SHARJAH (United Arab Emirates): Pakistan’s revamped cricket team virtually ensured their place in the Sharjah Cup final with a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka here on Friday.
Having restricted Sri Lanka to a modest 223-6 despite a maiden one-day century from Kumar Sangakkara, Pakistan’s young batsmen flourished under lights to cruise home with 16 deliveries to spare.
Mohammad Hafeez scored 50 in only his second match and Faisal Iqbal, nephew of current coach Javed Miandad, hit 32 in a second-wicket stand of 76.
After both batsmen were run out in the space of four deliveries to reduce Pakistan to 101-3, seniors Yousuf Youhana and Younis Khan took over to add 124 off 110 balls for the unbroken fourth wicket.
Youhana returned unbeaten on 64, while Younis made 57 not out.
It was Pakistan’s second win in two days after crushing Zimbabwe by 68 runs on Thursday, and even a tied result in their last match against Kenya will see them through to next week’s final.
Sri Lanka must now defeat fellow World Cup semi-finalists Kenya, and Zimbabwe, in their remaining matches to stay in contention for the final. – AFP