Lasith Malinga missed out due to injury and Sri Lanka’s pace wasn’t up to the mark as Pakistan pulled off a rather comfortable victory in the end at the Premadasa stadium. Pakistan got off to a quick start with Kamran Akmal and Md. Hafeez putting on 48 runs in good time before Hafeez was run out.
Akmal fell soon after, with Herath who replaced Mendis, bowling a tight line. It looked like the Lankan spinners were getting a grip on the match, but it was short lived. The coveted old pair of Misbah ul Haq and Younus Khan played savior once again as Pakistan played steadily and consolidated at the end of the innings against the pacers. They put on a 100 run partnership and set Pakistan a strong base to bounce up from. But they will be disappointed that they only managed 7 runs per over in the last 9 overs. Regardless of that, Misbah ul Haq remained not out on 83 and guided Pakistan to 277, which was always going to be tough to chase under lights in Colombo.
Sri Lanka were not letting go easily though. Dilshan and Tharanga put Lanka in a good position at the end of the the first powerplay. But with the introduction of the spinners, yet another match turned away from the batting team. Lanka was reduced to 96-4. Sangakkara and Silva tried to get Lanka back into the game and were doing a good job of it, but Shahid Afridi stood in their way. The Pakistani captain looks at the top of his game at the moment and is a very tough force to reckon with under the lights for any batting team. He picked up 4 wickets in 10 overs at an economy of 3.4, for a man of the match performance. In the end, Kulasekara tried to make a match of it but 18 runs off an over was too much to ask. Pakistan end their weekend as top of their group and are showing the world that they are not pushovers.