Asia Cup Final: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai & Jayanta Oinam
Over 46.2 || Score 261/5
Lankan skipper Mathews played Talha for a double to seal the match for his side. And with that Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by five wickets to lift the Asia Cup. Riding on the century of Thirimanne, Sri Lanka chased the challenging total of 261 runs with an ease. Mahela, who was out of form, too contributed well with the bat and stitched a crucial partnership of 156 runs for the third wicket with Thirimanne to make sure that SL chased the target quite comfortably.
Over 45 || Score 248/5
Opener Thirimanne placed Junaid Khan's yorker on the on side to pick a single and with that the talented southpaw scored his third ODI ton. This hundred couldn't have come at a better time. He reached the landmark in 106 balls, with the help of 13 boundaries. What a match-winning knock by him. Lanka need 13 runs in 30 balls and they have five wickets in hand.
But soon after completing his hundred, he became the victim of Ajmal.
HDRL Thirimanne b Saeed Ajmal 101 (108b)
Over 40 || Score 224/3
Lanka are on the verge of winning the Asia Cup as they required mere 37 runs to win the match in the last ten overs. In between SL lost Mahela in the 38th over off Talha when he tried to launch the bowler for a six but couldn't manage to connect it well and Sharjeel Khan took a good catch in the end. Mahela got out after scoring 75 runs in 93 balls. But opener Thirimanne is still at the crease and need five runs to complete his hundred.
DPMD Jayawardene c Sharjeel Khan b Mohammad Talha 75 (93b)
Over 35 || Score 193/2
Mahela smashed Gul for a boundary in the 34th over to complete his fifty in style. He used 76 deliveries to reach the mark, lacked with five fours and a six. Pakistani bowlers are looking off-colour now as both the batsmen are taking their team close to victory with an effortless batting display. Opener Thirimanne is just 15 runs shy of his hundred. Sri Lanka required 68 runs to win the Asia Cup in 15 overs.
Over 30 || Score 164/2
Ajmal and Gul have been brought back into the attack as Pakistan desperately need a couple of wickets now. Lanka crossed the 150-run mark in the 27th over. The third fifty came in mere 53 balls for the Islanders. Lanka need 97 runs in remaining 20 overs to seal the match and tournament and they have eight wickets in hand.
Over 25 || Score 145/2
Opener Thirimanne completed his 7th ODI fifty in the 23rd over bowled by Talha. Both the batsmen in the middle are ticking singles and doubles regularly and even collected boundaries at regular intervals. The match is now slipping away from the hands of Pakistan. They need to break this partnership as soon as possible to get back into the match.
Over 20 || Score 105/2
Jayawardene is targeting Afridi. He first collected a boundary of him in the 16th over and then launched the bowler for a maximum over cow corner in his next over. Jayawardene is looking solid at the crease and Thirimanne is giving him a good company. They have added fifty runs for the third wicket and with that Lanka have crossed the mark of hundred runs.
Over 15 || Score 80/2
Jayawardene has come to the middle to join Thirimanne after the fall of Sangakkara's wicket. Both of them are playing cautiously after loosing two wickets in back-to-back deliveries. Experienced middle-order Jayawardene is not in best of his forms, so it's a good chance for him to spend some time in the middle and play a match-winning knock for his team to boost his confidence. On other end, Thirimanne is collected boundaries at regular intervals.
Over 11 || Score 62/2
Ajmal is on a roll here. Lanka lost two wickets in consecutive balls. Ajmal first fooled dangerous Perera, who stepped out to launch the off-spinner for a six and Umar dislodged the bails within a flash, and then, in the next ball he trapped the man in-form, Kumar Sangakkara, in front of the wicket. Pakistan is back in game. What an over by Ajmal.
KC Sangakkara lbw b Saeed Ajmal 0 (1b)
MDKJ Perera st Umar Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 42 (37b)
Over 10 || Score 56/0
In the seventh over Pak skipper has done the first bowling change when he introduced Junaid Khan. And in the very next over he gave the ball to off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. Ajmal bowled a maiden over first-up to build some pressure on the Lankan openers. But Pakistan haven't got breakthrough yet. Perera is taking his chances and has quickly moved to 42 in mere 36 balls. And Lanka have crossed the mark of 50 runs in the 10th over.
Over 5 || Score 25/0
A solid start by the Sri Lankan openers. They have scored 25 runs in the first five overs without losing a wicket. Perera and Thirimanne both are playing confidently and are scoring boundaries of loose balls. Whereas, Pakistan is still hunting for their first wicket.
Over 2 || Score 7/0
Hafeez bowled an excellent first over and gave just one run. Umar Gul who is sharing the new ball with Hafeez conceded a boundary in the very first ball as Perera smashed him over cover region. Six runs came from the second over.
