Millennium Post

CT 2017: Pakistan pacers restrict Sri Lanka to 236

Pakistan pacers put up a stunning display to dismiss Sri Lanka for 236 runs in 49.2 overs in a virtual quarter-final Group B ICC Champions Trophy clash at Sophia Gardens here on Monday.

Fast bowlers Junaid Khan (3/40), Hasan Ali (3/43), Mohammad Amir (2/53) and debutant Fahim Ashraf (2/37) ran through the deep Lankan batting line-up which stood firm against favourites India the other day, giving Pakistan's less equipped batting a 237-run target to chase down for victory.

For Sri Lanka, Niroshan Dickwella (73; 86b; 4x4) was the top-scorer who alongwith skipper Angelo Mathews (39; 54b; 2x4; 1x6) stitched together the highest partnership of the innings of 78 runs for the fourth wicket.

Towards the end, Suranga Lakmal (26) and Asela Gunaratne (27) joined hands for a vital 46-run partnership for the eighth wicket which helped their side cross the 200-mark.

At the start, Junaid sent back Danushka Gunathilaka (13; 20b; 2x4) early with the latter finding Shoaib Malik at mid-off for an easy catch.

Kusal Mendis (27; 29b; 4x4) and Dickwella were looking good for a 56-run second-wicket stand when a Hasan Ali ripper went through the former's defence as he was trying to whip the ball on the leg side.

In the previous delivery, an inside edge had saved Mendis his wicket off Ali's bowling.

Debutant Fahim Ashraf further shaved off the Lankans' top order by bagging his first ODi scalp, sending Dinesh Chandimal back in the hut for a duck. Chandimal dragged the ball onto his stumps, trying to slap it through covers and finding a thick edge back onto his stumps.

Mohammad Amir got his first wicket in the tournament as he removed rival skipper Angelo Mathews (39; 54b; 2x4; 1x6) with a angling delivery that got a thin inside edge off the bat and onto the stumps. Mathews and Dickwella stitched together the highest partnership of the innings of 78 runs for the fourth wicket.

Dhananjaya De Silva (1) did not last long handing Junaid Khan his second wicket as Sri Lanka had half their side down for just 162 in 33 overs.

Junaid's delivery to get De Silva out was brilliant, nipping away off the seam with the batsman staying on his crease and trying to defend. The ball kissed the outside edge of the bat for an easy catch to wicket-keeper Sarfraz.

In the next over, skipper Sarfraz took a brilliant catch diving to his right to dismiss the dangerous Dickwella off Amir's bowling.

Thisara Perera could manage just 1 as Junaid picked up his third wicket and Pakistan bowlers made the most of swing on offer to outfox the Lankan batsmen.

Lakmal and Gunaratne batted well towards the end to propel Sri Lanka to a decent total before removed the pair. Malinga remained not out on 9 as Ashraf got the better of Nuwan Pradeep (1).

Brief scores: Sri Lanka - 236 all out in 49.2 overs (Niroshan Dickwella 73, Angelo Mathews 39; Junaid Khan 3/40, Hasan Ali 3/43, Fahim Ashraf 2/37, Mohammad Amir 2/53) vs Pakistan.

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