Pakistan won the toss and put Sri Lanka in to bat first and their fast bowlers dismissed Sri Lanka for 236 runs after asking them to bat in a must-win game in Cardiff.
They restricted Sri Lanka to a meager score of 236 all out. All the frontline bowlers for Pakistan; Mohammed Amir, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan and Fahim Ashraf were brilliant in their spells for Pakistan never giving away an inch to the Sri Lankan batsmen.
Sri Lanka were making steady progress at 161 for three while top-scorers Niroshan Dickwella (73) and skipper Angelo Mathews (39) were at the crease. But the loss of Mathews sparked a middle-order collapse that saw four wickets lost for just six runs as Sri Lanka slumped to 167 for seven and Pakistan managed to restrict the total to a score of 236 runs.
Pakistan loss few wickets early and the middle order was struggling to stick on the crease and they found themselves losing the match in a precarious situation 162-7. But up stepped Sarfraz Ahmed, who guided Mohammed Amir along the way with the pair establishing a brilliant partnership of 75 runs to guide Pakistan home. Sarfraz was unbeaten on 61, while Mohammed Amir also made his presence felt, scoring 28 valuable runs. Pakistan chased the score down with 3 wickets in hand and 31 deliveries remaining and seal the spot in semi-finals. England will face Pakistan and India will take on Bangladesh in semi-finals of ICC Champions trophy.
Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed: First of all, thanks to the Almighty. I can’t believe it. Thanks to Amir, he played really well. I just told him to play his game and not to worry about the score. That if we took it to the 40th over we would win. Dropped catches are part of the game. Allah helped us today.
Sri Lanka captain, Angelo Mathews: A see-saw kind of a game. Credit should go to Pakistan. They held their nerves and are deserved winners. It was a bit of a funny wicket. We hadn’t got the runs but we knew we could defend this. The bowlers did their job and also batted well. We didn’t hold on to our catches and that cost us the game. Proud of the boys. Even though we only had 236 to defend, they gave it their all. In a big tournament like this, they fought hard. I’m proud of them.