Hafeez and Imad Shines as Pakistan beats Sri Lanka in the Warm Up game

Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez plays a shot during a practice match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens stadium during the World T20 cricket tournament in Kolkata on March 14, 2016. / AFP / Dibyangshu SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 15 years in their only warm up game before the World T20. Pakistan posted a competitive total of 157/5 in their quota of 20 overs, which proved to be match a winning total for the Green Shirts as they restricted Sri Lanka to just 142/9.

Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first. Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shahzad opened the innings for Pakistan despite of Waqar Younis’ statement that they might try Shahid Afridi as an opener. Pakistan had a comparatively better start of the innings, Shahzad and Sharjeel contributed 39 runs in six overs for the opening partnership.

Pakistan’s hero with the bat was Mohammad Hafeez, who finally did justice to the kind of form he is in. He scored valuable 70 runs on 49 deliveries, his innings comprised of 9 fours and a six. He remained not out through the innings. Whereas, Shahid Afridi’s misery with the bat continues, he scored another golden duck in the contest. Other than hafeez, other Pakistani batsmen contributed in bits and pieces and none of them could really make a strong statement with the bat.

Pakistan had a cracking start with the ball, Mohammad Irfan removed Sri Lankan veteran opener, Tillakaratne Dilshan on the first delivery of his spell. Dinesh Chandimal scored 30 runs before losing his wicket to Imad Wasim. The best batsman for Sri Lanka was the elegant left hander, Lahiru Thirimanne, who scored 45 runs off 37 deliveries.

Sri Lanka was in control of the match before Imad Wasim bowled a ravishing spell. He leaked 25 runs in his 4 overs and got 4 Sri Lankan scalps. Mohammad Amir couldn’t get a wicket in the match, but, he was economical with 20 runs in his spell. A win here in the warm up match should be a morale booster for Pakistan team.

Pakistan will formally kick off their World T20 campaign against Bangladesh on 16th March in Kolkata. Bangladesh must be having their tail up as they were the finalist of Asia Cup and dominated their weaker opponents in the qualifying round. Recently, Bangladesh has got the better of Pakistan, beating them in the last two T20 internationals they have played against each other.

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