Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2016, Mirpur March 4, 2016

Umar Akmal carries Pakistan to consolation win


Pakistan 151 for 4 (Umar Akmal 48, Sarfraz 38) beat Sri Lanka 150 for 4 (Dilshan 75*, Chandimal 58, Irfan 2-18) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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The first ball of the match, Mohammad Amir struck Dinesh Chandimal's pads with a late and quick inswinger, raising hopes of a contest. It panned out, however, into a dead rubber between two sides who made plenty of errors, with Pakistan chasing down 151 with six wickets in hand. The end was farcical, too, as Nuwan Kulasekara dropped a straightforward chance at mid-off from Shoaib Malik, to give away the winning run with four balls to spare.

Half the match was dominated by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who scored 75 not out. For the third time in T20Is, Dilshan finished unbeaten after opening the innings, the first opening batsman to do so in the format. His score accounted for half of Sri Lanka's total of 150 for 4, after he had survived a missed run-out opportunity and two dropped catches.

Pakistan timed their chase of 151 almost to perfection, despite losing Mohammad Hafeez early, helped along by cameos from Sharjeel Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed and Umar Akmal.

Sharjeel took four boundaries off Dushmantha Chameera in the sixth over, hitting him twice over mid-on, belting one to midwicket and squeezing a four past point. Two overs later, however, he was caught easily at long-on off Dilshan's bowling for a 24-ball 31 that had five fours and a six. Promoted to No. 3, Sarfraz bridged Sharjeel's burst with stability in the middle overs before Akmal and Malik added 56 runs for the fourth wicket. Akmal finished with 48 off 37 balls with four fours and two sixes before holing out to Thisara Perera at the long-off boundary with the scores level.

Earlier, Dilshan's innings could have ended when he was on 6, 7 and 64. In the fourth over, Mohammad Nawaz missed a direct hit from cover that could have found the batsman short of his ground. In the next over, Irfan dropped a simple catch running to his right from short fine-leg after Dilshan had top-edged a sweep off Shahid Afridi.

Later, in the 19th over, Dilshan top-edged a slog which flew towards Irfan at deep third-man but here, too, the fielder parried the ball down instead of completing the catch. Dilshan made the most of his early reprieves - he opened up after he was dropped the first time and left-arm spinner Nawaz bore the brunt of his attack.

Dilshan hammered him down the ground for three fours and a six in the sixth over. That 18-run over got Sri Lanka's innings up and running, as Dilshan and Chandimal added 110 runs for the first wicket. This was Sri Lanka's first 100-plus opening stand in T20Is since December 2013 and their third overall. Dilshan has been a common factor in all three partnerships.

After the attack on Nawaz, Dilshan used the pace of Wahab Riaz and Irfan to gather fours, and then played a slog and reverse-scoop off Amir. Chandimal tried the scoop once in the 11th over but mostly chose a conventional mode of attack. He got four fours through the covers, two behind the wicket and like Dilshan, struck Nawaz for a straight six.

Their partnership was broken in the 15th over when Chandimal pulled straight to Sharjeel at short midwicket, after making 58 runs with seven fours and the six.

Amir had an off day after a magnificent first over but, for all his fielding histrionics, it was Irfan who had the best bowling figures with 2 for 18 from his four overs. He was incisive in the 18th over, bowling Chamara Kapugedara and Dasun Shanaka out in the space of three balls.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ahmed on March 7, 2016, 10:42 GMT

    wind,pak,sri all three once power horse of cricket are undergoing rebuilding process and it will take a long time to be at top level.their boards too are not competitive enough and selection criteria is also wayward so the fans have to be long have been kiwis playing cricket but no significant performance except just winning champions trophy they are catching up .their fans are remarkable they never criticize their team heavily .bang has such a poor record among all test playing countries but its good to see them turning into a fighting unit.

  •   Raj Gunawardena on March 6, 2016, 20:21 GMT

    PK was the better team of the day. Congratz for pk. Well SL needs to make middle order stronger in WC. Should bring in Tharanga instead of these sheshan, shanuka which just waste the opportunities they get. Also i think they should consider thisara to open with dili (both dili and sanath were lower order batsmans prior to become openers). also bowling lacks experience & variation. They should bring lakmal or senanayake depending on the pitch as well. If they continue to experiment with players like dasun n sheshan, till 2020 even SL will nto be able to win a series other than a match or two here n their.

