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Fernando, bowlers deliver emphatic series sweep for Sri Lanka

The young and inexperienced Sri Lanka side completed a historic whitewash of number one ranked Pakistan with a 13-run victory in the final T20I of the three-match series at Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan seemed set for a pride-salvaging win halfway through their chase of the modest target of 148 before a collapse triggered by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga consigned the hosts to 134-6 at the end of 20 overs.

Hasaranga, fresh from his bowling heroics in the previous T20I, speared in a wide delivery to beat the bat of Haris Sohail advancing down the pitch with the wicketkeeper dislodging the bails and then had skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed misread the trajectory of the ball to see his stumps disturbed.

The 22-year-old's crucial 18th over of the Pakistan innings thus effectively knocked the home side out of the contest.

Iftikhar Ahmed's arrival to the crease briefly revived Pakistan's hopes of getting over the line when he deposited the ball over the boundary fence off the first delivery he faced but the task of 37 from the last two overs was way beyond his reach.

While Sri Lanka achieved their first ever whitewash in a three-match T20I series, this was the second time Pakistan has been at the receiving end of such treatment – they were previously whitewashed by England in 2015 in the United Arab Emirates.

Oshada Fernando's brilliance outclasses Pakistan

Oshada Fernando smashed a 48-ball 78 on his T20I debut to lift Sri Lanka to a competitive total of 147-7 in their allotted 20 overs.

One of the five changes made by Sri Lanka from their winning combination in the last two T20Is, Fernando instantly stamped his authority on the proceedings after entering the fray with his side reeling at 30-3 in five overs.

Mohammad Amir shone with the new ball and dismissed Pakistan's nemesis in the series, Danushka Gunathilaka for a cheap score before Asif Ali's wonderful catch saw the back of Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

Unfazed by the early loss of wickets, Fernando immediately showed a glimpse of his immense talent when he sweetly timed an on-drive to a length ball from Usman Shinwari for a straight six.

Fernando continued to hold one end firmly as wickets tumbled on the other side and an ungainly 25-ball 12 from captain Dasun Shanaka did little to help Sri Lanka's charge.

But Fernando, who participated in Sri Lanka's historic Test series win in South Africa in February, embraced the challenge and pierced the gaps to put the pressure back on the Pakistan bowlers.

He batted till the very end with his glittering knock laced with eight boundaries and three maximums and registered the highest score by a Sri Lankan on T20I debut.

The visitors were also aided by missed chances in the field from Pakistan with a total of four possible catches going down and an error committed by Sarfaraz resulted in a botched stumping.

Later, Pakistan got off to a nightmare start when they lost aggressive batter Fakhar Zaman on the first ball of the chase as he was found wanting against a big booming in-swinger from Kasun Rajitha.

Babar Azam and Sohail repaired the damage to an extent with a sedate 76-run partnership but Sri Lanka choked their steady progress in the middle overs forcing risky shots from the duo.

Pakistan's innings went downhill soon after Babar departed for his 32-ball 27 while trying to guide the ball to the third man but playing it into the hands of Sadeera Samarawickrama.

Battling with a team deprived of its main stars due to player withdrawals, the resurgent Sri Lanka side have stunned Pakistan in their backyard, giving head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq a far from ideal start to his stint in the dual role.

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