LAHORE - Pakistan pacer M Aamir and experienced batsman Shoaib Malik excelled as Pakistan routed Sri Lanka in the third and last Twenty20 international played here at the jam-packed Gaddafi Stadium on smogy Sunday.

Chasing the target of 181 runs, Sri Lanka kept on losing wickets and were restricted to 144-9. None of the Sri Lankan batsmen could resist Pakistan bowling except Dasun Shanaka, who scored 54 runs off 36 balls with 5 boundaries and 3 sixes while Chaturanag de Silve (21), Seekkuge Prasanna (16), Sachith Parithana (14), Mahela Udawatte (11) and Thisara Perera (10) though reached the double figures but they failed to help their team register a consolation victory.

On the other hands, Pakistan bowling attack got strength with M Aamir’s return who got four wickets on his debut T20 game on Pakistani soil. Faheem Ashraf also bowled with authority and bagged two wickets while Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim and Hafeez succeeded in getting one wicket each.

Earlier opting to bowl first, Sri Lanka struggled to take wickets at regular intervals as Pakistan posted 180 runs on the board for the loss of three wickets. Fakhar Zaman and Umar Amin provided Pakistan a solid start by scoring 57 runs for the first-wicket partnership. The duo didn’t go overboard with their attacking instincts but impressed one and all with their strike rotation. Zaman’s 31 and Amin’s 45 set the tempo, which was consolidated further by Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik , who gathered 75 runs for the third-wicket partnership. Azam batted like a hero as he been doing since more than a year, as he was composed and confident while Malik’s brilliant batting made the final T20 more exciting and interesting as scored a fabulous fifty (54).

Sri Lanka remained below average and allowed Pakistani batsmen play at their will. Dilshan Munaweeera and skipper Thisara Perera were the only economical bowlers while Vikum Sanjaya was the most expensive one as he conceded 41 runs. Sri Lanka needed to win maiden limited-overs encounter after a 14-match losing streak, but this time too, they failed to deliver.

Pakistan had entered the match with two changes as at the top of the order, Ahmad Shahzad made way for Umar Amin while fast bowler M Aamir returned to the attack in place of Usman Khan Shinwari. Aamir has not played since the Test series and was ruled out of one-day series with shin injury. Sri Lanka , meanwhile, made one change as they brought batsman left-arm spinning allrounder Chaturanga de Silva in place of Ashan Priyanjan.

The match was a dead rubber as Pakistan having won both games in Abu Dhabi. However, it is a momentous occasion nonetheless, being Sri Lanka 's first match in Pakistan since the 2009 terrorist attack on the team bus. Since then, only Zimbabwe and a World XI have played international cricket in Pakistan .

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said: "Playing at home was very special. The kind of support we get, the people that come, it gives us a lot of happiness. The way our players are performing in crucial situations, it's good. The best thing is we are doing it in our country, in front of our fans. Our target was to play Faheem up as soon as we could. I'd like to thank the Sri Lanka team. The way our law enforcement have done their job, it will open doors for us, even to play a Test series."

Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera, who was very impressed with the crowd, said: "It was a tough tour for me. For Pakistan fans, thanks for supporting and cheering for us. My teammates gelled like a family. Last three matches, we had to take a lot of positives. We need to do something for our batting unit to excel in upcoming matches."

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN :
Fakhar Zaman b Munaweera 31
Umar Amin c Perera b Udana 45
Babar Azam not out 34
Shoaib Malik c de Silva n Sanjaya 51
Faheem Ashraf not out 13
EXTRAS: (lb2, nb2, w2) 6
TOTAL: (3 wkts; 20 overs) 180
FOW: 1-57, 2-91, 3-166
BOWLING: Sanjaya 4-0-41-1 (2nb), Munaweera 4-0-26-1, Udana 3-0-32-1, Gunathilaka 2-0-16-0 (1w), Perera 4-0-28-0 (1w), de Silva 1-0-14-0, Shanaka 1-0-13-0
SRI LANKA :
D Gunathilaka c and b Hafeez 9
D Munaweera b Aamir 1
S Samarawickrama c Azam b Wasim 4
M Udawatte c Azam b Ashraf 11
D Shanaka c Wasim b Ashraf 54
P de Silva b Aamir 21
T Perera c Shadab b Hasan 10
S Prasana c Ahmed b Aamir 16
S Pathirana c Hafeez b Aamir 14
I Udana not out 0
V Sanjaya not out 1
EXTRAS: (lb1, w2) 3
TOTAL: (9 wkts; 20 overs) 144
FOW: 1-10, 2-15, 3-21, 4-57, 5-96, 6-106, 7-114, 8-142, 9-143
BOWLING: Wasim 4-0-30-1, Amir 4-0-13-4 (1w), Hafeez 2-0-11-1, Ashraf 4-0-19-2, Shadab 2-0-31-0, Hasan 4-0-39-1 (1w)
TOSS: Sri Lanka
UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza, Ahmed Shahab (PAK)
TV UMPIRE: Shozab Raza (PAK)
MATCH REFEREE: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)