Mohammed Hafeez is once again opening the bowling proceedings for Pakistan whereas, M Perera and H Thirimanne are in the middle to start the chase for Sri Lanka.
Over 50 || Score 260/5
Riding on the maiden ODI hundred from the southpaw Fawad, Pakistan set a respectable total of 260 in the stipulated fifty overs. Umar and Fawad stitched 115-run partnership for the fifth wicket, which helped the defending champions to take their score past 250. Now it's time for the Pakistan bowlers to defend this total to lift the trophy second time in a row.
Umar Akmal c Priyanjan b Malinga 59 (42b)
Over 48 || Score 243/4
Akmal is on a roll here, he collected three boundaries off Malinga in the 47th over. In the next over, Fawad smacked Perera for a six to complete his maiden ODI hundred in style. He took mere 126 balls to reached the landmark with the help of six fours and three sixes. In between, Umar also completed his fifty. They are smashing Lankan bowlers all over the park.
Over 45 || Score 202/4
Fawad and Umar Akmal both are looking for big shots now. In the 41st over Umar smashed two boundaries off Perera. And then in the next over bowled by Lakmal, Fawad launched a six and then scored a boundary to collect 14 runs from the over. Malinga has been called back into the attack. And in the next two overs Lankan bowlers gave just 12 runs in total. Malinga needs one more wicket to complete his five-for in this match as he has already scalped four. Meanwhile, Pakistan have crossed the mark of 200 runs. Fawad is just 12 runs shy of his hundred.
Over 40 || Score 159/4
With 60 balls left in the innings, Pakistan batsmen will try to score some quick runs to give their bowlers a decent total defend. A 250+ score is still possible with Afridi still to come.
For Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga's next four overs will be crucial. In the slog overs, anything can happen.
Over 36.4 || Score 140/4
Malinga returns. And a wicket.
Superb bowling change from the Sri Lankan skipper to bring back Malinga during the second power-play.
Misbah, who was batting with flawless application so far, tried to loft the ball straight but failed to mistimed it, for Kushal Perera to complete the catch.
Misbah-ul-Haq c Thisara Perera b Lasith Malinga 65 (98b)
Misbah's dream of scoring an ODI hundred failed once again, all for the team's cause.
The fourth-wicket partnership, lasting 32.1 overs, produced 122 runs.
In the last five overs, Pakistan have score 29 runs at a rate of 5.80, thanks to some intelligent stroke plays form both the batsmen.
The duo has so far played 30.3 overs posting a partnership of 107 runs. A good fight back from the batting team.
Over 35 || Score 125/3
It seems, Pakistani batsmen have realised the meaning of urgency. After the 30th over, both the batsmen have started to handle the bowlers differently.
On the last of the 31st over, Misbah-ul-Haq swept hard Chaturanga de Silva's off-target ball towards short fine leg for a boundary. It was his fifty, a well made one.
Fawad Alam, who was dropped by Kumar Sangakkara four balls earlier, reached his second consecutive fifty on the 33.2 over, with a single off Thisara Perera towards point.
Over 31.1 || Score 100/3
Hundred up for Pakistan.
Misbah-ul-Haq swept a bad delivery from Chaturanga de Silva towards short fine leg for a boundary. It brought up the 100th run for the batting side.
And with that shot, he also reached 45.
Over 30 || Score 96/3
In the last five overs, Sri Lanka have conceded only 15 runs. A good period for the bowling side.
For Pakistan, after that horrendous start to the innings, it was mandatory to build the innings.
And it has slowed down the scoring rate.
Over 25 || Score 81/3
In the last five overs, Pakistan have scored 24 runs – a productive period for the batting side.
And leading the resurrection is their skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq unbeaten on 32 from 59 balls, including a four and and a six. Giving him company is Fawad Alam, on 31 from 65 balls. The 28-year-old has three boundaries in his total.
With half the overs played out, one of these players has to start attacking the bowlers. Anything below 250 will not be enough against a batting line-up which has the likes of Sangakkara and Jayawardene.
Over 22.1 || Score 71/3
Fawad Alam punched a Angelo Mathews delivery for a boundary towards mid-off to bring up a 50-run partnership with his skipper.
A ball earlier -- the last ball of the 21st over, Misbah-ul-Haq lofted a Thisara Perera length ball for a six, over the over deep midwicket boundary.
Over 20 || Score 56/3
Both the batsmen, on 19 runs each, have stopped Sri Lanka from making further inroads. But Pakistani batsmen will still need a herculean task to post a fighting total. Their current run rate is 2.76.
Among the Sri Lankan bowlers, Sachithra Senanayake has been the most expensive. The right arm off-break bowler has conceded 13 runs from his two overs.
Over 18 || Score 50/3
50 up for Pakistan.
