Asia Cup: Akmal shines as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets for consolation win

Mirpur: Pakistan's batting finally came good as they successfully chased down a competitive total posted by Sri Lanka to win by six wickets in an inconsequential final round robin league encounter of the Asia Cup Twenty20 cricket tournament here today.

Batting first, Sri Lanka could manage a decent 150 for four, riding on a century opening stand between TM Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal.

Umar Akmal in action against Sri Lanka. AFP

Umar Akmal in action against Sri Lanka. AFP

In reply, Pakistan produced a collective batting performance to win the match in 19.2 overs. Umar Akmal
(48 off 37 balls) and veteran Shoaib Malik (13 not out) added 56 runs in 6.1 overs to take Pakistan home.

Akmal's innings had four boundaries and two huge sixes.

Mohammed Hafeez (14) hit three boundaries before off-spinner Shehan Jayasuriya dismissed him off a delivery that stopped as the batsman failed to check his shot.

Left-hander Sharjeel Khan hit five boundaries and a six, in his 31 off 25 balls as he added 35 quick runs for the second wicket with Sarfraz Ahmed (38).

The stockily-built Sarfraz has been the only Pakistan batsman who played consistent cricket in the tournament. After 25 against India and 58 against Bangladesh, Sarfraz's 37 came off 28 balls with six boundaries as he set up the game nicely for Akmal and Malik to provide finishing touches.

Akmal hit a brilliant six to level scores but was dismissed to an outstanding catch by Thisara Perera. It was left to Malik to hit the winning runs but was lucky as the mid-off fielder dropped a dolly.

Earlier, Tillekaratne Dilshan carried his bat through the 20 overs with an unbeaten 75 off 56 balls that was laced with 10 boundaries and a six. He added 110 runs for the opening stand with stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal (58) as Sri Lanka scored a decent 150 for four after being put into bat.

Dilshan, who has looked horribly out of touch during the tournament, finally came good although Sri Lanka could not capitalise on their century opening partnership.

After Chandimal, whose 49 ball innings had seven fours and a six, was dismissed at the start of the 15th over, the last 35 balls of the island nation's innings yielded only 40 runs.

Sri Lanka's batting had let them down in the tournament but Chandimal and Dilshan did bat sensibly in the opening overs. It was Chandimal who took the burden of playing more shots as Dilshan tried to play himself in. He was scratchy to begin with but gained in confidence once he was in his 30s.

Both the sixes in the Sri Lankan innings was scored off left-arm spinner Mohammed Nawaz. Dilshan and Chandimal both danced down the track to loft Nawaz.

Dilshan showed his prowess on the on and leg-side with pulls and whips in the arc between square leg and mid-on.

There were some miscued shots but it did not cause him any harm.

Chandimal was partial to cover drives as the trio of Mohammed Amir, Wahab Riaz and Mohammed Irfan were hit through that zone.


Updated Date: Mar 05, 2016 10:15 AM

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