New Delhi: Pakistan finally broke the shackles with the bat and emerged victorious against Sri Lanka in the ongoing Asia Cup Twenty20 on Friday, being held at Shere Bangla National Stadium Mirpur, Dhaka.
Important innings from Sharjeel Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Umar Akmal helped Pakistan chase down the Sri Lankan target pretty convincingly in the end. They won the game by six wickets.
Sri Lanka, who were put into bat by Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, managed to score 150 runs from 20 overs. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal rode for the island nation, with knocks of 75* and 58 runs respectively.
Dilshan showed flashes of his former self and hit a timely knock as he and Chandimal dictated the proceedings at ease.
The Lankans, who were cruising at 110/0 off 14 overs, lost their way from there on after managing to score just 40 runs from last six overs. Wahab Riaz got the crucial wicket of Chandimal and from there on the Pakistan side made inroads to pick timely wickets and dent the Lankan progression.
Mohammad Irfan was the pick of the bowlers with 2/18 of his four overs. Although the Pakistani pacer was guilty of dropping two easy catches in the match including that of Dilshan.
Pakistan looked like the second best side for most of the Sri Lankan innings, but the way they came back should be lauded to restrict their opponents for 150 runs.
Interestingly the pitch on Friday looked to assist the batsmen which hadn't been the case so far up till Friday.
In the chase, Pakistan got off to a promising start and notched up 50 runs in the powerplay overs. Despite losing Mohammad Hafeez for 14 runs, Sharjeel Khan and Sarfaraz Ahmed made sure they made the use of the conditions wisely and were positive. Both played a breezy innings which included 11 fours and a six between them.
Pakistan were 94/3 after 13 overs and Umar Akmal alongside Shoaib Malik got into the act and guided the team to victory.
Akmal, who hit a stunning six to level scores in the 19th over, was caught out in the deep with a splendid catch by Thisara Perera after going for a big shot again. Akmal scored a well made 48 runs to ensure Pakistan got through the line.
Shaoib Malik hit the winning runs and there were smiles all over for Pakistan who were definitely the better side on the day.