Afridi helps Pakistan level T20I series

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Pakistan thumped Sri Lanka by 23 runs to level the two-match Twenty20 series by 1-1 in the second game at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa in Hambantota on Sunday.
Chasing a modest total of 123 runs to win, Sri Lanka could manage only 99 all-out off 19.2 overs.

Yasir Arafat and Mohammad Sami bagged three wickets each while all-rounder Shahid Afridi claimed two for 17.
An inspired Sri Lanka bowling attack restricted Pakistan to a modest total of 122 for six despite Shahid Afridi’s half-century in their second and final Twenty20 international.

Earlier, Afridi smashed an unbeaten 52 off 33 balls to help Pakistan score a competitive 122-6.

Pakistan were struggling at 41-4 before all-rounder Afridi steadied the innings with a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket with Shoaib Malik, who hit three successive fours off leg-spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi in his 26-ball 27.

Afridi, who on Sunday became the first player to appear in 50 T20 internationals, hit one six and five fours in his fourth half-century.

Lokuarachchi bagged two of the first four wickets to reduce Pakistan to 41-4, removing skipper Mohammad Hafeez (24) and Umar Akmal (five) in his four-over spell.

Paceman Nuwan Kulasekera was the most impressive bowler, finishing with 2-13 off four tight overs.

Sri Lanka, who lead the series 1-0 following their 37-run victory in the opening match on Friday, rested skipper Mahela Jayawardene and paceman Lasith Malinga and brought in Isuru Udana and Chamara Kapugedera.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews led the hosts.

Pakistan made one change, replacing Umar Gul with Yasir Arafat.