Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka during the last league match of the tournament by 3 wickets in a low scoring thriller at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff just finished few minutes ago.
Sri Lanka was invited to bat and was restricted by excellent Pakistan bowling to 236. While chasing Pakistan started well but lost wickets at regular intervals as captain Sarfarz Ahmed and Mohammad Aamir made sure that they reached the target with 3 wickets to spare.
Pakistan captain Sarfarz Ahmed won the toss and elected to field at Cardiff today. Sri Lankan openers Gunathilkha and Niroshan Dickwella started on a positive note putting on 26 runs for the first wicket. Pakistan got the wicket of Gunathilkha for 13 runs. Kusal Mendis and Dickwella steadied the innings with good strokes. At the end of 10 overs, Sri Lanka was 50 for 1. Both batsmen continued to play the Pakistan bowlers with ease.
Hasan Ali was bought into the 15th over and took the wicket of Kusal Mendis for 27. In the next over debutant Fahim Ashraf struck to dismiss Dinesh Chandimal. After that Angelo Mathews and Dickwella played with positive intent hitting boundaries and taking singles. Dickwella completed his half century in 52 balls while Mathews made the batting look easy. At 161 for 3 in 31 overs, Sri Lanka was looking for a big total but Mohammed Aamir and Junaid Khan took 4 wickets in space of 6 runs. Gunaranthe and Surgana Lakmal added crucial runs putting on 46 runs for the 8th wicket. Lakmal scored 26 while Gunaranthe made 27 runs. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 236 in 49.2 overs. All the Pakistan bowlers did a brilliant job to bowl out Sri Lanka for a modest total.
Chasing the target of 237, Fakhar Zaman who was playing his second match of the tournament impressed with hitting abilities along with Azhar Ali. Both of them put pressure on Sri Lankan bowlers scoring 65 runs in the first 10 overs. Zaman completed his fifty in 34 balls. In the 12th over, Nuwan Pradeep was bought into attack and dismissed well settled Zaman. After that the Sri Lankan bowlers continued to put pressure on Pakistani batsmen. Babar Azam, Mohammed Hafeez, Azhar Ali who was batting on 34, the experienced Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim went in quick succession to leave Pakistan at 137 for 6 in 25.4 overs.
Fahim Ashraf and Sarfarz Ahmed added 25 runs as Ashraf was dismissed for 15. The captain Ahmed and Mohammad Aamir played with positive intent as luck was on Pakistan side. Sarfarz Ahmed was given three chances once run out and two catch out chances to change the course of the match putting an unbeaten 75 runs stand for the 8th wicket . He completed his half century in 71 balls and remained not out on 61 while Aamir not out on 28. Pakistan won the match by 3 wickets with 31 balls remaining.
Pakistan 237 for 7 in 44.5 overs ( Sarfarz Ahmed 61*, Fakhar Zaman 50, Nuwan Pradeep 3/60) beat Sri Lanka 236 in 49.2 overs ( Dickwella 73, Angleo Mathews 39, Junaid Khan 3/40) by 3 wickets
Pakistan 2, Sri Lanka 0
The semi-finals line up for CT 2017 has been decided
1st Semi-finals– Pakistan vs. England 14th June (Cardiff)
2nd Semi-finals– India vs. Bangladesh 15th June ( Edgbaston)