Pakistan pip Sri Lanka
Pakistan finished their Asia Cup 2016 campaign with a consolation win over Sri Lanka by six wickets during the tenth match of the tournament at Mirpur stadium tonight.
Chasing 151, Pakistan for the first time in this tournament saw the top-order fire, and useful partnerships from their batters ensured a relatively comfortable victory with four balls in the bag.
|Pakistan v Sri Lanka|
|Pakistan: 151/4 (19.2/20 over)|
|Sri Lanka: 150/4 (20/20 over)|
Umar Akmal’s 48 was the highest score for Pakistan. He was dismissed when the scores were tied in the 19th over. Sarfaraz Ahmed contributed to his team’s cause with a quick-fire 38.
The 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Akmal and Shoiab basically knocked the wind out of Sri Lanka’s sails.
For Sri Lanka, eight bowlers were used by the captain, and four of them took a wicket each.
Umar Akmal was the last wicket to fall for Pakistan. He was caught in the deep for 48 when he tried to finish the match with a boundary.
Camoes from Sarfaraz Ahmed and Umar Akmal placed Pakistan in the driver’s seat late in their chase of 151.
Pakistan lost their third wicket in the 13th over after a handy 36-run stand between Umar and Sarfaraz.
Sarfaraz was dismissed for Siriwardana for 38. The Pakistan batter faced 27 balls and struck six fours in his breezy knock.
Sri Lanka allrounder Dilshan gave his side the second breakthrough in the eighth over to rock Pakistan.
Sharjeel Khan played well for his 31 from 24 balls. He struck five fours and a six before he was dismissed by Dilshan. Sharjeel couldn’t time his pull and was well caught at long-on.
Sri Lankan spinners got minimum purchase from the wicket but kept things tight with their probing line and length.
Pakistan were rocked in the fourth over of their chase. Mohammad Hafeez who had struck two consecutive boundaries was foxed by Shehan Jayasuriya and offered a simple return catch to the spinner.
Hafeez could not score than 14 runs. He faced 11 balls and struck three fours.
Pakistan openers Sharjeel and Hafeez give their team a steady start and played sensibly when boundaries were hard to come by.
Earlier, Pakistan came back in the latter half of the match to keep Sri Lanka down to 150 for four in the tenth game of Asia Cup 2016 today.
Sri Lanka’s total was bolstered by Tillakaratne Dilshan unbeaten 75 from 56. The Sri Lankan opener smashed 10 fours and a six during his stay at the wicket.
After the 110-run stand for the first wicket, Pakistan struck in regular intervals. Mohammad Irfan was the most successful bowler for Pakistan with two wickets for 18 runs in four overs
The 18th over of Sri Lanka’s innings was bowled by Muhammad Irfan, and the tall Pakistani bowler brought his side back into the match with two wickets, and gave away only two runs.
Shanaka was clean bowled for a two-ball duck. The slower ball angled in from middle from wide of the crease, missed the bat and disturbed Shanaka’s furniture.
Kapudegera fell for two runs in the first ball of the 18th over bowled by Irfan. The batter tried to go for a big hit, missed the ball and was bowled for two runs.
Sri Lanka lost their second wicket in the 16th over. Shoaib Malik enticed Jayasuriya to go for a slog, the batter obliged but found the fielder in the deep.
Pakistan fought back late in the innings with some quick wickets.
Pakistan managed to get their first breakthrough in the 15th over when Wahab Riaz got the better of Chandimal. Chandimal slogged the short ball straight into the lap of Sharjeel at mid-wicket.
Sri Lankan opener scored 58 from 49 balls with seven fours and a six to his name. With Dilshan, he was instrumental in the 110-run partnership for the first wicket.
Pakistan bowlers toiled hard but were unable to get the breakthrough eleven overs into Sri Lanka’s innings.
Chandimal continued his good form and reached his half-century in 43 balls. He accelerated after a quiet start, and made up for the dot balls with some spanking shots later in his innings.
With Chandimal getting into the groove, Dilshan was not far behind as he relished on the spinners and started to get going…
Sri Lanka openers Chandimal and Dilshan gave their team a strong start and defied the Pakistani opening bowlers with grit and determination.
Chandimal was more fluent than his partner, and smashed some lovely boundaries early to settle down at the crease.
Pakistan skipper Boom Boom Afridi called it correctly during the toss, and didn’t hesitate to bowl first given the conditions at Mirpur under the lights against Sri Lanka led by Dinesh Chandimal in the tenth game of Asia Cup 2016.
With tails between their legs, two of the better nations in T20 history prepare to play out a dead rubber, two years after they had contested the final of this tournament.
Their routes to this match were similar enough. Both teams had more trouble defeating the UAE than expected.
They were each floored by a clinical Bangladesh side, and were comfortably bested by India, despite a few heartening performances in those games.
They are also ailed by roughly similar concerns. The openers are a worry for Pakistan - none having hit more than 11 in the tournament.
Sri Lanka have begun to fear that Tillakaratne Dilshan's form may not recover over the next few weeks, and his partner - Dinesh Chandimal - is an improvised opener in any case.
Pakistan have a few bright sparks in that top order - which features Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik - but against the top teams, they have only come good one-by-one, rather than as a collective.
In Mohammad Amir at least, this game will feature the bowler that has delivered the best spells in the tournament.
In Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara and Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka have the most experienced attack. Both teams will look to their bowlers to set the standard, as the batsmen attempt to sort themselves out.
Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed (Wicketkeeper), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz (3)
LD Chandimal (Captain), TM Dilshan, DSNFG Jayasuriya, N Dickwella (Wicketkeeper), CK Kapugedera, TAM Siriwardana, MD Shanaka, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, HMRKB Herath and PVD Chameera