ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan humble Sri Lanka to set up semi-final clash with England
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets to reach the semifinals of the Champions Trophy after both endured dramatic batting collapses at Sophia Gardens on Monday. Made to bat first, Sri Lanka were all out for 236 in 49.2 overs. Pakistan scored 237/7 in 44.5 overs with captain Sarfraz Ahmed leading the revival with 61 not out in 79 balls. (SCORECARD)
Sarfraz shared the nerve-racking last 75-run partnership with Mohammad Amir, who hung on for 28 not out. They were helped enormously by misfielding: Sri Lanka dropped Srafraz on 38 and 40, and committed repeated overthrows. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)
Pakistan advanced to play England at the same venue on Wednesday. India will face Bangladesh on Thursday in the other semifinal at Edgbaston.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka looked vulnerable batting.
Pakistan started superbly with Fakhar Zaman hitting a 34-ball 50, the second fastest for the team in the Champions Trophy, including eight fours and one six. Zaman was out after top-edging to Asela Gunaratne on the boundary off Nuwan Pradeep (3/60).
From 92/1, Pakistan collapsed to 137/6.
Earlier, Sri Lanka also started solidly before slumping from 161/3 to 167/7 after 35 overs, unable to cope with left-arm quicks Junaid Khan and Amir. Khan ended his 10 overs with 3/40, including two wicket maidens, and Amir took 2/53. Medium-pacer Hasan Ali took 3/43.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews (39 in 54 balls) and top-scorer Niroshan Dickwella (73 in 86) were among the three wickets to fall in 12 balls. Mathews, who hit one six and two fours, edged the ball back onto his stumps against Amir to end a fourth-wicket partnership with Dickwella of 78 in 16 overs. It was the first wicket of the tournament for a resurgent Amir.
Dickwella was caught brilliantly behind by Sarfraz off Amir. Dickwella hit four boundaries.
Sri Lanka's tail offered some valuable resistance - not quite enough as it turned out - on a flat pitch showing some movement.