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Khalid Latif leads Pakistan to bronze

Pakistan 141 for 4 (Latif 53*) beat Sri Lanka 135 (Kulatunga 31) by six wickets
Scorecard

Pakistan won bronze at the Asian Games by thumping Sri Lanka by six wickets in the third-place play-off in Guangzhou. Pakistan captain, Khalid Latif, who is their only player with international experience, made an unbeaten half-century and combined with 19-year-old Bilawal Bhatti, who hadn't played any Twenty20s before this tournament, for a quick 56-run stand that completed the victory with two overs to spare.

"It was important to stay at the wicket till the end," Latif said after the win, "something I could not do against Afghanistan, but managed it today against a top side like Sri Lanka. Of course we would have wanted to win the gold medal, but at least we will go home with a bronze."

Sri Lanka's batting has let them down in their previous two matches, but they began confidently on Friday after choosing to bat, with the experienced pair of Nuwan Zoysa and Jeevantha Kulatunga putting on 52. Zoysa, who played 30 Tests for Sri Lanka as a left-arm seamer, has opened the innings for them in the Asian Games, and made a run-a-ball 24, while Kulatunga raced to 31. However, Sri Lanka frittered away the solid beginning as all their other batsmen, barring Dilshan Munaweera (28), made single-digit scores.

Sri Lanka kept their hopes of a medal with some regular breakthroughs. Any worries Pakistan had after they slipped to 85 for 4, though, were eased by Latif, who smashed three sixes in an over off legspinner Malinga Bandara. Bhatti finished off the match in style, with a six off Zoysa, which meant Sri Lanka will return empty-handed.

Sri Lankan captain Jehan Mubarak dismissed suggestions that his team, with 11 international players in their ranks, took the tournament lightly. "Not at all, we all wanted to win, but I think we did not adapt to the conditions quickly enough," he said.

Pakistan 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st7Sharjeel KhanSheharyar Ghani
2nd50Khalid LatifSheharyar Ghani
3rd5Khalid LatifAkbar-ur-Rehman
4th23Khalid LatifNaeemuddin
5th56Khalid LatifBilawal Bhatti