HAMBANTOTA: Sri Lanka put on a brilliant bowling and fielding performance to post a comfortable 37-run victory over Pakistan in their opening Twenty20 international on Friday.
Pakistan were bowled out for 95, their lowest T20 total against Sri Lanka, after restricting the hosts to 132-7 in Hambantota.
Sri Lankan pacemen Nuwan Kulasekera, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga and debutant off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake took two wickets apiece after man-of-the-match Thisara Perera scored a crucial 32 not out.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad top-scored for Pakistan with 36 while the extras contributed 19 runs, the second-highest of the innings. Umar Akmal (12) was the other batsman to reach double-figures.
Pakistan never recovered after losing two wickets off the first two balls of the innings, with Kulasekera removing skipper Mohammad Hafeez and debutant Shakeel Ansar.
The Sri Lankan bowlers were backed by their fielders, with Perera and Kulasekera each taking a superb catch.
"The fielding was brilliant and all the bowlers did well. It was a challenging wicket and we did not assess it well when we batted," said Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene.
The second and final Twenty20 match will be played today. AFP