Champions Trophy 2017 did not let the excitement to shun a bit throughout the game so far. In fact, it is getting much more enthralling heading to the final fixtures. Pakistan beating Sri Lanka to land on semifinals made the next phase of the tournament stuffed with classy clashes. The match was a virtual quarter final making the way for Sri Lanka straight to home. Pakistan is on semifinal along with England, Bangladesh, and India, nicking a three-wicket victory off Sri Lanka.
Being sent to bat first, Sri Lanka scored 236 runs. The top order was impressive, but Pakistan’s bowling was also equally imposing. As the inning progressed, the attack became stronger with Mohammed Amir and Junaid Khan taking the helm. Sri Lanka’s batting order disrupted when it suddenly plummeted from 161 for 3 to 167 for 7. It was the turning point of the team as Amir and Junaid resisted the advances taking four wickets apiece. Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara fell off within minutes. It was only the late flourish from Asela Gunaratne and Sauranga Lakmal that made a decent target possible. The best score was from opener Dickwella, who knocked 73 off 86.
Pakistan’s chase set off with a confident strike. At the beginning Sri Lanka paid the price of misfielding that took away the chance of opening wickets. Malinga could not restrict boundaries while Pakistan reached 74 for 1 in 11.2 overs, with Fakhar Zaman’s half century as well as dismissal. Sri Lanka bolstered its attack taking down Babar Azam, Mohammed Hafeez and opener Azhar Ali. By the 26th over, the chase slogged to almost a jeopardy falling to 137 for 6 wickets. Means Pakistan had only four lower order wickets and still needing 100 runs to win.
This could have been the moments of victory for Sri Lanka, but a couple of more misfields shunned the prospects. Sarfraz Ahmed was dropped twice on the way to his unbeaten half century that clinched the match. This could also have been the match winning moment for Malinga on his final Championship season, but Sri Lanka’s wretched fielding was all to blame. Finally, Ahmed and Amir hauled the chase to the winning score with 31 balls to spare.
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