This victory gave the Lankan team a happy ending to their Pakistan tour, as they lost the ODI series under Lahiru Thirimanne. Thirimanne and Shanaka were appointed interim skippers after Karunaratne, ODI captain was amongst the 10 players who refused to travel to Pakistan. The home team had won 29 out of their previous 33 T20Is before the series, and were expected to dominate the proceedings but were outclassed by the visitors.
Shanaka creates a record for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in T20Is
Dasun Shanaka with three wins in his first three T20Is as captain joined an elite list which includes the likes of MS Dhoni of India and Michael Clarke of Australia, who registered their first three T20Is as captain against Pakistan. The Lankan team was a second-string team which saw many youngsters come through in tough time against a full-strength no.1 ranked T20I team.
Sri Lanka won the first match by 64 runs as Men in Green couldn’t chase down 165. The second match saw Pakistan being bowled out for 147 inside 20 overs runs with Nuwan Pradeep picking four wickets, as they were chasing 182 for a win. The last and final game saw Pakistan falling 13 runs short of the target of 148 runs set by Sri Lanka, leading to a whitewash of the no.1 ranked team in their own backyard.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa was the highest run-getter for the Lankans with 112 runs in three matches with a best of 77, while Oshada Fernando made 78* for the Islanders in the last match on his debut. Wanindu Hasaranga was the bowler with most wickets-8 to his name, while experienced Nuwan Pradeep picked 7 wickets as well.
Meanwhile, Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq was a destitute face at the post-match conference and admitted the team made mistakes.
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