Colombo: Pakistan after a tough fight defeated Sri Lanka by 11 runs in their crucial Group A match in the ICC World Cup here at the Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.
Shahid Afridi came up with another superb bowling performance after taking his first World Cup five-wicket haul in the previous match against Kenya.
He captured four for 34 runs which included his 300th one-day international wicket when he dismissed Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara for 49.
Sri Lanka, chasing Pakistan’s total of 277-7, replied with 266-9.
They have now lost seven times to their sub-continental neighbours in the World Cup, falling in 1975, 1983 (twice), 1987 (twice) and 1992.
After captain Shahid Afridi won the toss, Pakistan stalwarts Younus Khan (72) and Misbah-ul-Haq (83) not out) shared a century partnership to set co-hosts Sri Lanka a challenging target to chase under lights.
But Pakistan spinners strangled the Sri Lankan batsmen, capturing six of the nine wickets to fall.
Sri Lanka got off to a good start with openers Upul Tharanga (33) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (41) putting together 76, but got bogged down in the middle overs and despite a late spurt towards the target fell agonisingly short.
Chamara Silva led a late onslaught with a top score of 57 and Nuwan Kulasekara hit a quick 24 off 14 balls, but Sri Lanka had left their run chase a little too late.
Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga provided a sound start of 76 runs but Sri Lanka lost four quick wickets for 20 runs, reeling at 96 for four.
Then, captain Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera took the score to 167 before Sangakkara departed. They added 71 runs for the fifth wicket.
Other batsmen could not resist the accurate Pakistan bowling despite fielding lapses. But Chamara Silva batted aggressively to become top scorer for Sri Lanka with 57 off 78 balls.
Pakistan stalwarts Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq shared a century partnership after Afridi had won the toss and chose to bat first.
The pair came together after Pakistan were reduced to 105 for three and they provided a solid foundation for Pakistan’s eventual testing target.
Courtesy of thenews.com.pk