Asia Cup: Pakistan wins inconsequential match

Given a sporting wicket, Pakistan bowlers did well to contain the Sri Lankans. Then, the Pakistani batsmen, who were criticised for not performing well in the tournament, got together to see the team past the target.

Umar Akmal (left) and Shoaib Malik put on 56 runs for the fourth wicket in 6.1 overs.   -  AP

Tillakaratne Dilshan came back to form with an unbeaten 75.   -  AP

Dinesh Chandimal (in picture) replaced Angelo Mathews as Sri Lanka's skipper.   -  PTI

A good batting display by the top-order helped Pakistan overhaul the target of 151 and beat Sri Lanka by six wickets with four balls to spare. It posted its second win of the Asia Cup T20I here at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday. The inconsequential match concluded the league engagements.

Umar Akmal, who scored a fine 48 (37b, 4x4, 2x6), was the pick of the Pakistan batsmen. Sarfaraz Ahmed (38) and Sharjeel Khan (31) had given a good start to the run-chase. Given a sporting wicket, the Pakistan bowlers did well to contain the Sri Lankans.Then, the Pakistan batsmen, who were criticised for not performing well in the tournament, got together to see the team past the target.

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Akmal, who had had a forgettable tournament so far, did a fair bit of hitting and paired in a 56-run partnership with Shoaib Malik (13 not out) to bring Pakistan close to the target. Akmal got out trying to hit the winning run after seeing the scores tied. Pakistan made three changes, bringing in Wahab Riaz, Iftikar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz in place of Mohammad Sami, Khurram Manzoor and Anwar Ali in the team that lost to Bangladesh and crashed out of the tournament.

Earlier, Tillakaratne Dilshan’s return to form was the gain for Sri Lanka which scored 150 for four after being asked to bat by Pakistan. Dilshan enthralled a sparse gathering with a fine knock that revived images of his batting ability. Tackling a strong Pakistani attack with confidence, Dilshan scored a 56-ball 75 to give Sri Lankan batting stability, the absence of which had been the reason of its exit from the tournament.

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Dinesh Chandimal stood in as the skipper for Angelo Mathews after the latter was ruled out with a calf strain. Dilshan played the lead role in the opening partnership with Chandimal and the two forged a 110-run stand. Chandimal timed his shots well and struck seven boundaries and a six on his way to 58 (49 balls) before departing in the 15th over.

The unbeaten Dilshan struck 10 fours and a six to take the Sri Lankan score to 150.