|Jubilant Misbah and Azam as Pakistan dismantles Sri Lanka with 6 wickets in hand|
Well that was a good news as many cricket fans were keeping their fingers crossed and speculated that Sri Lanka would strike back after their defeat at the hands of the Indians by 50 runs on 13 March, to make their presence felt in the tournament.
But today was another day. Sri Lanka batting first gave a target of 188 for Pakistan to chase. While the Sri Lanka openers did not do well, it was captain Sangakkara who played marvelously and scored 71 before being bowled by Aizaz Cheema. Next worthwhile contribution came from Tharanga who scored 57 when Saeed Ajmal struck and sent him back to the pavilion. At best the Sri Lanka made 188 in 45.4 overs.
Aizaz Cheema was the most deadly bowler today who took four wickets for 43 in 9 overs. Saeed ajmal followed closely and took 3 for 27 in 8.4 overs including one maiden over. Umer Gul did not do less and took 2 for 20 with one maiden over.
When it came to Pakistan to bat, there was disaster in the begining. Openers crashed too soon and so did Younis Khan. Hafeez, Jamshed and Younis could only add 31 runs. Sri Lankan Lakmal was instrumental in sending Younis and Jamshed back to rest room. But then came Umar Akmal and captain Misbah - and to everyone's surprise, Misbah stood his ground. Both Akmal and Misbah added very valuable 149 runs. Umar was unlucky to play a high angle shot when at 77 and was caught by Tharanga on the ball of Maharoof.
|The joyous mustached replacement of Chacha Cricket as Pakistan wins|
Misbah was joined in by Azam after Umer, who hit the winning 4, while Misbah was 77 and brought victory to Pakisan.
Well played Sri Lanka, but credit does go to Aizaz Cheema for dismantiling Sri Lankan batting line and to Misbah and Umar Akmal for scoring tremendously that led to Pakistan's victory.
|Aizaz Cheema - the bowling hero of Pakistan against Sri Lanka Thursday|
Aizaz rightly awarded the player of the match award.
|Much satisfied Misbah walks back to pavilion after winning over Sri Lanka|
Commenting on the day's play, Pakistan captain Misbah said:
"It was a really good partnership between me and Umar Akmal. I told him to play his normal game, the runs automatically came. Cheema was hit for a lot of fours in his first couple of overs. I told him your main weapon is aggression, so bowl with aggression, No point containing batsmen on these pitches, best to take wickets. It was important for me to get my confidence back, England series was not good for me, so this innings is a confidence booster. We have to be more consistent with the bat, the bowling is always keeping us in hunt."
Well now, Pakistan should be in high spirits and Misbah too, who was earlier being blamed for his slow paced batting. His wonderful performance is certainly a good omen for Pakistan who get ready now for their encounter with India on 18 March.