Pakistan rode on skipper Sarfraz Ahmed's unbeaten 61 to recover from a middle-order collapse and pull off a three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in a virtual quarter-final Group B ICC Champions Trophy 2017 clash at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Monday to qualify for the semi-finals. Chasing 237, fast bowler Mohammad Amir (28 not out) showed great resolve to stitch together an unbeaten 75-run stand with Sarfraz for the eighth wicket to help his side register the win in a see-saw battle. At one point, Sri Lanka had their rivals on the mat at 162/7 but had poor fielding and dropped chances to blame for their loss. (SCORECARD)
HIGHLIGHTS OF SRI LANKA VS PAKISTAN, ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY 2017, MATCH 12
23.05 IST: Pakistan have held their nerves to come out victorious in this knockout encounter. The jubilation on the faces of Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir is evident and the Men in Green book their spot for the semi-final. Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali took their side to a good start and laid the platform. However, the Islanders fought back emphatically. They slipped from 74/0 to 162/7 and it looked like Pakistan's unpredictability will come back to haunt them.
However, Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir were resilient and battled it out in the middle. The former survived a few run out chances and he was dropped on two occasions as well. Schoolboy errors from the Lankans they were and that let the duo off the hook. The skipper batted sensibly and he was supported well with Amir who kept on rotating the strike. The 75-run stand between sealed the deal for Pakistan. The Sri Lankan bowlers tried hard but their fielders let them down today. The pressure got the better of them and it led to their downfall.
23.00 IST: FOUR! PAKISTAN ARE THROUGH! Sarfraz Ahmed has seen his side over the line and that's a fantastic victory for Micky Arthur's men. Short and outside off, Sarfraz ramps it across the third man fence for a boundary. He runs to celebrate with is teammates, then kneels down to thank the Almighty. Superb stuff. Pakistan (237/7) beat Sri Lanka (236) by 3 wickets to enter semi-finals. Sarfraz 61*, Zaman 50
22.55 IST: FOUR! Amir hits Gunaratne for a boundary to end the over. PAK need 11 runs in 36 balls
22.49 IST: FOUR! Fifty for Sarfraz Ahmed! He's been given lives, but he's done his part by taking full advantage of it. Opens his body up a bit and drives it through the left of mid off for a boundary. PAK 217/7 in 42 overs
22.44 IST: FOUR! Sarfraz Ahmed hits Lakmal for a boundary! Lakmal slips this on the pads, Sarfraz just tickles this fine down the leg side. It races away to the fence and that will be a boundary.
22.31 IST: Dropped! Can you believe it? It is a dolly and Perera makes a mess of it. Sarfraz Ahmed gets a lifeline. Slower delivery on a fullish length on off, Ahmed chips it uppishly towards Thisara Perera at short mid on. He runs forward, gets hurried into it and ends up spilling it. It is of the key man in the run chase, the skipper. How costly will it prove to be? PAK 196/7 in 39 overs
22.25 IST: FOUR! Sarfraz hits Lakmal for a boundary! Ahmed is a really good cutter of the ball and he gets the desired result! PAK 193/7 in 38 overs
22.23 IST: Good over from Pradeep - just 4 from it. PAK 188/7 in 37 overs
22.18 IST: Pakistan are 184/7 in 36 overs. They need 53 off 84 needed. Sarfraz Ahmed will be key for them in this chase. He must keep his composure.
22.00 IST: Gunathilaka bowls a great over - just two off it. PAK 164/7 in 31 overs
21.55 IST: OUT! Fahim Ashraf is run out for 15. Completely against the run of play, Fahim Ashraf has been dismissed. Quite unfortunate really. Thisara Perera bowls a fuller length delivery on off, Sarfraz drives it straight back. The bowler sticks his right hand out and gets his fingertips on it. It deflects off 'em and goes on to knock the bails over. Sri Lanka appeal as Ashraf was backing up a bit. It's referred upstairs and replays show that Fahim fails to plant his bat back in time, is run out by the narrowest of margins. He's frustrated but Sri Lanka are ecstatic. Pakistan require 75 to win in 121 deliveries. PAK 162/7 in 29.5 overs
21.48 IST: Another run out chance missed! Risky, risky risky run from Sarfraz Ahmed. He works it to the right of the short mid-wicket fielder and sets off. Dhananjaya de Silva is the man there, he runs to his right and fires it at the bowler's end. Misses but had he hit, Ahmed was gone. PAK 158/6 in 29 overs
21.43 IST: FOUR! Another boundary from Fahim to end the over! Short delivery down leg, Ashraf looks to get out of it at the last second but the ball goes off his right forearm and lobs over the keeper's head. Races away behind to the fence and that will be a boundary. PAK 157/6 in 28 overs
