ICC Champions Trophy: Wasim Akram hails Pakistan's brilliant win over Sri Lanka

Esther Moore
June 12, 2017

For Pakistan, Junaid Khan (3/40) and Hasan Ali (3/43) claimed three wickets each, while Mohammad Amir (2/53) and Fahim Ashraf (2/37) took two wickets each.

Expectedly, there was the Pakistan wobble in the middle order, and had Sri Lanka hung onto their catches - Sarfraz Ahmed was dropped twice, one an absolute dolly by Thisara Perera - the result would have been completely different.

Pakistan have now beaten Sri Lanka in 10 of the 11 matches they've played against one another in ICC One-Day International tournaments, and it's little wonder when the latter crumbles such as they did on Monday.

Sarfraz rebuilt the innings and ultimately guided his team to a famous victory, though Sri Lanka will rue two costly drops when the Pakistan captain was put down on 38 and 40 in consecutive Lasith Malinga overs.

Hasan Ali, Pakistan's best bowler in this ICC Champions Trophy by some distance, was impressive again, getting the ball to move after pitching and causing plenty of problems for the Sri Lanka batsmen.

Pakistan's hopes of making further early in-roads were dashed, though, as Dickwella and Kusal Mendis impressively went about their work, mixing raw attacking aggression with subtle shots on both sides of the wicket as they compiled a confident second-wicket partnership.

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Fahim Ashraf then marked his one-day global debut by dismissing Dinesh Chandimal for a second-ball duck when he dragged an attempted cover drive on to the stumps.

But then the innings began to crumple.

Pakistan make it to the semis on the back of a sloppy performance by Sri Lanka on Monday.

Dickwella and Mathews patiently rebuilt, the former going through to a fine 52-ball half century, but then suddenly the innings unravelled in the face of some inspired seam bowling - Mathews the first to go, chopping a quicker, skiddier Amir delivery onto his stumps.

Pakistan achieved 237 runs off 44.5 overs with seven wickets lost, as Sarfraz brilliant unbeaten knock of 61 off 79, earned him the "man of the match".

As Mohammad Amir bowled to Asela Gunaratne, the Sri Lankan edged it before Sarfraz dived to catch the ball. However, captain Sarfraz Ahmed played a captain's knock and was ably supported by Mohammad Amir to win the contest by three wickets.

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