Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Group B, Cardiff June 12, 2017

Amir, Junaid blow through SL middle order

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mohammad Amir struck twice and saw a catch dropped in a sharp spell © Getty Images

With Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella forging a solid fourth-wicket stand, Sri Lanka were well set for an imposing total in their winner-takes-all showdown with Pakistan on 161 for 3 in the 32nd over. Then the ball was returned to the left-arm duo of Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan. The game changed quickly. Here's how.

31.2 Mohammad Amir to Mathews, OUT, first wicket of the tournament for Amir and what a big scalp this is. Skiddy length ball angling across Mathews, who looks to hop back and whip this to midwicket. Was late on the shot as the ball deflected off a thin inside edge onto the stumps.

32.3 Junaid Khan to de Silva, OUT, this is a ripper of a delivery! Dhananjaya's vigil didn't even last as long as it did for him to hop onto the plane after boarding was announced. Angles a length delivery that nips away off the seam. Dhananjaya, who should have been pushing forward, makes the cardinal sin of defending from the crease as the ball kisses the shoulder of the bat and through to Sarfraz. Big moment in the game .

33.1 Mohammad Amir to Dickwella, OUT, sensational catch from Sarfraz! He was moving to his left and had to suddenly change direction as Dickwella got a thick inside edge. It flew low to Sarfraz who put his left glove low to his left to pull off a stunner. Hadn't taken a wicket in the tournament coming into today's game, now he has two in two and two big wickets. That of the two set batsmen. Sri Lanka are on a freefall here.

33.5 Mohammad Amir to Gunaratne, no run, Dropped! Looks to cut a full ball but gets a thick edge that flies low to Sarfraz's right. He moves instinctively to collect the catch. All good until then. But as he turned to complete the catch, he lost control and the ball bobbled out of the glove. Things happening. What a spell. He knew it wasn't a clean catch, perhaps and went up immediately. Superb reflexes nevertheless. Had it in his grasp till he lost control once the elbows hit the ground.

34.6 Junaid Khan to Perera, OUT, they're swinging Sri Lanka out of the competition or what? This is some stunning bowling. Floats this ahead of length on off, the ball deviates ever-so-slightly as Thisara looks to flay this away from the body, gets a thick edge that is taken superbly in front of his face by Babar at a wide first slip.

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  •   cricfan39752854 on June 14, 2017, 16:49 GMT

    How are you putting the win against India just of luck? This shows how far you are going to disgrace the achievement of Mathew. Even Kohli said well played to SL team. If you are so obsessed with one player an can not appreciate other players achivement and talents, please stop being a criket fan. It is a team game, not about one player.

  •   cricfan39752854 on June 14, 2017, 16:35 GMT

    You are defying your own logic mate. 1st match was played in a fresh wicket. It was the most batting friendly wicket. In 3rd match Pakistan were 74 for no loss and then Srilanka came back to winning positions thanks to bowlers and Captaincy. Unfortunately fielding let it down. How far can you go to disgrace Mathew's achievement against India. It wasn't luck. It was the pure talent (which Tharanga lacks) of Danushka, Mendis, KJP, Mathews, Asela to chase a huge total like that. Thanks god UT was banned otherwise after Dickwella's departure SL could have been 2 down for nothing. Above of all, Mathews satyed in the wicket till the end to see off the chase. That is captain for you. He has done this 100 times.

  • NamalJaya on June 14, 2017, 15:17 GMT

    Again SL batters couldn't put up 250 runs on the board collectively to win this match, despite 73 scored by the remained Opener ND (of most productive/consistent SL opening pair UpulT/NiroshD found after 3 years of futile experiments). This pair has SL' best batting rankings in 2017 ( 1)Tharanga: 365 runs/Av 41/ SR91/ 1x100 & 2x 50+ from 9 odis & (2) Dickwella : 318 runs/ Av 39/SR 102/ 3x 50+ from 8 odis.

    This pair had consistently given 4 quickfire 1st wkt upfront launching pads from 5 innings played together (139 @ 9 rpo vs SA/ 69 @ 8 rpo vs SA/ 60 @ 5 rpo vs SA/ 45 @ 8 rpo vs SA).

    Unfortunately for SL this pair was disrupted again for the 2nd time in 6 months (first ND was band during t20 series in Aus for 2 matches and then got injured, missing BD series) and now the SL's most productive batter Tharanga was virtually eliminated from CT, due to harsh 2 match band fell on him after 1st match Vs SA where he was the highest scorer 57, but 5 batters failed to collect 96 to Win it.

  • CRICFAN564789 on June 14, 2017, 15:10 GMT

    Let me ask you, What was the match played on least difficult wicket for batting (officially stated as less than 3 on a scale of 10) so far saw in this CT tournament to date? Are you saying winning the toss to chase on such a deck that had virtually taken out bowling venom out of the equation is not a huge stroke of LUCK? No matter who skippered, If India batted 2nd they would have chased even a target of 400+ on that deck against SL bowlers. That is the reality based on something called pure logic.

