Pakistan will be looking to bounce back from a thrashing defeat to stay afloat in the series when they meet Sri Lanka in the second of three T20 internationals at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Monday.
The hosts, who won the preceding one-day international series in Karachi 2-0, were outplayed by visitors in all departments in the first T20I on Saturday.
Invited to bat after losing the toss, the visitors rode on skipper Danushka Gunathilaka’s flamboyant 38-ball 57 and knocks from Avsishka Fernando (33 off 34) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (34 off 22) to post 165-5.
The hosts, in reply, lost wickets at regular intervals and were dismissed for 101 in 17.4 overs. Iftikhar Ahmed (25 off 24), Sarfraz Ahmed (24 off 20) and Babar Azam (13) were their only three batsmen to reach double figures.
It was Pakistan’s first loss to Sri Lanka in T20Is after six wins in a row. The defeat extended Pakistan’s dismal run in the shortest-format this year, with the win-loss tally reading 1-4.
Despite the loss in the series-opener, the hosts are unlikely to tinker much with their combination for the second game. The only change seems likeliest is Fakhar Zaman replacing Ahmed Shehzad, who managed only four runs on his return to the national team for the first time since June 2018 in the first game.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will be aiming to seal the first T20I series after losing all four of their most recent T20I series. The visitors are likely to remain unchanged for Monday’s clash.
If Sri Lanka emerges victorious today, it will be their first bilateral T20I series against Pakistan. Their last away series victory came against Bangladesh early last year.
The final T20I between the two sides will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmad Shahzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (vice-captain), Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Umar Akmal, Asif Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Imad Wasim
Dasun Shanaka (captain), Minod Bhanuka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kasun Rajitha, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Shehan Jayasuriya, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Pradeep, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Lahiru Madushanka, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana