World no.1 Pakistan will be striving to avoid the humiliation of a 3-0 whitewash when they meet Sri Lanka in the final T20 international of three-match series at Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
After securing the preceding three-match ODI series in Karachi 2-0, the hosts failed to sustain the winning momentum and slumped to crushing losses in the first two T20Is.
Following back-to-back defeats, their win-loss tally in T20Is this year stands at 1-5. This is a must-win game for men in green to avoid their first-ever 3-0 loss in the shortest format series.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa struck a brilliant 77 off 48 balls while Shehan Jayasuriya hit a 28-ball 34 to help Sri Lanka post a challenging total of 182-6 after the visitors won the toss and opted to bat first.
In purist of a stiff chase, the hosts witnessed yet another batting collapse and were skittled out for 147 in 19 overs. Imad Wasim (47 off 29) and Asif Ali (29 off 27) put on 69 runs to revive
Pakistan’s hopes after they were reduced to 52-5 in six overs. However, after Wasim’s dismissal in the 16th over, they lost their remaining four wickets for 20 runs.
There are two changes expected in Pakistan’s XI for the final game. Ifikhar Ahmed is set to return to replace Umar Akmal, who bagged back-to-back golden ducks in the first two games upon his return to the national team after three years.
Haris Sohail will come in for Ahmed Shehzad, who also looked lackluster in his first two games since June 2018 and managed only 17 runs.
Sri Lanka played with the same XI in the first two games and are unlikely to tinker with it despite securing the series as they look to whitewash an opponent in a bilateral T20I series for the first time.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir
Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Dasun Shanaka (capt), Lakshan Sandakan