Sri Lanka send out T20 World Cup warning
Sri Lanka were in impressive form sweeping aside Pakistan at Lords to win by 19 runs to start their Super Eights campaign in brilliant style to send out a warming to the competition.
Sri Lanka kept their composure to beat Pakistan by 19 runs in their opening Super Eights match in the World Twenty20 at Lord's on Friday.
Defending a total of 150 for seven, Sri Lanka remained unbeaten at the tournament as they held Pakistan to a total of 131 for nine. Fast bowler Lasith Malinga took three wickets for 18 runs.
Pakistan captain Younus Khan made 50 and put on 66 for the fourth wicket with Misbah-ul-Haq. But the repair work the duo had carried out after Pakistan had been 35 for three was quickly undone by the loss of three quick wickets.
They lost two wickets in as many balls to be 101 for five in the 16th over with Misbah caught sweeping in the deep against Muttiah Muralitharan and the dangerous Shahid Afridi going the same way for a first ball duck.
Earlier, leg-spinner Afridi had kept Pakistan in the game as Sri Lanka, who had been 81 without loss, were restricted to 150 for seven.
But when Younus skied Malinga to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara, the captain holding the catch despite colliding with Murali, Pakistan were 108 for six. Younus faced 37 balls with four fours.
Pakistan had still to score their first run when left-hander Salman Butt was clean bowled off the third ball of their innings by Angelo Mathews.
They then lost two wickets for one run in three balls in the sixth over to collapse to 35 for three.
Shoaib Malik, who'd hit five fours in his 28, was undone by Malinga's slower ball and chipped to Nuwan Kulasekara at mid-on.
Kamran Akmal was then run out after failing to beat Chamara Silva's throw.
At the end of the powerplay, Pakistan were 36 for three - and that was before Murali and fellow spinner Ajantha Mendis had bowled a ball between them.
Pakistan went 34 balls without a boundary before Younus swept Mendis for four and soon afterwards the captain handed out similar treatment to the more experienced Muralitharan.
Another swept four by Younus off Murali saw the skipper post a fifty stand in 47 balls with Misbah.
Sri Lanka were 81 without loss before Afridi (two wickets for 23 runs off four overs), took two for three in six balls to reduce them to 89 for two.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (two for 26) took the key wickets of Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara, stumped by Kamran Akmal, and Mahela Jayawardene, caught in the covers by Afridi.
Openers Tillekaratne Dilshan (46) and Sanath Jayasuriya (26), aided by wayward pace bowling, got Sri Lanka off to a flyer before they fell to Afridi. Left-arm fast bowler Sohail Tanvir endured a nightmare start as he conceded 29 runs, including six wides and three no-balls, in his two overs.
Pakistan next face New Zealand at the Oval on Saturday while Sri Lanka are back at Lord's on Sunday for a match against Ireland.