Opening batsman Kusal Perera hit a career-best 84 off 59 balls and protected Sri Lanka’s No. 1 ranking with a series-levelling 24-run victory over Pakistan in the second and final Twenty20 international on Friday.

Perera smashed five fours and four sixes as Sri Lanka posted 211-3 the highest ever conceded by Pakistan in the shortest format of the game.

Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan hit a brisk 50 off 25 balls and Sohail Tanvir resisted with a late 41 but offspinner Sachithra Senanayake (3-27) ran through the middle order to dismiss Pakistan for 187 in 19.2 overs.

Perera set the tone of a big total when he put on a century opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan (48) off 72 balls before Kumar Sangakkara’s 44 off 21 balls took the game away from Pakistan.

Pakistan won the first match by three wickets.

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