Pathum Nissanka made his 7th T20I half-century as Sri Lanka managed to chase down 121 set by Pakistan in the final Super 4s game of the Asia Cup in Dubai.
Sri Lanka’s chase got off to the worst possible start as they lost 2 for 2, with both Kusal Mendis and Dhanushka Gunathilake back in the pavilion within the 1st two overs. Mendis, who has had a great tournament so far, played perhaps his first loose shot of the competition and was sent packing by Mohammed Hasnain.
Sri Lanka soo fell to 3/29, when Dhananjaya de Silva, who had replaced the out of form Charith Asalanka in the side, fell to Haris Rauf, who was bowling with searing pace.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Nissanka steadied things, the introduction of Hasan Ali, the slowest of Pakistan’s three quicks, giving Sri Lanka just that little bit of respite after some fiery bowling from Hasnain and Rauf.
Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka put in cameos, but it was Nissanka who was the backbone of the chase as Sri Lanka got home with 3 overs to spare – a confidence boosting win ahead of the final.
Earlier in the day, birthday boy Shanaka won his 4th toss of the tournament and had no hesitation in choosing to bowl first once again, giving his batters another chance to chase. The management opted to make two changes to the Sri Lankan side, bringing in Dhananjaya de Silva to replace out of form Charith Asalanka and Pramod Madushan in place of Asitha Fernando.
Pakistan too made a couple of changes with Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan rested, with Usman Qadir and Hasan Ali coming in.
Sri Lanka’s bowling effort didn’t start too well as they conceded 49 off the power play, but Wanindu Hasaranga finally came to the party, after two poor performances leading into this game.
The lack of intent from the Pakistani batters didn’t help their cause as they were happy to just let the likes of De Silva get through his overs quite cheaply, without taking too many risks.
Mohammed Nawaz tried to pull the team through, but could only watch on as wickets tumbled on the other end as Pakistan were bowled out in 19.1 overs.
Hasaranga picked up 3 wickets (he will be on a hat trick in the next game after picking up 2 off his last 2 deliveries), while Theekshana and debutant Madushan picked up 2 wickets apiece.
The teams will meet again on Sunday for the big final at the same venue.
|Mohammad Rizwan||c Kusal Mendis b pramod madushan||14||14||0||0||100.00|
|Babar Azam||b Wanidu Hasaranga||30||29||2||0||103.45|
|Fakhar Zaman||c Dhananjaya de Silva b Chamika Karunaratne||13||18||1||0||72.22|
|Iftikhar Ahmed||c Dhananjaya de Silva b Wanidu Hasaranga||13||17||0||1||76.47|
|Khushdil Shah||c Pathum Nissanka b Dhananjaya de Silva||4||8||0||0||50.00|
|Mohammad Nawaz||run out (Kusal Mendis)||26||18||1||1||144.44|
|Asif Ali||c Dhananjaya de Silva b Wanidu Hasaranga||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Hasan Ali||c Wanidu Hasaranga b Maheesh Theekshana||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Usman Qadir||c Maheesh Theekshana b Pathum Nissanka||3||6||0||0||50.00|
|Haris Rauf||c Dhananjaya de Silva b pramod madushan||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Mohammad Hasnain||not out||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||17 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 1, w 15, pen 0)|
|Total||121/10 (19.1 Overs, RR: 6.31)|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||4||0||18||1||4.50|
|Pathum Nissanka||not out||55||48||5||1||114.58|
|Kusal Mendis||c Iftikhar Ahmed b Mohammad Hasnain||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Dhanushka Gunathilake||c Mohammad Rizwan b Haris Rauf||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||c Babar Azam b Haris Rauf||9||12||1||0||75.00|
|Bhanuka Rajapaksa||c Haris Rauf b Usman Qadir||24||19||0||2||126.32|
|Dasun Shanaka||c Hasan Ali b Mohammad Hasnain||21||16||1||1||131.25|
|Wanidu Hasaranga||not out||10||3||2||0||333.33|
|Extras||5 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 1, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||124/5 (17 Overs, RR: 7.29)|