Disciplined batting effort help Pakistan to consolation victory
Pakistan 151-4 (Akmal 48) beat
Sri Lanka 150-4 (Dilshan 75no) by six wickets
10th Match, Asia Cup, Mirpur
Crucial knocks from Sharjeel Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed and Umar Akmal saw Pakistan chase down Sri Lanka’s total of 151 runs in 19.2 overs with six wickets in hand in the 10th match of the 2016 Asia Cup in Mirpur.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka began superbly with a 110-run opening stand between Dinesh Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan but lost a flurry of wickets and ended up with a score of 150 for four in 20 overs.
Pakistan won the toss and bowled first. Dilshan (75 not out) and Chandimal (58) started off with caution in the first five overs.
Dilshan even received a reprieve when he was dropped by Mohammad Irfan (2-18) in the fifth over. He then smacked three fours and a six in the sixth over to push the total to 44 for naught in the powerplay.
Pakistan conceded just two more boundaries in the next four overs but failed to take wickets as Sri Lanka moved on to 66 for naught at the halfway mark.
Chandimal brought up his well-calculated 43-ball fifty in the 12th over and struck a six before he holed out to mid-wicket off Wahab Riaz (1-30).
In the next over, Shehan Jayasuriya (4) aimed to go down the ground but picked the fielder to perfection, giving Shoaib Malik (1-3) his first wicket of the day.
A few moments later, Dilshan completed his 12th T20I fifty in 42 balls. However, Pakistan pegged away at the wickets column as Irfan castled Chamara Kapugedera (2) and Dasun Shanaka (0) in the space of three balls.
Dilshan waged a long fight from one end and pushed Sri Lanka’s total to 150 for four in 20 overs. Irfan was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan.
Mohammad Hafeez (14) started the chase well with three boundaries but fell in the fourth over, chipping a simple catch back to the bowler, Jayasuriya (1-13).
Sarfraz (38) got off the mark with a boundary and hit another one in the next over. After being pegged down in the first five overs, Khan (31) smacked four consecutive boundaries in the sixth over to help Pakistan reach 50 for one in the powerplay phase.
Off his very first ball, Dilshan (1-2) got Khan to hole out to long on and gave away just two runs in the over. After two more tight overs, Pakistan were restricted to 70 for two at the halfway mark.
Sarfraz struck four more boundaries in the next two overs but was trapped in front by Milinda Siriwardana (1-20) in his very first over.
Akmal (48) joined hands with Shoaib Malik (13 not out) to take control of the chase. Akmal smashed two fours and a six in the 15th over and went on to score 48 runs from 37 balls while sharing a 56-run stand with Malik.
Akmal’s knock took the game out of Sri Lanka’s reach as he levelled the scores with a six before being dismissed with one over left in the game.
Malik finished the game with ease, giving Pakistan a six-wicket win. Akmal was the man of the match for his knock.
© Cricket World 2016