International cricket returned to Pakistan, however, there was not much for Pakistani fans to celebrate after the T20I defeats at the hands of the visiting Sri Lankan team. After a comprehensive 2-0 series win in the ODI’s, the home team could not carry the same momentum to the game’s shortest format as the visitors already pocketed the three-match T20 series with one game still left to go. The third and final T20I between two teams will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on October 9.
Umar Akmal’s form with the bat has been one of the concerns for the home side this series. In the first T20I, Sri Lanka posted 165-5 in their 20 overs. Pakistan never got going in their run-chase as they were all-out for 101 inside 18 overs. Umar Akmal, their number 3 batsman, was dismissed for a golden duck as he was trapped in front of stumps by Nuwan Pradeep. In the second and a must-win T20I for the hosts', the ‘Men in Green’ once again faltered in their chase as they were reduced to 52-5 at one stage. Chasing 183 to keep the series alive, Pakistan were 51-3 at 7.3 overs when Umar Akmal arrived at the crease. In his second successive first-ball duck, Umar Akmal was once again dismissed lbw, this time to leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
His performances have invited some angry outpours by fans who were left disappointed by Pakistan’s abject surrender to the visitors. Here are some twitter reactions:
Umar Akmal’s failures to get going with the bat derailed Pakistan’s run-chase on both occasions and the hosts will now be looking to salvage some pride in front of their home crowd in the upcoming dead-rubber. The third T20I will also bring an end to the two-week Sri Lankan tour of Pakistan. The two teams will once again face each other this December for a two-match Test series in the UAE which will also form a part of the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.