Mirpur (Bangladesh): After a brilliant century scored by Lahiru Thirimanne and a 75 run knock by Jayawardene, Sri Lanka cruised to win the Asia Cup title by 5 wickets.
Lahiru Thirimanne scored his second century of the tournament both taking Sri Lanka to the victory. Sri Lanka had a good opening partnership but after two regular wickets Thirimanne with Mahela Jayawardene built a solid 156 run partnership. Thirimanne scored 101 off 108 balls including 13 boundaries while Mahela played an innings of 75 off 93 including 9X4 and 1X6. Kusal Perera helped Sri Lanka in getting good start. He scored 42 off 37 balls including 6X4 and 1X6.
For Pakistan the most successful bowler was Saeed Ajmal who took 3 wickets in 10 overs giving away just 26 runs. While Mohammad Talha and Junaid Khan took 1 wicket each. Talha gave 56 runs in his 6.2 overs while Junaid Khan gave same 56 runs in 9 overs. Rest of the bowlers went wicketless and also proved to be costly for Pakistan.
Earlier, a fine unbeaten century by Fawad Alam and half centuries by skipper Misbah and Umar Akmal steered Pakistan out of trouble to set a target of 261 for Sri Lanka in the final.
Lasith Malinga had Pakistan, who chose to bat after winning the toss, in all kinds of trouble when he sliced through the top order, reducing defending champions to 18/3. Malinga took all the five wickets that fell in Pakistan innings.
Fawad Alam scored unbeaten 114 of 134 balls including 8X4 and 3X6. Skipper Misbah scored 65 off 98 balls including 3X4 and 2X6. Umar Akmal played a brilliant innings of 59 off 42 balls which includes 7 boundaries.
The Sri Lankans go in to the final with their tail up as they not only have been unbeaten in this Asia Cup but also have defeated the defending champions in the tournament opener. they would hope that their campaign culminates with the title.
On the other hand Defending champions Pakistan will have to contend with minor injury issues to key players Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul as they take on a consistent Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here today.
Pakistan's chances would depend on how they tame seasoned Kumar Sangakkara and handle the bowling of paceman Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis.
Sri Lanka: MDKJ Perera, HDRL Thirimanne, KC Sangakkara†, DPMD Jayawardene, SMA Priyanjan, AD Mathews*, PC de Silva, NLTC Perera, SMSM Senanayake, RAS Lakmal, SL Malinga
Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq*, Umar Akmal†, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Talha, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan
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