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    Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to square T20 series

    Hambantota (Sri Lanka): Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 23 runs in the second and final Twenty20 international on Sunday to square the series 1-1.

    Sri Lanka, who won the opening match by 37 runs on Friday, were bowled out for 99 after restricting Pakistan to 122 for 6. Shahid Afridi was the star of Pakistan's win, smashing a 33-ball 52 not out and then taking two wickets with his leg-spin.

    Pakistan were struggling at 41 for 4 before allrounder Afridi steadied the innings with a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket with Shoaib Malik, who hit three successive fours off leg-spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi in his 26-ball 27.

    Afridi, who on Sunday became the first player to appear in 50 T20 internationals, hit one six and five fours in his fourth half-century.

    Lokuarachchi bagged two of the first four wickets to reduce Pakistan to 41 for 4, removing skipper Mohammad Hafeez (24) and Umar Akmal (5) in his four-over spell. Paceman Nuwan Kulasekera was the most impressive bowler, finishing with 2 for 13 off four tight overs.

    Sri Lanka, who lead the series 1-0 following their 37-run victory in the opening match on Friday, rested skipper Mahela Jayawardene and paceman Lasith Malinga and brought in Isuru Udana and Chamara Kapugedera.

    Allrounder Angelo Mathews led the hosts. Pakistan made one change, replacing Umar Gul with Yasir Arafat.