CARDIFF (Dunya News) – The late heroics by skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad helped Pakistan in pulling off an astonishing chase against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
While winning the match by three wickets, Pakistan not only managed to knock Sri Lanka out of the tournament but also confirmed its place in the top four.
Earlier, skipper Sarfaraz won the toss and opted to field first in what has become a virtual quarter final for both the teams.
Batting first, Sri Lanka managed to score 236 as they were all out in 49.2 overs after some fine piece of bowling from Pakistani pacers completely outclassed the Sri Lankan batting line.
Junaid and Hasan were pick of the bowlers as they took three wickets while Amir and Fahim managed to claim two wickets.
Sri Lankan opener N Dickwella remained the top scorer as he scored 73 runs.
In reply, Sarfaraz’s knock of 61 turned out to the decisive one as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by three in a nail-biting encounter at Cardiff.
Pakistan also became the fourth team to qualify as India, England and Bangladesh have already marched into semi-finals of ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Fans rejoice after winning the match. Video by Zainab Abbas.
N Dickwella, MD Gunathilaka, BKG Mendis, AD Mathews (capt), LD Chandimal, DAS Gunaratne, DM de Silva, NLTC Perera, RAS Lakmal, SL Malinga, N Pradeep
Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Imad Wasim, Fahim Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan
Overs 44.5, Score 237/7
Fifty partnership for the eighth wicket came as eleven runs came in the 42nd over after Sarfaraz played two glorious boundaries of Lakmal.
Pakistan were 217 for the loss of seven wickets after 42 overs.
de Silva bowled rather a good over at this stage as he concede just three runs.
Gunaratne concede six runs in the next over as Pakistan need 11 runs of the last six overs.
Pakistan were 226 for the loss of seven wickets after 44 overs.
Malinga came to bowl his last over as only 11 runs were needed.
The skipper played the winning shot of the second last bowl of Malinga’s over as Pakistan marched to the semi final of ICC Champions Trophy while defeating Sri Lanka by three wickets.
Video: Winning moments of the game
Overs 41, Score 206/7
Yet another good over was bowled by Lakmal he conceded just two runs in the fortieth over.
Moreover, Sarfraz got another chance in the next over bowled by Malinga as he was dropped by the substitute fielder.
In the same over, the ball raced away towards four byes as 8 runs came of the over.
Pakistan were 206 for the loss of seven wickets after 41 overs.
Overs 39, Score 196/7
The skipper opted to bring Parera to the attack as he went away for nine runs in the thirty sixth over.
Pradep conceded just four runs in the thirty seventh over.
Sarfaraz cut an outside off delivery for a fine cut short as he managed to fetch runs in the process.
Pakistan were 193 for seven after 38 over.
The skipper opted to bring in Malinga as an easy catch was dropped by Parera of the second delivery of the over.
Pakistan were 196 for the loss of seven wickets after 39 overs.
Overs 35, Score 175/7
A good over was bowled by Gunaratne as he conceded just one run in the twenty ninth.
An unlucky dismissal of Fahim Ashraf put Pakistan in deep trouble as they lose their seventh wicket in chasing down 236 at Sophia Gardens.
Gunathilaka bowled yet another good over to concede just two runs in thirty first over.
Pakistan seemed to be in great pressure as only four runs came of the next two overs.
Pakistan were 168 for the loss of seven wickets after 33 overs.
Pradep came to bowl in the thirty fourth over and conceded five runs.
Gunaratne bowled the thirty fifth over as he went for just two runs this time.
Malinga came strongly as he bowled a maiden over at this stage of the innings.
Shoaib Malik too failed to make an impression as he was caught by the keeper after scoring 11 runs.
Imad also fell in the very next over as he was caught behind of the bowling of Pradep.
Pakistan were 175 for the loss of seven wickets after 35 overs.
Pakistan were in trouble at 137/6 after 26 overs.
The youngster Fahim came to bat as he joined the skipper.
Fahim pulled the ball towards fine leg for a huge six of Malinga.
Fahim pulled another one for four more as Pradep bowled yet another short one.
Four leg byes came of the last ball as Pradep went for 12 runs in the last over.
Pakistan were 157 for the loss of six wickets after twenty eight overs.
Overs 21, Score 119/4
Parera came to bowl as he bowled a good over while conceding just four runs in the ninteenth over.
A huge blow for Pakistan came in the shape of Azhar Ali’s dismissal as he gave rather an easy catch to Mendis at first slip.
Pakistan were 111 for the loss of four wickets after 20 overs.
Sarfaraz thumped it away as the ball raced away to the cover point boundary for four more.
Sri Lanka were 119 for the loss of four wickets after 21 overs.
Overs 18, Score 106/3
Azhar Ali ramped it over to the right of the keeper towards the boundary for four more.
Pakistan were 106 for the loss of three wickets after 18 overs.
Pakistan seemed to have lost the plot after Fakhar Zaman’s dismissal as Babar Azam and Hafeez fell in quick sucession of time. Sri Lanka were back in the game as Pakistan were 99 for three after seventen overs.
Overs 14, Score 87/1
Fakhar Zaman reached to his well-deserved fifty of 34 deliveries in the eleventh over.
A top edge of Fakhar’s bat fell straight into the fielder’s hands at fine leg. Fakhar departed after scoring a quick innings.
Babar Azam dispatched the ball through cover point nicely for four more.
Parera bowled a good over as only two runs came of the thirteenth over.
A total of seven runs came of the next over as Pakistan were off to an impressive start at Sophia Gardens while chasing down 236.
Pakistan were 87 for the loss of one wicket after 14 overs.
