Pakistan escaped a close match to claim the last match of Group B by 3 wickets against Sri Lanka, and enter the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, where they will face the mighty England team. It was a rollercoaster game, as both team’s top order batsmen built good starts only to collapse in a heap in the middle overs. Sri Lanka set a target of 237, a tad less than the 300 plus score they looked headed towards.
Pakistan got off to a great start when Fakhar Zaman, playing only his second one-day international, blasted eight fours and two sixes to get to his maiden half century, helping Pakistan fly to 74 for no loss inside of 11 overs. Zaman was the first to fall, as he top-edged Nuwan Pradeep to be pouched by Gunaratne. The fall of the swashbuckling batsman, who has looked dangerous in the two games he has played, brought about a collapse as Pakistan lost three quick wickets – Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali – to go from a 92-1 to 110-4 in 20 overs. It fell to Shoaib Malik to try and steady the chase, but some inept batting by the Pakistanis got them in further trouble – Shoaib Malik fell for 11 and Imad Wasim for 4, as Pakistan’s lower order was exposed at 137-6 in 25.4 overs, and a Sri Lanka win looked more likely. Enter Sarfaraz Ahmad, who looked rusty to start with, dropped twice in the 39th and 41st over. However, the all rounder got over the bad start to his innings as he built a 75-run eight wicket partnership with Mohammad Aamir, who scored 28 runs, to take the Pakistanis to victory with 31 balls to spare. Nuwan Pradeep,who scalped three wickets, was the fielder to drop Sarfaraz twice, and Sri Lanka paid high price for it Sarfaraz went on to score 61 and take Pakistan to the semi-finals.
— ICC (@ICC) June 12, 2017
Earlier, Sri Lanka got off to a good start as Dickwella and Kusala Mendis steadied the Lankans after an early wicket. Dickwella got a half century, and looked set with skipper Angelo Matthews when Sri Lanka were 161 for 3 in 31 overs, with a 300 plus score on the cards. It was at this point that Amir and Junaid were brought back into the attack, and the gutsy display of pace and swing ripped the heart right out of the Lankan batting. The pair claimed four wickets in four overs, conceding a mere six runs. Amir dismissed Matthews two balls after the drinks break, and that opened the flood gates as Dickwella fell to Aamir, while Junaid claimed Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera to leave the Lankans hobbling at 167 for 7. They never truly recovered from this storm, as they were bowled out for 236, putting the match in reach of Pakistan, which they eventually did after their captain’s patient 61.
— ICC (@ICC) June 12, 2017
Champions Trophy 2017 India vs South Africa Brief Scores:
Srilanka 236/10 in 49.2 overs [Dickwella Dickwella 73 (86), Angelo Mathews 39 (54);Hasan Ali 10-0-43-3 , Junaid Khan 10-3-40-3 ]
Pakistan 237/7 in 44.5 overs [Sarfraz Ahmed 61*(79), Fakhar Zaman 50 (36); Aththachchi Fernando 10-0-60-3, Narangoda Perera 8-0-43-1]
Final Result :- Pakistan won by 3 wickets