A total mess up on the field knocked Sri Lanka out of the ICC Champions Trophy after a narrow defeat against Pakistan in the final group match played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff last evening. Pakistan won the game and qualified to the semis with 3 wickets and 5 overs to spare.
Batting first, Sri Lanka got off to a fantastic start despite losing Danushka Gunathilaka early in the innings. Pakistan quickies bounced back in the middle overs to pick vital wickets at regular intervals. An unexpected collapse left Sri Lanka 7 down 167 but a good hand from Asela Gunaratne and Suranga Lakmal steered the side to 236.
In response, Fakhar Zaman gave Pakistan an excellent start but the middle order made no contribution what so ever. Skipper Shafraz Ahamed was dropped twice resulting in an unlikely win for the men in green. Angelo Mathews’ men only have themselves to blame for losing out on an easy win.
“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 on the board but we knew we could defend this. And the bowlers did their job, but we didn’t hold on to our catches. Proud of the boys. Even though we only had 236 to defend, they gave it their all. Unfortunately, we missed a few chances. In a big tournament like this, they fought hard an inexperienced team. I’m proud of them,” said Angelo Mathews at the post-match presentation.
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