Pakistan fall to Perera, Mathews in massive loss


Sri Lanka threw their wickets away through reckless shots, conceded 17 runs through wides and about 10 through misfields, but thanks to the Josephian Mafia – a moniker Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews have earned from the school they shared – still won by a whopping 37 runs. It was an unremarkable night of cricket with most of the wickets owing neither to the bowling nor the pitch, but many will argue it’s a trait that can be attributed to Twenty cricket in general because of the devaluation of a wicket.
Perera and Mathews, though, stood out. Perera first scored a two-a-ball 32 to give Sri Lanka a fighting chance from 89 for 7. Mathews then bowled a testing spell of outswing for eight runs and two wickets. The two came together when Perera flew at third man to catch Shoaib Malik off the bowling of Mathews. Perera and Mathews were the highlight of the night, which featured a lot of inexplicable cricket otherwise.
Earlier, Sohail Tanvir grabbed three big wickets as Pakistan restricted Sri Lanka to 132-7.
The left-arm paceman jolted Sri Lanka’s top order when he dismissed skipper Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in his opening three overs to reduce the hosts to 31-3.
Tanvir finished with 3-12 off four tight overs, his best performance in Twenty20 internationals. He was superbly backed by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who bagged two wickets for 20 runs. Thisara Perera top-scored with a 16-ball 32 not out in Sri Lanka’s below-par batting display, helping his team make 43 runs off the last 22 balls.
Lahiru Thirimanne, making his T20 debut, was the other main scorer with a 25-ball 30.
Sri Lanka made a poor start after electing to bat, losing four wickets in the opening eight overs with just 39 on the board.
Tanvir struck with his third delivery when he had Jayawardene caught by Shoaib Malik in the covers and then had Dilshan caught by Umar Gul at fine-leg in his next over.
Sangakkara (19) hit three successive fours off paceman Mohammad Sami before he inside-edged a Tanvir delivery onto his stumps.