The partnership is worth 31 runs now, from 80 balls at a soring rate of 2.32 per over. Misbah-ul-Haq has contributed 13 while Fawad Alam has a share of 17 in it.
In between, Angelo Mathews is in the middle of a splendid spell. In his three overs, the Sri Lankan skipper has conceded only 4 runs, including a maiden over.
Over 15 || Score 40/3
Two successive maiden overs (12th and 13th), one each from Thisara Perer and skipper Angelo Mathews, have seemingly stalled the Pakistan innings.
Despite their current plight, Pakistan can still hope for a good total to defend. And in Mirpur, Pakistan have won 11 matches out of 16. Certainly some favourable stats... irrespective of the opponents.
Strangely, Sri Lankans have also an more than impressive record here. Played 12 times, won 10.
Over 10 || Score 28/3
After that Malinga burst, the proceedings in the centre have slowed down a bit.
For the batting side, Misbah-ul-Haq and talented Fawad Alam are negotiating a confident and boisterous Sri Lanka fielding team. This is the perfect setting for the Pakistan skipper to score a hundred -- his first one in the ODIs, and lead the fightback.
This partnership will be crucial to the outcome of the match. If Misbah and Fawad manage to stay for a substantially period, they can still post a fighting total... with Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi still to come.
Suranga Lakmal, who shared the new ball with Malinga, has completed half of his quota 10 overs. In these five overs, he has conceded only 10 runs, with two maidens to boot. His role, as a supporting bowler, has been impressive one.
Over 4.3 || Score 18/3
Malinga show in on!
The Sri Lankan fast bowler has reduced the Pakistani batting line-up to a pack of jokers.
This time, it's the experienced Mohammad Hafeez. The Pakistani batsman was undone by a Malinga beauty.
Another catch for veteran Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps.
Mohammad Hafeez c Kumar Sangakkara b Lasith Malinga 3 (13b)
With this wicket, Malinga has become one of the leading wicket takers along with compatriot, Ajantha Mendis in the tournament. 9 scalps.
If the opening fixture of the tournament is to be considered, Malinga will be back... towards the end of the innings, even more hungrier for wickets. His five for 52 in the match set the tone for Sri Lanka in this tournament.
Over 2.6 || Score 17/2
Another wicket for Malinga. Again, in the last ball of an over.
The in-form Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad departs while trying to manufacture an adventurous shot off a wayward Malinga delivery.
Ahmed Shehzad c Kumar Sangakkara b Lasith Malinga 5 (7b)
Over 1.6 || Score 8/1
First over, two fours and a wicket. What a start to the final.
Sharjeel Khan, who started the innings with a fine cover drive for four runs and another boundary from the third ball off Lasith Malinga failed to contain his emotions. Perished off the last ball of the opening over.
Thisara Perera took a cool catch at mid-on.
Sharjeel Khan c Thisara Perera b Lasith Malinga 8 (6b)
This is the 15th time that Malinga has got a wicket in the first over, and for the first time in this tournament. Slinger never fails to impress.
Sharjeel Khan and Junaid Khan in for Sohaib Maqsood and Abdur Rehman respectively for Pakistan. And despite all the worries, a fit Shahid Afridi keeps his place in the playing XI.
A bit of surprise from the Lankans. Ajantha Mendis is not starting, in his place Lasith Malinga, who was rested in the previous match, will play.
Here are the teams:
Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Talha, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan
Sri Lanka: Kushal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Ashan Priyanjan, Angelo Mathews (c), Chaturanga de Silva, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga
Misbah-ul-Haq has won the toss and Pakistan will bat first.
Mirpur: So finally, the finale has arrived.
And deservedly so, the two best teams in the continent have earned the rights to play in the summit clash here in Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.
En route to the final, Sri Lankans have won all their league games. While Pakistan, barring their opening match defeat to the Islanders, have showed why they are considered a force to reckon with in the cricketing world.
In fact, the defending champions Pakistan have played some scintillating matches, including that thriller against arch-rivals India.
For Sri Lanka, it`s been a smooth sail so far.
In such a situation, it`s only advisable not to pick a favourite. Both the teams have enough fire-powers, match-winners in their respective ranks. So, it will only be a matter of a day. A good day, or a bad day!
Despite the ensemble of hosts of talented youngsters, the fight will still be between the battle-hardened old war-horses. And both the teams have enough of such stalwarts.
Sri Lanka, the four-time winners, still have the imperious Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga.
For Pakistan, it`s been Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq have been pivotal in their impressive performance so far.
Yet, there will be enough room for the youngsters to contribute their mite or even steal the show from their senior pros.
Well, this could be the perfect stage for any of them to launch their career into international fame and glory.
For the records, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played each other 12 times in the finals, with each side winning six times.