Sri Lanka beat Pakistan to seal T20 series


Bhanuka Rajapaksa smashed 77 off 48 balls in Sri Lanka's strong total of 182-6. Australia host Sri Lanka in three T20 internationals starting in Adelaide on October 27 before facing top-ranked Pakistan in three matches next month.

Rajapaksa's 77 off 48 balls lifted Sri Lanka to a challenging total of 182-6 - the left-hander blasting six sixes and four fours in a maiden fifty that came in only his second T20 global.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa struck an aggressive maiden worldwide half-century as Sri Lanka made 182-6 before spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took 3-38 to help bowl Pakistan out for 147 in 19 overs. Akmal was dismissed for a golden duck while Ahmed Shehzad made just four runs. "We didn't have a good day with the ball, but at one stage it looked like they would get to 170-180 and Hasnain brought us back well". Rajapaksa added 94 for the third wicket with Shehan Jayasuriya (34 off 28 balls) as they cut loose against some short bowling from the Pakistani bowlers. Shanaka propelled Sri Lanka's total beyond Pakistan's reach by smashing 31 off 15 balls.

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Sri Lanka, who won the first match by 67 runs on Saturday, also in Lahore, have won a T20 series against Pakistan for the first time in seven attempts. Mitchell Starc gives us a left-arm option and has earned a reputation as one of the world's leading quicks at the top of the innings and at the death. "Congrats to Sri Lanka, who batted, bowled and fielded better than us and I think they deserved to win", said Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. "We missed a couple of run-out opportunities that could have changed the game but they had a good partnership in the middle overs and we lost five wickets in the first 10 overs".

Sri Lanka will be the first side to visit and will play their three games on October 27, 30 and November 1 in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne respectively.

Rajapaksa's half-century, described by captain Shanaka as a "masterclass", put Pakistan's bowlers under pressure as leg-spinner Shadab Khan conceded 38 runs before he had the left-hander caught in the deep in the 17th over. Major teams have avoided the country since the ambush that killed eight people and injured several players.