COLOMBO - Pakistan fast-bowler, Sohail Tanvir bowled a brilliant spell as he claimed three wickets in order to ensure that Pakistan draw first blood by 29 runs against Sri Lanka in the first of the two-match T20I series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday.

Triple big knocks in the form of 46 from Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal helped Pakistan put up a challenging total of 175 for the loss of five wickets.

46 seemed to be the unlucky number for all of these batsmen as Shehzad and Akmal being dismissed on it, while Malik remained unbeaten on the same score after facing 31 balls and no one was able to register fifty in the match. Earlier, Pakistan skipper, Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first. Sarfraz Ahmed has been dropped and Akmal coming in, while Sri Lanka move in with a fairly strong squad

Pakistan began their innings on a sad note as they lost opener, Mukhtar Ahmed for a mere couple after he was dismissed by Angelo Mathews as he was caught off Jeffrey Vandersay. Out came M Hafeez, but could only contribute 17 before falling to Thisara Perera after being caught by Kithuruwan Vithanage. However, he put up a healthy 42-run stand along with opener, Shehzad.

Out came Shoaib, and following a brief 31-run stand, it was Shehzad who departed for 46 off 38 balls, missing his half-century by just four runs as Perera again claimed his man after being caught by Malinga. It was then the pair of Malik and Akmal that put an impressive 81-run stand, before Akmal fell for 46 off 24 balls to Malinga, who trapped him leg-before. Out came Afridi, in the final over, but was dismissed after hitting a huge six by Binura Fernando, who bowled him up and claimed his first T20I wicket. Anwar Ali was the final man in in the final ball of the innings, but settled for a duck as Pakistan finished on a challenging total of 175.

Sri Lanka started their chase on a real shaky note as they lost their three top-order batsmen in the opening four overs in the form of Kusal Perera, Tillkaratne Dilshan and Kithuruwan Vithange for four, six and one, respectively. Perera fell in the opening over off Anwar Ali, followed by Dilshan the over next off Tanvir, while Vithange fell in the fourth over off Tanvir again. Although all-rounder Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya De Silva managed to recover the innings with a crucial 34-run stand, before Mathews fell for 23 in the 10th over off Imad Wasim.

Dhananjaya put-up another healthy 37-run stand along with incoming batsman, Milinda Siriwardana, before he was dismissed for 31 by Shoaib Malik. It was followed by another 24-run stand between Siriwardana and Chamara Kapugedara, before Siriwardana was dismissed for 35 by Tanvir again. Just five runs later, it was Thisara Perera, who was dismissed for a mere couple off Anwar Ali.

Kapugedara and Binura Fernando continued to bat until the end of the game, but the target seemed to be too high and the loss of early wickets had restricted their flow of runs, as Pakistan ensured a comfortable 39-run win.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN:

Mukhtar Ahmed c Vandersay b Mathews 2

Ahmed Shehzad c Malinga b T. Perera 46

M Hafeez c Vithanage b T. Perera 17

Shoaib Malik not out 46

Umar Akmal lbw b Malinga 46

Shahid Afridi b Fernando 8

Anwar Ali not out 0

EXTRAS: (lb3, w7) 10

TOTAL: (for five wickets, 20 overs) 175

FOW: 1-10, 2-52, 3-83, 4-164, 5-175

BOWLING: Fernando 4-0-38-1 (w3), Mathews 4-0-33-1 (w2), Malinga 4-0-46-1 (w2), Vandersay 4-0-25-0, T. Perara 4-0-30-2.

SRI LANKA:

K Perera c Afridi b Anwar 4

T Dilshan c Rizwan b Tanvir 6

D de Silva c Shehzad b Malik 31

K Vithanage b Tanvir 1

A Mathews b Imad 23

M Siriwardana c Anwar b Tanvir 35

C Kapugedera not out 31

T Perera c Rizwan b Anwar 2

B Fernando not out 8

EXTRAS: (b1, lb3, w1) 5

TOTAL: (7 wkts; 20 overs) 146

FOW: 1-4, 2-13, 3-19, 4-55, 5-92, 6-116, 7-121

BOWLING: Anwar Ali 4-0-27-2, Sohail Tanvir 4-0-29-3, M Irfan 4-0-25-0, Shahid Afridi 4-0-31-0, Imad Wasim 3-0-21-1, Shoaib Malik 1-0-9-1

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Ranmore Martinesz (SRI) and Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)

TV UMPIRE: Raveendra Wimalasiri (SRI)

MATCH REFEREE: Javagal Srinath (IND)