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Pakistan Loses to Sri Lanka

by AFP
Marwan Naamani—AFP

Marwan Naamani—AFP

Sri Lanka remains the world’s top Twenty20 team after the match in Dubai.

Sri Lanka retained their status as the top Twenty20 team in the world after beating Pakistan by 24 runs in a thrilling finish to the second game of a two-match series in Dubai on Friday.

The win also leveled the two-match series at 1-1 after Pakistan won the first match by three wickets on Wednesday.

Kusal Perera hit a career best of 84 off 59 balls, while spinner Sachitra Senanayake took three wickets in a match full of runs and records.

The series draw kept Sri Lanka at number one in the Twenty20 rankings, shattering Pakistan’s hopes of claiming the top spot in any form of the game for the first time.

Chasing a daunting 212-run target, Pakistan finished at 187 in 19.2 overs with Sharjeel Khan scoring 50 and Sohail Tanvir, 41.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal was excited at holding on to the number one ranking. “We are over the moon,” said Chandimal. “We keep our number one ranking. Kusal and Dilshan (Tillakaratne, who made 48) batted really well. After that Seekkuge (Prasanna) and (Kumar) Sangakkara batted well at the end so it was a good total.”

Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez admitted they conceded too many runs. “We didn’t bowl in the right areas early on, and they got a score higher than what we expected. We were looking at 160-170,” said Hafeez.

The two teams now play five one-day internationals, with the first game in Sharjah on Wednesday. They will also play three Tests.

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