Akmal and Sarfaraz steers Pakistan to a consolation win
Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka convincingly by 6 wickets in a dead rubber contest of Asia Cup. Pakistan and Sri Lanka were already out of the tournament and the game was just about winning it for pride. Sri Lanka posted a competitive total of 150 runs against Pakistan, however, the Green Shirts chased down the target at the expanse of just 4 wickets in the 20th over.
Shahid Afridi won the toss today and invited Sri Lanka to bat first. Sri Lanka had a solid start, their openers, the standing skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan had the first century stand of the tournament. Pakistan got their first wicket at a total of 110 runs in the 15th over, when Chandimal flat batted a slow delivery off Wahab Riaz straight to Sharjeel Khan on midwicket.
After Chandimal’s departure, it was Dilshan the lone warrior for Sri Lanka in the middle. He scored 75 runs on 56 deliveries despite of losing quick wickets on the other end. Dilshan drove Sri Lanka to a competitive total. Apart from Dilshan’s 75 and Chandimal’s 58, Jayasuriya was the third highest scorer with only 4 runs. Mohammad Irfan bagged two wickets for Pakistan in his 4 overs, conceding just 20 runs.
Pakistan’s top order didn’t tumble today as it did in the previous games. Mohammad Hafeez was the first one to fall, who played an absolutely nothing shot against Shehan Jayasuriya and was caught and bowled at a total of 23. Sharjeel Khan looked good during his short cameo; he lost his wicket after scoring 31 runs on 24 balls that comprised of five 4’s and a six. He struck four consecutive boundaries against Shanaka.
After his dismissal, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Umar Akmal had a handy contribution of 36 runs, where Sarfaraz Ahmed was the main aggressor. Sarfaraz perished playing a sweep of a darted delivery by Sriwardana and was caught trapped in front of the stumps. He made 38 runs off 27 deliveries. Umar Akmal wasn’t bothered by losing his partner; he carried his good form in this innings to score 48 runs on 37 deliveries. Akmal was caught spectacularly well by Parera on wide long-off when he was trying to score the winning runs. Shoaib Malik at the end finished off the job by taking a single.
Umar Akmal was named as the man of the match award for his match winning 48 runs. Chandimal used 8 bowlers in the match, but, Kulasekara was the best among them with a wicket to his name, conceding just 20 runs in his 4 overs.