- Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 3 wickets at Cardiff
- Pakistan qualified for the semi-finals as the second-placed team in Group B
- Pakistan will now take on hosts England in the semi-final
Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by 3 wickets as they successfully chased a target of 236 runs to see off Sri Lanka and set up a clash with England in the semi-finals. There have been higher-quality games of cricket in this tournament but none yet with such an exciting finish. The win for Pakistan meant that the semi-finals will see three Asian countries taking part.
The Sri Lankan batting never looked to fire as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Superb bowling by the Pakistani pacers ensured that Sri Lanka was not able to stitch together a meaningful partnership at any stage in their innings. The only saving grace for Sri Lanka was a gritty inning by opener Niroshan Dickwella who scored 73 runs off 86 balls to ensure that Sri Lanka was able to post a total of 236. Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali shone for the Pakistan team with both picking up 3 wickets each.
Chasing a meager total of 236, Pakistan got off to a flying start as their opening partnership put up a stand of 74 runs in rapid time. The Sri Lankan pacers put the brakes on the Pakistani chase as they picked up 7 wickets for 88 runs. The match looked poised to go into the hands of the Sri Lankans before calm innings of 61 runs by the captain Sarfraz Ahmed ensured that he and Mohammad Amir successfully chased the target without any more hiccups. Crucial dropped catches by the Sri Lankans, which included those off Ahmed at 38 and 40 and some shoddy fielding were the tipping points in such a closely contested contest. With the win, Pakistan ensured that they go through as the last side in the semi-finals. Sarfaraz Ahmed was adjudged the man of the match for his crucial innings.
Pakistan wll now take on England in the first semi-final on Wednesday which promoses to be an exciting encounter.