    The best proof for this is on much more difficult wickets in relative terms completely blunted the same set of brittle batters to their pathetic low & slow scores (such as Oval strip had for the game vs SA & most recent deck Vs Pk compared to the lucky batting paradise got vs India).

    Are u saying SL would have had even a remote chance to dream a win against such a formidable Indian side on anything other than a dead flat deck similar to one that we got?

    What is it if not defying.?

  •   cricfan39752854 on June 14, 2017, 14:40 GMT

    It was you defying all the fact to blame Mathews. It was 200% clear that, after Mathew take to responsibility, team did a great job. not like 1st match. I don't have to defy any fact. Upul Thranga didn't play any match winning knock after his come back. Just few fifties here and there. Look how well Danushka played against India to win the match for us. Tharanga can not hide behind Dickwella each time, he got to win matches for Sri Lanka or leave it to someone like Danushka.

  • CRICFAN564789 on June 14, 2017, 14:34 GMT

    @Cricfan39752854: Comparisons at a glance FYI:

    Record as Openers in 2017:

    - Upul Tharanga : 8 in/ 359 r/ 44.87 av/ 119 HS/ 93 SR/ 1 x100/2x50

    - D Gunathilake: 5 in/ 132 r /26.40 av /76 HS / 91 SR/ 1x50

    Comparison of Captaincy:

    - Under Mathews: SL LOST 82 % of his series / Won just 13 % & Drew 5%

    - Under Tharanga: SL Lost 20 % of his series/ Won 40 % & Drew 40 %

    Mathew's as skipper: Total Series 22 / Lost 18/ Won 3/ Drew 1. Tharanga's as skipper: Total Series 5 / Lost 18/ Won 3/ Drew 1

    Just 20% of UT's series ended in a defeat & 40% Won - easily it could have been 60% if not for that unfortunate 2nd Odi wash out in Dambulla that averted a certain win Vs BD to seal that series!

  • CRICFAN564789 on June 14, 2017, 14:13 GMT

    @Cricfan39752854: Why try to defy logic/ stats & facts with a string of lies? Tharanga is the the Top ranking SL odi batter in 2017 once he got his Opening position back after 3 yrs: 8 in/ 359 r/ 44.87 av/ 93 SR/ 1 x100/2x50

    In the 1st game Vs SA after restricting mighty SA to 299, SL had extremely healthy 94 runs for 2 wkts on the board in just 11 overs thanks to Openers Upul Tharanga & Dickwella. Having scored that much runs @ almost 9 runs per over in 11th over, chasing 299 should have been a cake walk at that stage as anyone could see. In-fact, if not for the 3 wkts (Mendis- 11/ Chandimal - 12 runs @ 57 SR/ Kapugedara-0 ) fell like a pack of cards for 23 runs within next 6 overs, the match could have ended in an easy win for SL. Tharanga was well set to score another 100 at that stage with 32 runs (5x4) @ 110 SR when Mendis got out & had scored 45 runs @ 93 SR when 4th wkt fell in 18th ovr. KJP took 30 b to score 15 @50 SR costed UT's & Asela's wkts trying to catch up RR !

  •   cricfan39752854 on June 14, 2017, 6:03 GMT

    CRICFAN564789 : It was Tharanga who was responsible to this defeat starting the tornament with so much negativity. At least he could not even bowl 50 overs within the given time. All saw what happened in the 2nd match with India after Mathew took the responsibility. He almost defended 235 in a batting friendly 300+ pitch against Pakistan as well. Loss due to bad fielding. Since you have talk about Danushka, I can say this. Danushka did what Upul Tharanga couldn't for after his come back in last year. That is, playing a match winning inning. To be honest Tharanga did nothing as a opener except that sloggy 119 against South Africa in losing course. Can't find a single match winning knock during past year from Tharanga. If Danushka can perform like that consistently we can get rid of useless Tharanga.

  • Ghalib on June 13, 2017, 3:53 GMT

    If South Africa lost to SL they wont have lost to Pk and India. First loss would have been a reality check for their plans and in hindsight that would have been ideal.

    South Africa's demise stems from the fact that they lost to England twice and once by 2 runs. They will still remain in top 2 in terms of ODI ranking. SL will need to compete with Pakistan and WI to ensure they qualify for the WC 2019. Bangladesh is safe in top 6 right now and they should be able to beat India if there are so internal interference from the board.

  • cricfan70256478 on June 13, 2017, 3:38 GMT

    Another bizzare mistake by Mathews sending Gunaratne at 5 down. Turned the game.

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