Pakistan confident after a second win
With two convincing warm-up victories behind them, Pakistan will take a bucketload of confidence into the Twenty20 World Cup which starts tomorrow night.
They easily defeated World Cup finalists Sri Lanka by five wickets, with seven balls to spare in Centurion yesterday after securing a comfortable 45-run win over no-hopers Zimbabwe at the same venue on Saturday.
The Sri Lankans failed to gain any advantage over their fellow sub-continental opponents after Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik won the toss and chose to field.
Nobody in the Sri Lankan batting order managed to get a substantial knock going and they made 162/7 after 20 overs, with Pakistan left chasing 163 for victory.
Malik made 34 runs not out to seal the win after openers Salmon Butt (51 off 31 deliveries) and Mohammad Hafeez (45 off 28) had shared a solid 91-run partnership tin 94 deliveries.
Butt was caught by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara, one delivery after reaching his half-century, and Hafeez was out eight balls later, but the platform had been set.
Sri Lankan opening bowler Dilhara Fenando took 2/33 from his four overs to provide the best figures for his side.
Earlier, all-rounder Hafeez had led the Pakistan bowling attack with 2/18 in his single four-over spell.
Sri Lanka struggled to build on a respectable start by openers Upul Tharanga (30) and 38-year-old Jayasuriya (27).
All-rounder Jayasuriya was dropped on six and on 21. But his luck ran out and Sri Lanka’s efforts were stunted in the middle overs.
Jehan Mubarak (42 off 32) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (23 off 13) added 41 runs for the sixth wicket, with Mubarak top-scoring for Sri Lanka.
Pakistan play minnows Scotland in their opening T20 match in Durban on Wednesday, while Sri Lanka’s first game of the tournament is against Kenya at the Wanderers on Friday.