Pakistan have started their ICC World T20 2016 campaign on a high note, as they defeated Sri Lanka by 15 runs in a warmup game at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata Monday. Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim were instrumental in handing Pakistan this win over the Lankans.
Pakistan opted to bat first and they got off to a decent start. Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad added 39 runs for the first wicket.
Hafeez came out to bat at No. 3, and thereafter he anchored the Pakistan innings. He remained unbeaten till the end and made sure that Pakistan crosses that 150-run mark on a tricky wicket.
The ball was not coming on to the bat nicely, but Hafeez made batting look easy against Sri Lanka. He scored 70 runs from just 49 balls. His innings was decorated with nine fours and a six.
Pakistan posted 157 on the scoreboard in their allotted 20 overs. Sri Lanka knew that it will not be an easy run chase, given that Pakistan have some serious talents in their pace attack.
In reply, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start. Tillakaratne Dilshan's woes with the bat continued as he was dismissed for a golden duck by Mohammad Irfan.
Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne tried building a partnership, but it did not last for long. Chandimal threw his wicket away after scoring 30 from 21 balls. The duo added 37 runs for the second wicket.
Thirimanne continued to play his natural game, as Chamara Kapugedera joined him in the middle. But, the Sri Lanka batsmen could not withstand the pressure exerted by the Pakistan bowlers. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Imad Wasim was the star of the show with the ball. His four-for broke the Lankan middle-order. Irfan added two scalps to his name, while Mohammad Amir bowled an economical spell yet again.
Sri Lanka could only manage 142 for the loss of nine wickets, thereby falling short by 15 runs in the end.
This win will give a major boost to Pakistan's confidence ahead of the start of the main phase of the ICC World T20 2016. Pakistan will face Bangladesh in their first match.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have a number of things to worry about. They lost both their warmup games. These are not good signs for Angelo Mathews and his side. Sri Lanka will begin their campaign against Afghanistan.