On This Day in 2009: World Twenty20 delight for Pakistan at Lord’s

Pakistan completed an unexpected triumph in the final of the World Twenty20 tournament on June 21, 2009.

And they did it in style, securing a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over favourites Sri Lanka at Lord’s.

Having won the toss and decided to bat, Sri Lanka lost four wickets inside the first six overs as they slipped to 32 for four.

Pakistan's Shahid Afridi celebrates hitting the winning runs
Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi celebrates hitting the winning runs (Anthony Devlin/PA)

It took a 68-run stand between captain Kumar Sangakkara and all-rounder Angelo Mathews spanning seven overs to guide Sri Lanka to a respectable total of 138 for six.

Pakistan, beaten in the final two years previously by India, laid the foundations for their triumph by losing only two wickets in the first 10 overs.

Then, just as they started slipping behind the rate, Shahid Afridi arrived at the crease and hit an unbeaten 54 off 40 balls to steer them home with eight balls remaining.

A succession of terrorist incidents, including an attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore earlier in 2009, had seen international sides refuse to travel to Pakistan.

Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews dives for a catch
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews misses a diving catch (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Speaking after their victory, captain Younus Khan said: “Everybody is following Twenty20 cricket these days and now we are champions it would be good if we could get some home series.

“I would like all the countries to come to Pakistan again. Everybody knows the
situation is not good but it’s not our fault. We need home series because, if
there isn’t any cricket in Pakistan, how can we motivate the youngsters?

“I would say to the world, please come to Pakistan and play. I am very proud of my nation, I’m a proud man and this victory is good for all of us.”

It took several years for international cricket to return to Pakistan, with Test action finally coming back in 2019.