Pakistan finally pulled off another win in Asia Cup 2016 © AFP (File Photo)
Pakistan finally pulled off another win in Asia Cup 2016 © AFP (File Photo)

The perpetually misfiring Pakistan batting line-up finally put in a respectable performance, with virtually every batsman contributing to their comprehensive 6-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Match 10 of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Mirpur on Friday. Umar Akmal was the top-scorer with 48, but he was aided by Sarfraz Ahmed with 38 and Sharjeel Khan with 31. Mohammad Hafeez and Sharjeel got off to a good start, adding 23 in three and a half overs before Hafeez fell for 14. He had hit three boundaries, and was dismissed in pursuit of a fourth. Off-spinner Shehan Jayasuriya managed to beat him in the flight to have him caught and bowled. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 10 at Dhaka

Meanwhile Sharjeel, having pick-up-pulled Thisara Perera for six earlier in the innings, lay into Dushmantha Chameera. The Sri Lankan fast bowler beat Sharjeel with his first two balls, but the next four were dispatched for boundaries to mid on, midwicket, long on, and backward point. Sharjeel eventually fell trying to slog Tillakaratne Dilshan, holing out to Chamara Kapugedara for 31 off 24 balls. FULL CRICKET BLOG: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 10 at Dhaka

Sarfraz came in at No. 3 and batted positively as well. He started with a boundary off the first ball he faced, and continued in similar vein thereafter. He hit Rangana Herath for successive boundaries and hit Perera for two fours in his next over as well. Sarfraz was finally dismissed LBW to Milinda Siriwardana for a well-made 38 off 27 balls. He had hit 6 fours. Shoaib Malik came in to bat with 57 runs needed off 43 balls, but he was not able to get his timing right. Luckily for him and for Paksitan No. 4 Umar was in blistering form.

Akmal let Sarfraz dominate their partnership, getting to 12 off 18 balls before Sarfraz’s dismissal. After that he opened up. Siriwardana was smacked for six over midwicket, four over midwicket, and four over cover. Nuwan Kulasekara and Chameera were hit for fours as well. With 7 runs to win Kulasekara was thrashed for another six. The next ball looked like it would be a boundary and a win for Pakistan but Perera took a magnificent catch at long off. With just 1 run to win off the final over, Malik played a dot ball and hit one next one to the fielder at mid off. Had the catch been taken, a dramatic end coule have been on the cards, but Kulasekara faffed the chance and Pakistan won by 6 wickets.

Earlier, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal scored vital half-centuries to guide Sri Lanka to a commanding 150 for 4. The struggling Sri Lankan side suffered another setback when Angelo Mathews’ niggle prevented him from playing the match. In his absence it was Chandimal who led the side. Having scored a half-century against UAE earlier in the tournament, Chandimal suffered a couple of lean matches but seemed keyed in for the ultimately inconsequential tie against Pakistan.

Both openers managed to get the odd boundary every over, but it was with the introduction of Mohammad Nawaz in the sixth over that Dilshan really cut loose. Dilshan greeted the rookie left-arm spinner by hammering him past long on for four before nailing him over long on for six and thrashing another boundary past the bowler. He finished off the over with a powerful sweep to square leg for four, as Sri Lanka got 18 runs off the over.

After a few sporadic boundaries in the next  couple of overs, Chandimal managed to get a top-edged four to third man off Wahab Riaz. He followed it up with a booming drive through cover and Dilshan finished the over with a slashy drive through point. Wahab soon had his revenge when he had Chandimal out mis-timing a pull to Sharjeel Khan for 58 off 49 balls with 7 fours and 1 six. Chandimal’s dismissal brought in Shehan Jayasuriya. The hard-hitting left-hander could not do much though, and ended up hitting one from Shoaib Malik straight to Sharjeel for 4 off 6 balls.

Dilshan kept going at the other end, and ended up getting to his half-century in good time, but he kept losing partners. Chamara Kapugedara was bowled by Mohammad Irfan for 2 off 3 balls and Dasun Shanaka was cleaned up for a 2-ball duck. Sri Lanka had gone from 110 for no loss to 125 for 4 within the space of 3 overs. Dilshan then took matters into his own hands; of the 15 legitimate deliveries he and Milinda Siriwardana batted together, Siriwardana faced only 4. Dilshan remained unbeaten on 75 off 56 balls, as Sri Lanka finished at 150 for 4.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 150 fpr 4 in 20 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 58, Tillakaratne Dilshan 75*; Mohammad Irfan 2 for 18) lost to Pakistan (Sharjeel Khan 31, Sarfraz Ahmed 38, Umar Akmal 48; Tillakaratne Dilshan 1 for 2) by 6 wickets.

Man of the Match: Umar Akmal

Match Gallery

Full Scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he enjoys watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)