  • Sage on March 6, 2016, 15:03 GMT

    I keep saying what Sri Lankan cricket team lacks is intelligence. It was good match and SL should have won it but Chandimal's captaincy was horrible. The trend of negative play since Mahela then Sanga and Angelo keeps continuing. Why on earth bring Shehan and Dasun to bowl instead of Chameera? Sachithra did not get a single match and what do expect when you have pedestrian bowling attack. I thing SL should get rid of Angelo camp, Malinga camp etc. They will never succeed until they play like a team. There is no bond with the players. The transition period is to long... it has been for couple of years now. Don't give excuses it's time to perform. No consistency in batting, bowling or fielding. I wonder what the coaches are doing. Other teams find talent bit SL is only good at giving excuses. Well the World Cup T20 is near and keeps on giving excuses and kiss the cup good bye.

  • Raj on March 6, 2016, 6:36 GMT

    Top 3 is problem for Pakistan , I think Pakistan should open with 1 )Ahmed Shezad with 2 & 3 Sarfraz or Hafeez 4) Umar Akmal 5) Shoaib Malik ,6 ) have many option Babar Azam , Mohd Rizwan , Shoaib Maqsood 7)Imad Wasim or a good allrounder , Bowling Amir , Umar Gul , Irfan, Junaid Khan. & where is Harris Sohail . Please create a situation where is bench strength is very good.

  •   Nilanka Harshana on March 6, 2016, 2:30 GMT

    If sri lanka thinks to be atleast competitive in wt20, they should revise their strategies. Need batsman like danushka at onedown and spinner like mendis along with herath in the team. Shanaka, jayasuriya, senanayake and vandesay are all passengers. So desparate to see to ged rid of proven failures. Shanaka and shehan needs much work before playing in worldcup tournment

  • S on March 5, 2016, 21:00 GMT

    Aamir impressed me but the umpiring didn't. SL is a great team but had to suffer because of it and bad loses

  •   Bobshaniquacortezez Luistyrrere on March 5, 2016, 20:05 GMT

    Playing XI should be: 1) Salman Butt 2) Shahid Afridi 3) Sarfraz Ahmed 4) Umar Akmal 5) Shoaib Malik 6) Hasan Moshin 7) Imad Wasim 8) Mohammad Irfan 9) Mohammad Asif 10) Mohammad Amir 11) Sadaf Hussain

  • Wajahat on March 5, 2016, 19:22 GMT

    Pakistan will win this WCT20 for sure...

  • Idrees on March 5, 2016, 17:47 GMT

    @fawadalam4lyfe Sami can't bowl at the death overs, and that's the problem. With Irfan, Amir, Wahab I doubt we need Sami. He's done decent but not enough to warrant a start, plus his lines are often wayward. I don't want J Khan to replace him, he's still good enough for the squad but the problem is that in India spinners are going to thrive - in which we have an out of form Afridi and Imad who didn't even play but has been so good for us in T20s. No chance to win it, but we can go far

  • sam on March 5, 2016, 16:52 GMT

    Some of the comments by some of my fellow Indians are completely illogical. Hardik Pandya though mighty talented (I have never been this excited about an Indian player since Ashwin in 2011-12) is still very raw. To compare him to a truly great fast bowling talent like Amir is uncalled for and even belies comparison. There is a very good reason why Pandya doesn't get the new ball (he is still not good enough to open the bowling in international cricket). I think he is more talented than even Mitch Marsh but he has to work very hard to fulfil his talent in both batting and bowling. Hope he fulfils his talent and becomes a world class all-rounder in all forms of the game. And hope Amir becomes the great bowler he was meant to be. By the way, Jasprit Bumrah seams the ball both ways and is unplayable on a green pitch. He is a very good bowler (but please don't compare him to Amir) and very under-rated. If he uses his left-arm more then he can gain another yard of pace and become even better

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