CT 2017: Pakistan pacers run through Lanka batting, restrict them to 236

Jonathan Hernandez
June 12, 2017

In a must win game of the tournament, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by three wickets to reach the semi final of Champions Trophy on Monday.

Big moments decide big matches and not many this tournament will exceed the size of the one that came Thisara Perera's way in the 39th over, when Pakistan still needed 41 runs for victory.

Pakistan started their group campaign with a woeful 124-run defeat by arch-rivals India but bounced back to defeat top-ranked South Africa before this success against Sri Lanka.

The victor of the game will advance to the semifinals, likely against England at the same venue on Wednesday.

Earlier, Danuhska Gunathilaka (13) was scalped early by Junaid but Dickwella and Kusal Mendis (27) stitched a 56- run stand to keep Sri Lanka going.

But after the dismissals of the two opening batsmen, Pakistan lost wickets back to back to crumble down to 162/7.

As Mohammad Amir bowled to Asela Gunaratne, the Sri Lankan edged it before Sarfraz dived to catch the ball.

Given the carnage of those few overs, Gunaratne and Lakmal did brilliantly well to lift the Sri Lankan score beyond 200 with their 46-run stand for the eighth wicket before Hasan and Fahim eventually mopped up the tail to end the innings. Indeed, when Niroshan Dickwella, who top-scored with 73, and Angelo Mathews were in tandem, they looked destined for even bigger things, the pair's 78-run partnership in 16 overs seeing them to 161 for three in the 32nd over.

Mohammad Hafeez (1) fell in a similar manner to Perera a mere over later as he looped a leading edge up to mid-on, while Lakmal claimed the crucial wicket of Azhar, who undid all his earlier hard work by fending a ball well wide of his off-stump to slip.

Pakistan lost the middle order in a hurry with seasoned campaigner Shoaib Malik (11; 20b 1×4 0x6), Imad Wasim (4) and Fahim Ashraf (15; 15b; 1×4, 1×6) not lasting long. They were helped a great deal by a meltdown of sorts by Sri Lanka on the field. Sri lanka could not stem the flow of runs and Sarfraz managed to get to a well-worked half-century.

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