21.40 IST: FOUR! Fahim pulls and gets another boundary. This time off Pradeep.
21.38 IST: SIX! Fahim Ashraf hits Malinga for a maximum. Top shot to play under such pressure. It's short and angling in, Ashraf swivels and pulls it over fine leg for a biggie. There was a fielder placed there for this very reason but it doesn't matter, he can only watch it sail over him. PAK 145/6 in 27 overs
21.33 IST: OUT! Pradeep gets his revenge. He removes Imad Wasim for 4. The change in angle has done the trick! He comes back from over the wicket, makes it go away from Imad Wasim on a shorter length and uses the angle to perfection. The left-hander is drawn into playing at it and nicks it. Dickwella collects it in his gloves and another one bites the dust for Pakistan. The game is turning on its head here, 100 off 146 needed to win here. PAK 137/6 in 25.4 overs
21.29 IST: FOUR! Imad Wasim hits Pradeep for a boundary! Around the wicket, it's full and there to be hit, Wasim aceepts it and drives it crisply through the cover area for a boundary.
21.25 IST: OUT! Malinga removes Malik for 11. Lasith Malinga has dismissed the veteran Shoaib Malik. This is a big wicket, his experience would have really counted in this chase. Rather tame dismissal too if you look at it. It's short and angling down, Malik looks to pull but ends up gloving it behind. Dickwella moves to his left and takes a simple catch. 106 off 151 needed to win now. Dare I say, Sri Lanka are in the driver's seat here. PAK 131/5 in 24.5 overs
21.21 IST: Decent over from Lakmal. He gives away just 4 runs. PAK 128/4 in 24 overs
21.16 IST: Maiden over from Malinga! PAK 124/4 in 23 overs
21.12 IST: Run out chance! Sarfraz Ahmed would have been gone had that hit, unnecessary risk to take at this point in time. He pushes it in front of short mid on and sets off. The fielder there gets to the ball and has a shy at the bowler's end. Forces Sarfraz to dive to get it. Misses though so no harm done in the end. PAK 124/4 in 22 overs
21.07 IST: FOUR! Sarfraz hits Malinga for a boundary! Fuller length ball outside off, Ahmed drives it with an open face through point. Good timing on that and he gets the desired result! PAK 119/4 in 21 overs
20.59 IST: OUT! Lakmal strikes! He removes Azhar Ali for 34. Ali was important in this chase but he is out of here now. Good length delivery outside off, bounces a touch extra. Ali hangs back but is undone by the zippiness. He looks to keep it out but gets a thick outside edge. The ball flies towards Kusal Mendis at wide first slip. He goes towards his right initially but does well to take it to his left side with a reverse cup. PAK 110/4 in 19.2 overs
20.56 IST: Good over from Perera, just 4 runs off it. PAK 110/3 in 19 overs
20.51 IST: FOUR! Well played! Back of a length delivery outside off from Pradeep and Azhar Ali ramps it over the keeper's head to find the fence. PAK 106/3 in 18 overs
20.48 IST: FOUR! Shoaib Malik gets off the mark in style! Fuller length ball outside off, Malik drills it through cover-point for a boundary. PAK 99/3 in 17 overs
20.45 IST: OUT! Perera removes Hafeez for 1. Pakistan are losing the plot all of a sudden. Back of a length delivery on middle and leg, Hafeez camps back and looks to turn it through square leg. However, he is early into his shot and ends up getting it from the splice of the bat towards mid on. Nuwan Pradeep comes in towards the ball and also the short mid-wicket fielder. The former calls for it and takes it safely. The pressure is building and the Lankans will know that picking up regular wickets is the way to go. PAK 95/3 in 16.5 overs
20.34 IST: OUT! Pradeep strikes! Azam picks the fielder out to perfection. On a good length and angling in towards the pads, Azam whips it but doesn't bother to keep it down. It flies towards Dhananjaya de Silva who takes a good reflex catch. Pakistan's reliable man fails to make a mark. Will this wicket lead to a collapse? Sri Lanka will hope so. PAK 94/2 in 16 overs
20.24 IST: Great over from Perera! Just 2 two off it. PAK 80/1 in 13 overs
20.18 IST: OUT! Nuwan Pradeep removes Fakhar Zaman for 50. Zaman holes out! Dug in short on leg stump, Fakhar goes for the big pull shot but ends up top edging it towards fine leg. Asela Gunaratne stays composed and bends low to take a fine reverse cup catch. Pradeep provides the crucial breakthrough for his side. A breezy knock from the youngster comes to an end. It could be argued that he threw it away but that is the way he bats. PAK 74/1 in 11.2 overs
20.15 IST: Fakhar Zaman hits maiden fifty off 34 balls! PAK 74/0 in 11 overs, need 163 runs
20.13 IST: FOUR! Deft! This young man is talented. A touch short outside off, Fakhar waits for it and dabs it through the vacant third man region for a boundary.
