Match Winning Shots of Shahid Afridi against Sri Lanka. Pakistan 146 for 7 (Afridi 39*, Malinga 3-26) beat Sri Lanka (Mathews 50) by three wickets. Afridi had been instrumental with his sharp, varied legspin as well, conceding only 20 from his four overs as Sri Lanka spluttered to 145 for 5. Though this score was only five less than captain Dinesh Chandimal had hoped for at the toss, it seemed insufficient on a decent batting surface, not given to extravagant turn. Mohammad Hafeez’ hope that dew would hamper the side bowling second also came to fruition, as Sri Lanka delivered occasional shockers that sealed their fate.
Two sixes from Afridi off Nuwan Kulasekara’s 16th over was his first definitive play, as he walloped a knee-length full toss high into the stands, before crashing one over deep cover when Kulasekara resigned himself to going full and wide. After that over Pakistan needed 29 off 24, with five wickets in hand, but immediately, Malinga’s four-run over, in which he also claimed a wicket, reclaimed ground for Sri Lanka.
Before Afridi arrived, Pakistan’s leisurely innings had not seemed so different from Sri Lanka’s. Both sides had largely progressed at around 6.5 an over, with several batsmen earning starts but falling before achieving a substantial score. Sharjeel Khan plowed on through the early overs, as he and Hafeez put on 57 for the second wicket, but they both fell against the run of play. Sohaib Maqsood had also seemed promising in his 13.