Pakistan sealed their place in the final of the Asia Cup after they completed a comprehensive bonus-point victory over Sri Lanka at Dhaka on Thursday.
A 152-run stand between skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal saw Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by six wickets and 61 balls to spare. Pacer Aizaz Cheema picked up four wickets earlier in the day to restrict Sri Lanka to 188 in 45.4 overs.
Chasing 189, Pakistan got off to a jittery start losing early wickets. The openers fell with just 31 on the board in 11.2 overs.
To worsen matters, Sri Lanka's Suranga Lakmal (2-37) dealt a vital blow to dismiss Younis Khan for two to put Sri Lanka in control of the low-scoring tie.
But the game quickly and surely slipped out of Sri Lanka's control after bowlers Seekkuge Prasanna (1-49) and Lasith Malinga (0-44) failed to restrict Pakistan from reaching the target.
Misbah (72*) and Umar Akmal (77) successfully steadied the innings to torment the bowling and clinch a comfortable victory in the end.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and put Pakistan to field first. Sri Lanka started off well to get to 33 for no loss in the first five overs.
But pacer Cheema crippled the Sri Lankan batting to dismiss openers Jayawardene (12) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (20). After Dinesh Chandimal (0) and Lahiru Thirimanne (7) too failed to add to the tally, it was Kumar Sangakkara who steadied the innings.
Sangakkara notched up a cautious 71 to put on a 96-run stand for the fifth wicket with Upul Tharanga (57) at the other end. Pacer Saeed Ajmal later picked up three scalps to bundle up the Lankan innings. (sportal.co.in)