20.01 IST: FOUR! That's poor from Asela. Pradeep with a great delivery as he lands it around off, makes it go away ever so slightly and draws the edge. It goes behind but falls short of Gunaratne positioned there. He, however, cannot stop it as he lets it through him. Goes all the way to the rope for a boundary.
19.58 IST: FOUR! Fakhar has mauled that! The left-hander has got his dancing shoes on, he skips out and hammers it straight back down the ground for a boundary. PAK 44/0 in 8 overs
19.57 IST: SIX! Oh my word, what a hit! Azhar Ali with a monstrous hit to send that outta here. Fuller length delivery and he charges down the track, makes perfect connection and with the full swing of his bat, clears the stadium down the ground. Pretty sure the ball has been lost too.
19.51 IST: Decent over from Nuwan Pradeep, just 4 runs off it. PAK 31/0 in 7 overs
19.46 IST: FOUR! Length ball angling back in, Azhar Ali camps back and heaves it over mid-wicket. Nobody out there in the deep so the ball will race away to the fence. PAK 27/0 in 6 overs
19.44 IST: Good over from Malinga. Just two runs off it. PAK 21/0 in 5 overs
19.40 IST: FOUR! Short and angling down, Zaman pulls it down to fine leg and ends the over with a boundary. PAK 19/0 in 14 overs
19.35 IST: FOUR! Oh, what a shot! Gets a juicy half-volley outside off, Zaman leans into it beautifully and crisply drives it through the gap in the covers to send it across the boundary line. PAK 14/0 in 3 overs
19.32 IST: FOUR! Super shot. He goes in the same area and gets the same result. This time Malinga rolls his fingers over the ball but it doesn't matter to Zaman, he drives this firmly between cover and point for consecutive boundaries.
19.31 IST: FOUR! That's a good shot. Another dipping full toss outside off, Zaman leans into it and drives it between cover and point. Pierces the gap perfectly and gets his first boundary.
19.28 IST: All happening out there! Fakhar Zaman drops this with soft hands in front of point and calls for the run. Azhar responds as Gunathilaka charges in to the ball. Dives forward to collect it but cannot do so cleanly. Azhar running to get to the other end almost collides with the fielder, so he has to adjust and dive in somehow. He's not too happy about that. PAK 2/0 in 2 overs
19.25 IST: Good start for Sri Lanka. Lasith Malinga bowls a maiden first over. PAK 0/0 in 1 over
19.23 IST: Dropped! Wrong person to drop, Danushka. This could have been the dream start Sri Lanka wanted. Short and wide from Malinga, Azhar Ali cuts it aerially to point. Gunathilaka dives low to his left, gets his hands to it but ends up spilling it.
19.20 IST: We're back for Pakistan's chase. A pressure chase, for the final playoff spot. Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali stride out to the middle with the Lankans spreading out across the field. Lasith Malinga is going to take the first new ball and he will have two slips in place. Here we go...
SRI LANKA INNINGS:
19.00 IST: Pakistan will have a general feeling of content in them, though they'd feel some runs could have been stopped from leaking towards the end. Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan did the damage after the drinks break and scalped 2 wickets apiece in that period. The Men in Green did well from the start too by not giving too much and picking up timely wickets in the middle too. This is a stiff target for Pakistan to chase. The wicket is a good one but it won't be easy by any means. Join us in a short while for the chase.
