Pakistan registered a dramatic win over Sri Lanka by 3 wickets on Monday at Cardiff to book a semi-final berth in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Batting first, Sri Lanka were bowled out for a mere 236 runs. No one apart from Niroshan Dickwella (73) crossed the score of 50.
Junaid Khan was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with figures of 10-3-40-3. Hasan Ali also accounted for three wickets, giving away just 43 runs, whereas Mohammad Amir returned figures of 2/53. Fahim Ashraf also chipped in with a couple of wickets.
Pakistan, on the other hand, started the chase well with their openers putting on a stand of 74. However, things turned for the worse as they were reduced to 162/7 by the Sri Lankan bowlers. But, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed ensured with his innings of 61* that Pakistan found a place in the semi-finals.
It was Amir’s contribution with the bat as well, an innings of 28*(43), that enabled Sarfraz to drive Pakistan home. Pakistan thus won the match by three wickets with 31 balls to spare.
Let us now have a look at the five talking points from the match.
#1 Dickwella’s steady knock
Niroshan Dickwella has played quite a few noticeable innings of late for Sri Lanka. And his knock of 73 (86) in Monday’s do-or-die clash against Pakistan was another one of those. Opening the innings, he maintained a steady run-rate by constantly rotating the strike.
The fact that he struck only four boundaries in his innings of 73 runs shows how much importance he placed in rotating the strike. Although he lost his opening partner Danushka Gunathilaka quite early after a brief stand of 26, he combined well with Kusal Mendis to stitch a 56 run partnership for the second wicket.
However, two quick wickets followed in the form of Kusal Mendis (27) and Dinesh Chandimal (0) and Sri Lanka were reduced to 83/3. However, Dickwella stitched another crucial partnership of 78 runs for the fourth wicket along with Angelo Mathews (39) to take Sri Lanka’s score on to 161/3.