Sri Lanka’s T20I series loss to Pakistan on Friday was a tight affair and the high tempo game produced a controversial moment when the visitors missed a run out after the ball hit Fahim Ashraf’s bat at the non-striker’s end. After a review, the third umpire gave Pakistan the benefit of the doubt.
Despite putting up a meager target of 124 runs after batting first, Sri Lanka made sure they stayed in the game until the very end. After losing the ODI series to Pakistan, Thisara Perera and company looked determined to end their miserable losing streak on Friday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
The skipper’s brilliant bowling had reduced Pakistan to 109-7 in the 18 over with just 16 runs required off 12 balls when the controversial moment arrived. Isuru Udana was bowling the 19 over to Shadab Khan when the right-handed batsman’s mistimed shot hit Fahim Ashraf’s bat, who was yards out of his crease at the non-striker's end. Had a ball reached Udana’s hand, it was a clear run out at a crucial moment of the game and Sri Lanka’s aggressive appeal was very much justified at the time.
The on-field umpires went upstairs to clarify Sri Lanka's appeal for obstructing the field, and after a closer look, the third umpire went ahead with the soft signal of not out. However, the match later went into a stage when 11 was needed from 4 balls and Sri Lanka even dropped a catch at long-off, which left the Lankans with little to complain about.
The loss marks Sri Lanka’s 15 consecutive defeat in the limited-overs format as Pakistan wraps up the three-match T20I series with a game to spare in Lahore.