Overs 10, Score 65/0
Lasith came to bowl the first over as Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali are going to open for Pakistan.
Gunathilaka drop the catch of Azhar Ali in the first over.
In the second over, Azhar Ali had a narrow escape once again as Gunathilaka yet again gave him a chance while missing his run out.
Fakhar showed some agression as he hit three boundaries in the third over of the innings bowled by Malinga.
Zaman seemed to be in good touch as he hit another boundary in the next over bowled by Lakmal.
The fifth over was rather a good one as Malinga concede just two runs in it.
Azhar Ali played a brilliant shot and manage to fetch four runs in the process of doing so.
Pradep was itroduced to the attack as he concede just four runs in the seventh over.
Not a sort of welcome Parera would have wanted was given to him by the openers as they 13 runs came of his first over.
Fakhar Zaman thumped Lakmal for a boundary in the next over.
Pakistan were 65 for no loss after 10 overs.
Sri Lanka Innings
Overs 49.2, Score 226 (all out)
Fahim Ashraf bowled the last over of the match as a leading edge of Pradep’s bat fell safely into his hands.
Sri Lankan team managed to reach 226 as the whole team got out in 49.2 overs.
Pakistan need 227 to reach semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy.
Gunaratne departed as Hasan Ali got his third wicket of the match.
Hasan Ali succesfully completed his three wicket haul for seventh time in ODI career.
Amir bowled rather a good over as he concede just six runs at this point of the match.
Overs 47, Score 226/8
DAS Gunaratne 23*
SL Malinga 5*
Hasan Ali went for four of the second last delivery of 47th over.
Faheem dropped an easy catch of the bowling of Junaid Khan in the forty fifth over.
Lakmal got out for 26 as the off-cutter from Hasan Ali kissed the bails in the forty firth over.
In the forty fourth over bowled by Muhammad Amir, Lakmal played gloriously a the brilliant timing reulted in fetching four runs.
Overs 43: Sri Lanka 200/7, Both the batsmen are putting up the fight in an effort to put a decent total on the board and to give Sri Lankan bowlers some thing to bowl at.
DAS Gunaratne 16*
RAS Lakmal 11*
Overs 35: Junaid gets ANOTHER! In the eight overs, Junaid Khan has picked three wickets by giving away just 31 runs. Perera edged one straight to the slip.
Last wicket NLTC Perera c Babar Azam b Junaid Khan 1 (5b)
DAS Gunaratne 3 (9b)
There was a caught behind chance. Skipper Sarfraz asked the umpire to refer it to the third umpire who gave it not out considering the fumble by the wicket-keeper.
Three wickets in three overs. Amir gets both Mathews and Dickwella. The in-form Sri Lankan players under edges a ball straight to the keeper who doesn t miss.
Last wicket N Dickwella c †Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 73 (86b)
Overs 33: ANOTHER WICKET! This time it is Junaid Khan who gets the better of DM de Silva and caught by skipper Sarfraz.
Amir gets the breakthrough, Mathews departs for an important knock of 39 (54b).
Pakistan still needs to get Dickwella out who is on song playing at 73 (85b).
Asela Gunaratne 0 (3b)
Niroshan Dickwella 73 (85b)
In case of rain and no result, both sides will get one point each. Due to higher run-rate, Sri Lanka will move to the semis and play the match against the mighty England.
Current points table:
Overs 30: After the expensive over from M. Amir, Sri Lanka stand at 160/3. 77-run partnership between Dickwella and Mathews.
AD Mathews 38 (50b 2×4 1×6)
N Dickwella 73 (80b)
Overs 28: 60-run partnership between Mathews and Dickwella.
AD Mathews 28 (43b)
N Dickwella 67 (75b)
Overs 25: 43-run stand between Dickwella and Mathews! Sri Lanka are cruising along nicely with two of their key batsman scoring runs at a steady pace. Dickwella eying a century.
AD Mathews 18 (33b)
N Dickwella 62 (67b)
Overs 20: Hundred up! Cautious Sri Lanka looking to rebuild their innings with captain Angelo Mathews at the crease after double strike by Pakistan in just the matter of three deliveries. Sri Lanka 100/3
N Dickwella 50 (53b 3×4 0x6)
AD Mathews 6 (16b 0x4 0x6)
LD Chandimal b Fahim Ashraf 0 (2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00
Overs 15: Sri Lanka 83/2. Dangerous looking partnership broken by Hasan Ali. Mendis gone, Chandimal joins Dickwella in the middle.
LD Chandimal 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)
N Dickwella 41 (40b 3×4 0x6)
14.5: OUT! Hasan Ali takes the wicket of Mendis. Sri Lanka 82/2
BKG Mendis b Hasan Ali 27 (29b 4×4 0x6) SR: 93.10
Overs 10: Sri Lanka were 50/1 with run rate 5.00
N Dickwella 19 (21b 2×4 0x6)
BKG Mendis 17 (19b 3×4 0x6)
Kusal Mendis joins Dickwella at the crease.
Over 5.1: Gunathilaka gone. OUT, Malik took simple catch at mid-off off Junaid.
MD Gunathilaka c Shoaib Malik b Junaid Khan 13 (20b 2×4 0x6) SR: 65.00
Overs 5: A steady start by the Sri Lankan openers, both of them hit two boundaries apiece. Sri Lanka 26/0 in five overs.
Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka open batting for Sri Lanka to face the challenge of Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan.
Earlier, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed made one change in the playing eleven by bringing Faheem Ashraf in for Shadab Khan to add an extra seamer in place of a legspinner. He was of the opinion that “Straight boundaries are short, so didn’t want to risk a spinner.”