Perera stars in Sri Lanka win

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 37 runs in the opening Twenty20 international in Hambantota on Friday.

Pakistan were bowled out for 95 after restricting Sri Lanka to 132-7, with pacemen Nuwan Kulasekera, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga and debutant off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake each taking two wickets.

Opener Ahmed Shehzad top-scored for Pakistan with 36. The second and final Twenty20 match will be played on Sunday.

Earlier, Sohail Tanvir grabbed three big wickets as Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka to 132-7 in the first Twenty20 international.

The left-arm paceman jolted Sri Lanka’s top order when he dismissed skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in his opening three overs to reduce the hosts to 31-3.

Tanvir finished with 3-12 off four tight overs, his best performance in Twenty20 internationals. He was superbly backed by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who bagged two wickets for 20 runs.

Thisara Perera top-scored with a 16-ball 32 not out in Sri Lanka’s below-par batting display, helping his team make 43 runs off the last 22 balls.

Lahiru Thirimanne, making his T20 debut, was the other main scorer with a 25-ball 30.

Sri Lanka made a poor start after electing to bat, losing four wickets in the opening eight overs with just 39 on the board.

Tanvir struck with his third delivery when he had Jayawardene caught by Shoaib Malik in the covers and then had Dilshan caught by Umar Gul at fine-leg in his next over.

Sangakkara (19) hit three successive fours off paceman Mohammad Sami before he inside-edged a Tanvir delivery onto his stumps.