18.55 IST: A good comeback by Sri Lanka in the fag end of the innings. After being asked to bat, they got off to a steady start and despite losing a couple of wickets, were cruising along quite well with Mathews and Dickwella, who scored a fifty, playing sensibly. But after the second drinks break, things fell apart for them. Lost 4 wickets in 4 overs and were left in tatters. But a handy partnership between Gunaratne and Lakmal saw that Sri Lanka finished with a decent total on the board at least.
18.50 IST: OUT! Fahim Ashraf removes Nuwan Pradeep! Back of a length delivery on off, Pradeep hops back and looks to turn it to the leg side but is early into his stroke. Ends up getting a leading edge that spoons back towards Fahim Ashraf who makes no mistake. Pakistan bowl Sri Lanka out for 236 in 49.2 overs. Dickwella 73, Junaid 3/40, Hasan Ali 3/43
18.45 IST: OUT! Hasan Ali removes Gunaratne for 27. Gunaratne holes out! Good length delivery around off, Asela goes for the heave over mid-wicket. Connects decently but doesn't get the elevation he desired on it. Fakhar Zaman in the deep takes a simple catch. A handy knock from Gunaratne comes to an end. SL 235/9 in 49 overs
18.40 IST: FOUR! That was a weird shot but effective! On a length outside off, Gunaratne premeditates and looks to scoop it over fine leg. However, he is not in a good position but manages to play it over the keeper's head for a boundary. SL 226/8 in 47 overs
18.35 IST: Dropped! Gunaratne is leading a charmed life! Low full toss on off, Gunaratne goes for the reverse sweep but doesn't pick the gap. The ball goes straight towards the debutant, Fahim Ashraf at short third man. He leaps but makes a mess of a simple take. He did not need to jump, it was coming straight to him. Gunaratne gets a reprieve again. SL 218/8 in 46 overs
18.26 IST: BOWLED! Ali ends Lakmal's fine cameo. Hasan Ali strikes again! Bowls a slower delivery on a length on off, Lakmal is foxed by the lack of pace as he goes through with his pick up shot over mid-wicket. Misses it completely and the ball flicks the bails off. Hasan Ali is pumped and celebrates passionately. The batsman doesn't realize it but the bowler tells him to have a look behind. End of an enterprising knock from Lakmal. Pakistan break a good partnership as well. The pair added 46 runs from 59 balls. SL 213/8 in 44.3 overs
18.19 IST: 200 comes up for Sri Lanka at loss of seven wickets in 43 overs.
18.17 IST: FOUR to end the over. Good one for Sri Lanka, 10 came off it. SL 197/7 in 42 overs
18.13 IST: FOUR! Much needed boundary from Lakmal. This will give Lankan's some relief, SL 192/7 in 41.2 overs
18.12 IST: Sri Lanka finding it very hard to get going in the last few overs. Wasim bowls another tidy one, SL 187/7 in 41 overs
18.09 IST: 1 run off the over! Hasan Ali bowls another tight one, SL 185/7 in 40 overs
18.05 IST: MAIDEN! Imad Wasim finishes it off quickly as Lakmal struggles. SL 184/7 in 39 overs
18.03 IST: Gunaratne steals a double to end the over at deep square leg. SL 184/7 in 38 overs
17.59 IST: Junaid bowling beautifully, 5 off his ninth over. SL 179/7 in 37 overs
17.55 IST: 7 runs of Amir's over including 5 off wide! SL 174/7 in 36 overs
17.50 IST: OUT! Junaid Khan removes Thisara Perera for 1. Sri Lanka have capitulated hopelessly. Good length ball moving away, Thisara Perera looks to play it on the up and ends up getting a thick edge. It flies straight to Babar Azam at wide first slip and he takes a good, sharp catch. Another wicket down for the Islanders. SL 167/7 in 35 overs
17.47 IST: Dropped! Oh, that could prove to be a big one. Everybody knows how dangerous a player Asela Gunaratne can be, especially in the fag end of the innings. Short of a good length well outside off, Gunaratne cuts and gets a healthy edge. Sarfraz dives full stretch to his right and latches on to the ball, but then seems to have put it down after falling down the ground due to the impact. The Pakistan skipper indicates he isn't sure and so, the umpire checks it upstairs. Replays show the keeper has spilled it. So Asela survives! SL 165/6 in 34 overs
