| GEO Sports|
| Lanka sets 138 for Pakistan in Canada T20 match|
| Updated at: 0121 PST, Sunday, October 12, 2008|
TORONTO: After a fighting struggle in a Twenty20 match in Canada, the Lankans have set apparently an easy138 runs target against Pakistan here for the loss of 9 wickets in 20 overs here.
Umer Gul, the hero of Pakistan bowling, shone in his late show restricting Sri Lanka with 4 wickets in 3 overs conceding just 13 runs.
Considering that cricket bats have normally been packed away at this time of year, it is hardly surprising that the T20 Canada tournament is proving tough for batsman. The fourth match of the event was the major glamour tie and King City was almost a sell-out as Sri Lanka reached 137 for 9, which should be enough to make for an interesting run chase, although Umar Gul's four wickets kept the late scoring down.
The opening over provided a large proportion of the drama as Sanath Jayasuriya began the innings with consecutive boundaries off Shoaib Akhtar, but fell next ball when he top-edged to fine leg. There were signs that Shoaib is starting to find some rhythm and the crowd responded to his efforts with increasing volumn.
A large section of support was reserved for Sri Lanka and they built a solid base as Mahela Udawatte and Jehan Mubarak added 51 for the second wicket. They made four changes form the team that beat Zimbabwe, including leaving out Ajantha Mendis which took something away from the contest, perhaps with a view on a likely final against Pakistan.
Mubarak was the more dominant, continuing positively after Udawatte was bowled round his legs by Shahid Afridi. Mubarak had struck six fours when he came down the track and was beaten by turn from Shoaib Malik, with Kamran Akmal completed a safe stumping - not something he has always managed.
As has been the case in all the matches, scoring off the spinners was tough and the middle order struggled to push on against Afridi and Malik. However, the main late action came from Gul, who showed why he has developed into one of the best death bowlers in the world.
He was held back towards the final stages of the innings and Malik may regret not allowing him his full four overs. His first wicket was Chamara Kapugedera, who was setting himself for a late assault, then he bowled full and straight at the tail, who kept swinging and missing. There was nothing fancy about Gul's plan, but it worked a treat.