The Sri Lankan team has made the whole country proud by winning the first two T20I matches against Pakistan in the ongoing three-match series and thereby winning the series as well. They have achieved this feat against a full-strength Pakistan side, despite missing many of their star players who are regulars in the team.
Newcomer Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit a quickfire half-century while Nuwan Pradeep and Wanindu Hasaranga recorded their career-best bowling figures as Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 35 runs in the second T20I at Lahore on Monday.
Rajapaksa’s 77 off 48 balls guided Sri Lanka to a competitive total of 182/6. Pacer Pradeep finished with 4/25 while leg-spinner Hasaranga took 3/38 – collecting his wickets in the space of just four balls – as Sarfaraz Ahmed & Co. were bowled out for 147 in 19 overs.
The victory gave Sri Lanka their first T20I series win over Pakistan in seven attempts as they took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Sri Lanka won the first match by 67 runs, also in Lahore. The last match will be at the same venue on Wednesday.
Earlier, ten Sri Lankan players, including T20I skipper Lasith Malinga and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne, pulled out of the tour citing security concerns.
One of those players who refused to tour to Pakistan was Thisara Perera, the former T20I captain of Sri Lanka and someone who in past has traveled to the country for playing in PSL and along with the World XI, which played three T20Is against Pakistan when they were attempting to bring back international cricket.
The Sri Lankan board called back all of their players from the ongoing Caribbean Premier League in order to get them prepared for the Pakistan tour, and this included Thisara Perera and others.
Perera’s name was in the list of players who had declined to come to Pakistan and a fan took to Twitter in order to admonish the all-rounder for his actions.
Perera was part of Faf du Plessis led World XI which played Independence Cup in 2017 and he performed admirably well. He has played for Multan Sultans in the PSL and has played in the country during that T20 tournament as well.
The fan tweeted, “You traveled to Pakistan in 2017 with the national team when u were appointed the captain, traveled with the World XI n then went 2 play PSL. But you denied to tour Pakistan this time because of security reasons just coz u were playing in CPL. What else do u expect frm the fans”
You travelled to Pakistan in 2017 with the national team when u were appointed the captain, travelled with the World XI n then went 2 play PSL. But you denied to tour Pakistan this time because of security reasons just coz u were playing in CPL. What else do u expect frm the fans
— Aaqib Ashraf (@aaqibArazak) October 8, 2019
To the fan, Perera replied, “When I was in the Caribbean I got dengue mate. There was no way I could support anyone in any way. Still rested on Doctors advice. People speak without knowing anything”
When I was in Caribbean I got dengue mate
There was no way I could support anyone in anyway. Still rested on Doctors advice
People speak without knowing anything 😊 https://t.co/oNAfckfeDZ
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) October 8, 2019