Agencies

Kolkata

Pakistan bowling came to the fore after Mohammad Hafeez’s unbeaten fifty as they defeated World T20 defending champions Sri Lanka by 15 runs in their warm-up match at the Eden Gardens.

Hafeez struck an unbeaten 70 from 49 balls to help Pakistan post 157/5 before they restricted Sri Lanka for 142/9 in front of a cheering crowd of more than 10,000. Sri Lanka were wayward with their bowling especially in the death overs and bowled eight wide balls, including five from Dushmantha Chamara, further helping Pakistan’s cause. Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi got the biggest cheer when he came to bat but he disappointed by being out first ball.

In reply, Pakistan rookie left-arm spinner Imad Wasim rattled the Lankan chase with his tidy 4/25 from four overs after the towering left-arm quickie M Irfan bagging 2/18 which gave his team a good start. Lahiru Thirimanne batted well for Sri Lanka and slammed 45 runs off 37 balls hitting four boundaries and two sixes and he was ably assisted by Dinesh Chandimal who struck 21-ball 30 hitting five fours and one six which threatened to pull off the chase but they became two of Imad Wasim’s four victims as Lankans struggled to get partnerships going. Imad was also sharp with his fielding and dismissed Milinda Siriwardana with a direct throw from extra cover.

A day after Afridi and former captain Shoaib Malik praised Indian crowd, the fans reciprocated cheering every Pakistani run or dismissal. Following their early exit in the Asia Cup, Pakistan ticked the boxes in all the three departments and produced two run outs on the field. In the bowling, all eyes were on M Aamir who started with the new ball and was tidy giving away just two runs. With Aamir having tied up the other end, Irfan produced a superb rising bouncer first ball to get rid of Dilshan to give them a perfect start.

Chandimal broke the shackles hitting Irfan to two boundaries while in the next over he went berserk in Wahab Riaz’s opening over when he dissected the off side smashing a six and three successive boundaries. But introduction of Iman in the sixth over gave them the breakthrough when he dismissed the dangerous looking Chandimal for 30. Chandimal mistimed one and was caught at midwicket trying to hit across the line. This was Sri Lanka’s second successive loss in the warm-up after going down to New Zealand by 74 runs in Mumbai. Pakistan opened their campaign against qualifiers Bangladesh here March 16, while the next day Sri Lanka face qualifiers Afghanistan.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN:

Sharjeel Khan b Senanayake 23

Ahmed Shehzad b Chameera 18

M Hafeez not out 70

Sarfraz Ahmed st Chandimal b Herath 13

Umar Akmal c Kapugedera b Perera 19

Shahid Afridi c Senanayake b Perera 0

Imad Wasim not out 2

EXTRAS: (b 1, lb 2, w 8, nb 1) 12

TOTAL: (5 wickets; 20 overs) 157

FOW: 1-39, 2-47, 3-86, 4-139, 5-146

BOWLING: AD Mathews 2-0-9-0, KMDN Kulasekara 4-0-30-0, SMSM Senanayake 3-0-27-1, HMRKB Herath 4-0-24-1, PVD Chameera 4-0-33-1, TAM Siriwardana 1-0-10-0, NLTC Perera 2-0-21-2

SRI LANKA:

LD Chandimal c Hafeez b Imad Wasim 30

TM Dilshan c Sarfraz b M Irfan 0

HDRL Thirimanne c Afridi b Imad Wasim 45

CK Kapugedera c Umar Akmal b Imad 14

AD Mathews b Imad Wasim 10

TAM Siriwardana run out 2

NLTC Perera b M Irfan 5

KMDN Kulasekara run out 7

SMSM Senanayake lbw b Wahab Riaz 10

MD Shanaka not out 13

PVD Chameera not out 0

EXTRAS: (lb 4, w 2) 6

TOTAL: (9 wickets; 20 overs) 142

FOW: 1-2, 2-39, 3-76, 4-93, 5-101, 6-109, 7-110, 8-120, 9-142

BOWLING: M Aamir 4-0-20-0, M Irfan 4-0-18-2, Wahab Riaz 4-0-35-1, Imad Wasim 4-0-25-4, Shahid Afridi 4-0-40-0

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: BNJ Oxenford, PR Reiffel

MATCH REFEREE: BC Broad (England)

RESERVE UMPIRE: RA Kettleborough (England)