17.40 IST: OUT! Amir removes Dickwella for 73. Third wicket in the third over. Pakistan have made their way back in this game like it's nobody's business. Mohammad Amir has his tail up and comes steaming in, pitches it on a length in the channel outside off, Dickwella looks to play this across the line and gets an under edge which goes behind. Sarfraz dives to his right and takes a good low catch. The Men in Green firmly in the driver's seat now. SL 162/6 in 33.1 overs
17.34 IST: OUT! Junaid removes Dhananjaya de Silva for 1. Two wickets in two overs after the drinks break for Pakistan. The man who has just entered the country has been sent back to the dressing room. Junaid Khan with a ripper. Pounds it on a back of a length on off, it shapes away ever so slightly and it squares up Dhananjaya de Silva up. He hangs his bat out, gets a nick behind as Sarfraz completes the formalities. SL 162/5 in 33 overs
17.30 IST: OUT! Mathews is clean bowled by Amir! This is Amir's first wicket in the tournament and he is pumped up. That's a huge wicket, Mohammad Amir gets the big fish! This is the phase where Angelo Mathews would have started to accelerate, so the perfect time for Amir to dismiss him. Breaks the 78-run stand with that too. Just back of a length on the stumps, The Lankan skipper looks to play this across the line by rising on his toes but ends up dragging it back onto his stumps off his pads. Pakistan celebrate, they know this could be their moment to really get on top. SL 162/4 in 31.5 overs
17.25 IST: Brilliant over from Junaid Khan! Just a single off it. SL 161/3 in 31 overs
17.16 IST: FOUR! That is hit with disdain! Short of a length delivery in line of the stumps from Mohammed Amir, Mathews uses his feet confidently and hammers it over cow cover for a boundary. SL 160/3 in 30 overs
17.14 IST: FOUR! Full and flat outside off, Dickwella hammers it through covers and the ball races to the fence. Dickwella hits Imad Wasim for a boundary. SL 151/3 in 29 overs
17.03 IST: SIX! Mathews decides to take on Mohammad Hafeez by hitting him for a six over long-on. Floated outside off, spinning in. Mathews uses his feet and lifts it over long on. Clean strike that and the ball clears the fence with ease. Live Score, Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: SL 136/3 in 26 overs
16.52 IST: FOUR! Dickwella milks the free hit for a boundary. Much-needed boundary for the Lankans.
16.41 IST: Hundred comes up for Sri Lanka in 20 overs.
16.40 IST: Fifty for Dickwella off 52 balls. This is his 4th ODI half-century!
16.39 IST: Great stuff from Hasan Ali - just 3 runs off the over. SL 96/3 in 19 overs
16.33 IST: Good over for Sri Lanka as Fahim Ashraf gives away 7 runs. SL 93/3 in 18 overs
16.28 IST: Two quick dismissal of Mendis and Chandimal have pecked the Sri Lankan innings back. Captain Angelo Mathews and Dickwella, who is looking solid at the crease, will now aim to put up a partnership to steady the Lankan ship. SL 86/3 in 17 overs
16.18 IST: OUT! Fahim Ashraf removes Chandimal for a duck! Fahim Ashraf has picked up a wicket on his ODI debut. Dinesh Chandimal's patchy run continues to haunt him. It's full and outside off, Chandimal plants his front foot forward to thrash the drive through the covers but gets a big inside edge to drag it back onto the stumps. The bails are off and Sri Lanka have now lost two wickets in quick succession. SL 83/3 in 15.1 overs
16.12 IST: OUT! Hasan Ali removes Kusal Mendis for 27. This time it's gone through! That's an absolutely beautiful delivery. Brilliant. Length delivery on off, nips back in off the deck and this time Kusal Mendis can't get any wood on it. It takes him by surprise and hits the top of middle stumps, going straight through the gap between bat and pad. Big wicket for Pakistan, the in-form Mendis departs. SL 82/2 14.5 overs
16.04 IST: Good over for Sri Lanka - 8 off it! SL 74/1 in 13 overs
16.01 IST: FOUR! Mendis welcomes Hasan Ali with a boundary! It's fuller in length and right there to be hit, Mendis obliges and creams the drive through extra cover. Junaid Khan tries chasing it down but fails in his attempt to do so.
