12th match, Cardiff

Pakistan v Sri Lanka

Richard Gibson

At Cardiff, June 12. Pakistan won by three wickets. Toss: Pakistan. One-day international debut: Fahim Ashraf.
A thrilling match between Group B's less-fancied sides hinged on two missed chances towards the end of a nerve-ridden chase. With 43 required, and Pakistan seven down, Tissara Perera floored a sitter at mid-on to reprieve Sarfraz Ahmed; four runs later, Sarfraz was dropped again, a tougher chance as the substitute Seekkuge Prasanna careered in from deep square leg. The despairing bowler on both occasions was Malinga, probably taking his final bow on the world stage. Less than five overs later, Pakistan were celebrating a gloriously erratic win, thanks to an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 75 between Sarfraz and Mohammad Amir. Earlier, Amir had struck equally vital blows with the ball, as he and Junaid Khan claimed four for six between them - including Dickwella for a stylish 73 - to reduce Sri Lanka to 167 for seven. Eventually set 237, Pakistan were given a breezy start by Fakhar Zaman's 34-ball half-century, only for Pradeep Fernando to chip away. When the luckless debutant Fahim Ashraf was run out at the non-striker's end via Perera's fingertips, they had lost seven for 88. Yet Amir proved unflappable, Sarfraz rode his luck, and Sri Lanka degenerated amid a succession of misfields, overthrows and those two drops. As Mathews cursed his side's frailty, Pakistan prepared for a semi-final against England - on the same pitch.
Man of the Match: Sarfraz Ahmed.

© John Wisden & Co.