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PHOTOS: Pakistan cruise into Asia Cup final

Last updated on: March 15, 2012 22:18 IST

PHOTOS: Pakistan cruise into Asia Cup final

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Clinical Pakistan made it two wins out of two in the Asia Cup as they romped to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Mirpur.

- Scorecard | Match Report 

With the win, Pakistan now have entered the final of this four-nation tournament for the first time in 12 years. 

After bundling out Sri Lanka for a paltry 188 in 45.4 overs, the Pakistanis rode on captain Misbah-ul Haq (72 not out) and Umar Akmal's (77) record 152-run partnership to cruise to victory with a bonus point and with 61 balls to spare at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium. 

Pacer Aizaz Cheema (4 for 43) and spinner Saeed Ajmal (3 for 27) had earlier played a big role in ripping through the Sri Lankan batting, which paid the price for poor shot selection.


Image: Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal in action during their match against Sri Lanka
Photographs: Reuters

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Sri Lanka off to a poor start

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Electing to bat, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan gave Sri Lanka a decent start before Cheema picked up Jayawardene, who was caught in the covers by Mohammad Hafeez.

Dilshan followed soon as he was undone by a short-pitch delivery. Sri Lanka slumped into further misery as Dinesh Chandimal guided a sharp delivery from Gul to the slip cordon, where Younis Khan completed a brilliant, diving catch to his left.

Pacer Hammad Azam made the Sri Lankan scoreline read 65 for four in the 15th over when he accounted for Lahiru Thirimanne (7), who was caught by Umar Akmal at point.


Image: Pakistan players celebrate after the dismissal of Dinesh Chandimal
Photographs: Reuters

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Tharanga, Sangakkara steady Lankan innings

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Tharanga then joined hands with former skipper Sangakkara to steady the Lankan ship. Both batsmen started off on a cautious note taking singles and doubles taking the score past the 100-run mark.

He and Tharanga reached their respective fifties in the 33rd over.

Sri Lanka took the batting powerplay in the 36th over but were only made to regret their decision as Ajmal breached Tharanga's defense with his doosra, which crashed into the middle and leg stump.

Ajmal struck again as he flummoxed Farveez Maharoof (2), again with his doosra, which turned away sharply. Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq caught Maharoof at square leg.

Trying to cut loose after watching wickets tumbling at the other end, Sangakkara was bowled by Cheema in the 43rd over.

Lasith Malinga and Suranga Lakmal too fell quickly as Sri Lanka failed to cross the 200-run mark.


Image: Kumar Sangakkara plays a square cut during his knock against Pakistan
Photographs: Reuters

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Pakistan off to a wobbly start

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shasing the modest target, the Pakistani openers were off to a wobbly start losing three quick wickets in no time.

The islanders struck in the ninth over through Suranga Lakmal, who removed Jamshed, who went for a pull but only succeeded in giving a catch to Upul Tharanga.

From 29 for no loss, Pakistan suddenly slumped to a precarious 33 for three as Mohammad Hafeez (11) and the veteran Younis Khan (2) perished in quick succession.

Spinner Seekkuge Prasanna struck in his very first over to get rid of Hafeez as he went for a drive to a flighted delivery and offered a catch to Dinesh Chamdimal at backward point.

Nine balls later, Younis Khan joined him in the pavilion after Farveez Maharoof produced a brilliant catch at the mid-wicket region off Lakmal.


Image: Sri Lanka's Suranga Lakmal celebrates after dismissing Pakistan's Younis Khan
Photographs: Reuters

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Umar Akmal, Misbah lead the road to recovery

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Captain Misbah-ul Haq and Umar Akmal then steadied the ship as they batted cautiously to gradually wriggle out of the tight situation.

The two batsmen then unleashed a barrage of strokes to completely tilt the game in Pakistan's favour as they took the score close to the target Akmal perished.


Image: Misbah-ul-Haq pulls one to the boundary
Photographs: Reuters

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