Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 23-runs in the side’s final Group B match of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur on Wednesday, and will now go onto to face Group C runner-up, West Indies in the quarter-final after topping the group. The Sri Lankans won the toss and elected to field first. Initially, Roger Wijesuriya’s men struggled to break down the Pakistani top order and middle order batsman but managed to gain momentum after the wicket of Salmaan Fayyaz.
Hassin Mohsin stood strong at the crease despite his partnership with Fayaaz coming to a close, however the same could not be said about his batting partners, who could hardly last an over at the other end. In the 48th over, Mohsin was finally dismissed as his run-a-ball 86 came to an end after a tricky ball from Sri Lankan off-spinner and captain, Charith Asalanka tricked its way around his legs and knocked over leg stump. Pakistan’s innings would finally come to an end a mere two balls later as a moment of miscommunication resulted in a run-out with Ahmad Shafiq the last to walk for the Green Shirts, who posted 212 all out.
Despite a composed performance with the ball, the islanders were shaky in front of the stumps. In contrast, Mohsin continued to thrive on both fronts, dismissing both Sri Lankan openers, Kaveen Bandara and Avishka Fernando to give Pakistan an early advantage. After 15 overs the Sri-Lankans were 67/4, with the pressure now piling on their middle order to get them back into the match.
Kamindu Mendis got the scoreboard ticking for the islanders, but was made to work hard after Asalanka and Shammu Ashan both went out cheaply. In the 31st over, Arsal Sheikh took the all-important wicket and arguably the match winner when Mendis took on a wide delivery that was comfortably caught at long-off. The match seemed to favour the bowling side despite PVR De Silva adding a necessary 46 runs and Sri Lanka were bowled out for 189 runs, as Pakistan marched on to a 23-run victory.
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