After a solid performance by their batsmen, Pakistan Under-19s turned in a superb bowling display to beat Sri Lanka Under-19s by 83 runs in the first match of the pre-World Cup tri-series in Colombo.
After Sri Lanka elected to field, there were some initial jitters for Pakistan as Ahmed Shehzad and Umair Mir fell in quick succession to leave their team at 31 for 2. Umar Amin, who anchored the innings with a sedate 68, was then involved in a run-a-ball 70-run stand with Umar Akmal, who did the bulk of the scoring in the partnership. Akmal carted eight boundaries in his 40-ball 41 before being bowled by medium-pacer Ishara Jayaratne.
A patient 42 from Ali Asad was followed by aggressive contributions from Usman Salahuddin (41 off 40) and captain Imad Wasim (21 off 16) as Pakistan finished on a competitive 256 for 5. Left-arm medium-pacer Chathura Peiris was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers taking 3 for 43 in his ten overs.
The hosts' chase received an early jolt when Dilshan Munaweera was bowled by Adil Raza in the first over. Pakistan struck at regular intervals and a 20-run stand for the fourth wicket was the highest Sri Lanka managed for their first eight wickets. By the 22nd over, they were reduced to a hopeless 79 for 8. Peiris, coming in at No. 10, then slammed a 52-ball 62 but it was to no avail as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 173 in the 40th over. Mohammad Rameez was the most effective Pakistan bowler and had excellent returns of 10-1-31-3.
The tournament, also featuring England, sees each side take on the others twice before the final on February 1. Pakistan face England in the next match on Thursday.