16.00 IST: Good over Sri Lanka! Fahim Ashraf gives away 6 runs. SL 66/1 in 12 overs
15.54 IST: FOUR! Imad Wasim doesn't turn 'em much. The arm ball has more pace on it and Dickwella has done well to use that to his advantage. He opens the face of the bat and guides this flat ball past the keeper and away to the third man fence for a boundary. SL 60/1 in 11 overs
15.47 IST: FOUR! Mendis is taking on Junaid Khan! He gets another boundary. Junaid bowls a short delivery on off, Mendis swivels across and pulls it in a controlled manner through square leg. He has timed it well and finds the fence with ease. SL 50/1 in 10 overs
15.45 IST: FOUR! That was pleasing to watch! Length delivery around the pads, Mendis waits for it and turns it through front of square on the leg side. He has timed it exquistiely and the ball whistles away to the fence.
15:40 IST: FOUR! Beautiful! Fullish delivery on off, Mendis creams it down the track. Junaid Khan crouches low to his left to stop it but fails to do so. Mendis earns his first boundary. SL 37/1 in 8 overs
15.35 IST: A good over from Sri Lanka's perspective. Amir gives away 6 runs. SL 32/1 in 7 overs
15.31 IST: A wicket maiden from Junaid Khan! Live Score, Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: SL 26/1 in 6 overs
15.26 IST: OUT! Soft dismissal! Gunathilaka has thrown it away. A bit more application is what his side would have wanted from him as Dickwella was looking flamboyant at the other end. Good length delivery outside off, a bit of room on offer and it holds its line. Gunathilaka stands tall and looks to punch it over wide mid off. However, he mistimes it and the ball flies towards Shoaib Malik in the same region. The veteran moves to his right and pouches it safely. A good start to his 250th game and he is happy.
15.24 IST: Great over from Amir! Just a single off it. SL 27/0 in 5 overs
15.20 IST: FOUR! Dickwella hits Junaid for a boundary. On a length on off, Dickwella premeditates and scoops it over the keeper's head for a boundary. Executed it really well to get the desired result! SL 26/0 in 4 overs
15.00 IST: The players are out for their respective National Anthems. After completion, we are set to get rolling. Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka will open the batting for Sri Lanka. Pakistan begin the proceedings with Mohammad Amir. Two slips in place. Here we go...
14.50 IST: Captain's Talk
Sarfraz Ahmed: We will bowl first today. There is some moisture on the pitch and we like this. Because of the pitch Fahim Ashraf is playing and Shadab Khan is not playing. The small straight boundaries is also one of the reasons to play four seamers. We are hoping the same performance like the one against South Africa. It is an important game for us and hopefully we will win and qualify for the semifinal.
Angelo Mathews: I would have definitely had a bowl first as well. Overcast conditions, little bit of grass and we are also playing four seamers. We have got a few injury concerns, but we have managed to get everyone else on the park, apart from the Kusal Perera, who has gone back home. He's (Thisara Perera) fine. I am fine. It was a brilliant performance and a collective effort, but it is done and dusted, it is history now and we have to look forward to this game.
Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews (c), Asela Gunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk/c), Fahim Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali
14.30 IST: TOSS! Pakistan won the toss and opted to field vs Sri Lanka.
In their first match, Pakistan suffered a 124-run thrashing at the hands of arch-rivals India but then notched up an upset win over world number one side South Africa to stay alive.
Whereas, the Lankan lions too suffered a heavy 96-run defeat at the hands of South Africa but came up with a stunning batting show to shock defending champions India by seven wickets to place themselves in contention for a semi-final berth.
Pakistan bowlers, except for Mohammad Amir, were hammered by the top-order Indian batsmen but they made amends against South Africa whose batting line-up has several match-winners like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla.
Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim (2/20) and paceman Hasan Ali (3/24) bowled beautifully to restrict the Proteas to a meagre 219 for 8.
Babar Azam (31 not out) and Shoaib Malik (16 not out) got Pakistan ahead of their required run-rate to secure a 19-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis method when rain stopped play with their side 119 for three off 27 overs.
The Pakistani side also had the luxury of playing in front of a partisan crowd in Birmingham. It is unlikely to have the same support in Cardiff tomorrow and it will have to be seen how much it impacts on the team performance. (Read Full Preview Here)