Pakistan reach semi-final defeating Sri Lanka

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Themorningbellbd.com desk, June 13: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 3 wickets in the ICC Champions Trophy at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Monday.

Pakistan achieved 237 runs off 44.5 overs with seven wickets lost.

Sri Lanka’s total of 236 seemed like a reasonable chase at first, but with seven Pakistani batsmen in the dressing room at the 35 over mark, the match shaped up to be a nail-biter.

Perera claimed Fahim Ashraf’s wicket as a shot played by Sarfraz Ahmed flicked off Perera’s fingers and went on to hit the bowler’s stumps while Fahim’s bat was still in the air. With this wicket, Sri Lanka are looking more in control of the match.

Sarfraz played along with Mohammad Amir during the last moments of the match, as Perera and Malinga looked to claim the remaining wickets.

“This game is too close to call,” said Ramiz Raja from the commentary box.

Sri Lankan fans at the venue, however, were beginning to sense an impending win for their side.

Sri Lankan batting innings

Sri Lanka got off to a solid start but failed to retain that position against a quick Pakistani bowling attack, led primarily by Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali.

Niroshan Dickwella and Angelo Mathews emerged to be the highest run-getters for Sri Lanka, having scored 73 and 39 respectively.

Junaid Khan (3), Mohammad Amir (2) and Hasan Ali (3) bagged a bulk of Sri Lankan wickets, with Fahim Ashraf picking up an impressive two wickets in his high-stakes international debut match.

The game turned in Pakistan’s favour between the 30th to 35th over, as pacers Amir and Junaid bagged three quick wickets in a crucial three-over span.

Fahim Ashraf wrapped up the innings by picking Nuwan Pradeep’s wicket, with four balls still remaining of the last over.

India has already qualified for the semi-final from group B, while England and Bangladesh are moving forward to the next stage from group A.

Teams

Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews (cpt), Dinesh Chandimal, Asela Gunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep

Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (cpt)(wk), Imad Wasim, Fahim Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan