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Pak thrash Lanka, storm into final

By The Assam Tribune

MIRPUR, March 15 (PTI): Pakistan relied on a clinical display to storm into the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament after thrashing a hapless Sri Lanka by six wickets today to record their second successive victory.

After bundling out Sri Lanka for a paltry 188 all out in 45.4 overs, the Pakistanis rode on captain Misbah-ul Haq (72 not out) and Umar Akmal�s (77) record 152-run partnership to cruise to a comfortable victory with a bonus point and with 61 balls to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Paceman Aizaz Cheema (4/43) and spinner Saeed Ajmal (3/27) played a big role in ripping through the Sri Lankan batting line-up which paid the price for some poor shot selections. Only Kumar Sangakkarra (71) and Upul Tharanga (57) managed to put up decent knocks.

The defeat has virtually knocked Sri Lanka out of the tournament having lost both their league matches so far. Sri Lanka had lost to India by 50 runs in their opening match.

If India beat hosts Bangladesh tomorrow, the two arch-rivals will clash in the summit showdown on March 22, rendering the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka league match inconsequential.

Pakistan did well to recover from the early jolts as Misbah and Akmal played sensibly to overhaul the target.

Chasing the modest target, the Pakistani openers began cautiously before getting into a more attacking frame of mind with Nasir Jamshed cracking a couple of delightful boundaries off Nuwan Kulasekara.

The islanders struck in the ninth over through Suranga Lakmal who evicted Jamshed, who went for a pull but only succeeded in giving a catch to Tharanga.

From 29 for no loss, Pakistan suddenly slumped to 33 for three as Mohammad Hafeez (11) and the veteran Younis Khan (2) perished in quick succession.

Spinner Seekkuge Prasanna struck in his very first over to get rid of Hafeez as he went for a drive to a flighted delivery and offered a catch to Dinesh Chamdimal at backward point.

Nine balls later, Younis Khan joined him in the pavilion after Farveez Maharoof produced a brilliant catch at the mid-wicket region off Lakmal. Maharoof ran in from mid on and just about managed to scoop the ball inches from the ground.

Captain Misbah-ul Haq and Umar Akmal then steadied the ship as they batted cautiously to gradually wriggle out of the tight situation. The two batsmen then unleashed a barrage of strokes to completely tilt the game in Pakistan�s favour.

Earlier, Sangakkara and Tharanga waged a grim battle, adding 96 runs for the fifth wicket, but the Lankans needed more, which they could not, against the pace and spin combo of Cheema, Gul and Ajmal.

SCORECARD

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene c Hafeez b Cheema 12, Tillakaratne Dilshan c Ajmal b Cheema 20, Kumar Sangakkara b Cheema 71, Dinesh Chandimal c Younis b Gul 0, Lahiru Thirimanne c Akmal b Azam 7, Upul Tharanga b Ajmal 57, Fervez Maharoof c Misbah b Ajmal 2, Nuwan Kulasekara c Sarfraz b Gul 4, Seekkuge Prasanna not out 5, Lasith Malinga b Cheema 1, Suranga Lakmal c Jamshed b Ajmal 0. Extras: (LB-5, W-4) 9. Total: (all out in 45.4 overs) 188. Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-43, 3-47, 4-65, 5-161, 6-165, 7-172, 8-182, 9-187, 10-188. Bowling: Gul 8-1-20-2, Cheema 9-0-43-4, Hafeez 10-0-40-0, Azam 4-0-21-1, Ajmal 8.4-1-27-3, Afridi 6-0-32-0.

Pakistan innings: M Hafeez c Chandimal b Prasanna 11, N Jamshed c Tharanga b Lakmal 18, Y Khan c Maharoof b Lakmal 2, Misbah-ul-Haq not out 72, U Akmal c Tharanga b Maharoof 77, H Azam not out 4; Extras (LB-1, W-2, NB-2) 5. Total (for 4 wickets in 39.5 overs) 189. Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-31, 3-33, 4-185.

Bowling: L Malinga 8-1-44-0, N Kulasekara 7-2-22-0, S Lakmal 8-1-37-2, S Prasanna 7.5-1-49-1, F Maharoof 7-0-23-1, T Dilshan 2-0-13-0.

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Pak thrash Lanka, storm into final

MIRPUR, March 15 (PTI): Pakistan relied on a clinical display to storm into the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament after thrashing a hapless Sri Lanka by six wickets today to record their second successive victory.

After bundling out Sri Lanka for a paltry 188 all out in 45.4 overs, the Pakistanis rode on captain Misbah-ul Haq (72 not out) and Umar Akmal�s (77) record 152-run partnership to cruise to a comfortable victory with a bonus point and with 61 balls to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Paceman Aizaz Cheema (4/43) and spinner Saeed Ajmal (3/27) played a big role in ripping through the Sri Lankan batting line-up which paid the price for some poor shot selections. Only Kumar Sangakkarra (71) and Upul Tharanga (57) managed to put up decent knocks.

The defeat has virtually knocked Sri Lanka out of the tournament having lost both their league matches so far. Sri Lanka had lost to India by 50 runs in their opening match.

If India beat hosts Bangladesh tomorrow, the two arch-rivals will clash in the summit showdown on March 22, rendering the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka league match inconsequential.

Pakistan did well to recover from the early jolts as Misbah and Akmal played sensibly to overhaul the target.

Chasing the modest target, the Pakistani openers began cautiously before getting into a more attacking frame of mind with Nasir Jamshed cracking a couple of delightful boundaries off Nuwan Kulasekara.

The islanders struck in the ninth over through Suranga Lakmal who evicted Jamshed, who went for a pull but only succeeded in giving a catch to Tharanga.

From 29 for no loss, Pakistan suddenly slumped to 33 for three as Mohammad Hafeez (11) and the veteran Younis Khan (2) perished in quick succession.

Spinner Seekkuge Prasanna struck in his very first over to get rid of Hafeez as he went for a drive to a flighted delivery and offered a catch to Dinesh Chamdimal at backward point.

Nine balls later, Younis Khan joined him in the pavilion after Farveez Maharoof produced a brilliant catch at the mid-wicket region off Lakmal. Maharoof ran in from mid on and just about managed to scoop the ball inches from the ground.

Captain Misbah-ul Haq and Umar Akmal then steadied the ship as they batted cautiously to gradually wriggle out of the tight situation. The two batsmen then unleashed a barrage of strokes to completely tilt the game in Pakistan�s favour.

Earlier, Sangakkara and Tharanga waged a grim battle, adding 96 runs for the fifth wicket, but the Lankans needed more, which they could not, against the pace and spin combo of Cheema, Gul and Ajmal.

SCORECARD

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene c Hafeez b Cheema 12, Tillakaratne Dilshan c Ajmal b Cheema 20, Kumar Sangakkara b Cheema 71, Dinesh Chandimal c Younis b Gul 0, Lahiru Thirimanne c Akmal b Azam 7, Upul Tharanga b Ajmal 57, Fervez Maharoof c Misbah b Ajmal 2, Nuwan Kulasekara c Sarfraz b Gul 4, Seekkuge Prasanna not out 5, Lasith Malinga b Cheema 1, Suranga Lakmal c Jamshed b Ajmal 0. Extras: (LB-5, W-4) 9. Total: (all out in 45.4 overs) 188. Fall of wickets: 1-33, 2-43, 3-47, 4-65, 5-161, 6-165, 7-172, 8-182, 9-187, 10-188. Bowling: Gul 8-1-20-2, Cheema 9-0-43-4, Hafeez 10-0-40-0, Azam 4-0-21-1, Ajmal 8.4-1-27-3, Afridi 6-0-32-0.

Pakistan innings: M Hafeez c Chandimal b Prasanna 11, N Jamshed c Tharanga b Lakmal 18, Y Khan c Maharoof b Lakmal 2, Misbah-ul-Haq not out 72, U Akmal c Tharanga b Maharoof 77, H Azam not out 4; Extras (LB-1, W-2, NB-2) 5. Total (for 4 wickets in 39.5 overs) 189. Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-31, 3-33, 4-185.

Bowling: L Malinga 8-1-44-0, N Kulasekara 7-2-22-0, S Lakmal 8-1-37-2, S Prasanna 7.5-1-49-1, F Maharoof 7-0-23-1, T Dilshan 2-0-13-0.