Dropped catches cost us the match, rues Mathews

Colombo June 11 All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva has been called to replace injured wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera in the Sri Lankan cricket squad at the Champions Trophy

Colombo June 11 All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva has been called to replace injured wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera in the Sri Lankan cricket squad at the Champions Trophy

Chasing a target of 237 at one stage Pakistan were nearly out of the match with the side tottering at 137/6.

Pakistan will return to Sophia Gardens for a last-four clash with tournament hosts England in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Earlier, Sri Lanka also started solidly before slumping from 161-3 to 167-7 after 35 overs, unable to cope with left-arm quicks Junaid Khan and Amir.

Having gone wicketless in his team's first two games of the event, Amir scalped the unsafe duo of Niroshan Dickwell (73) and Angelo Mathews (39) in quick succession as the rest of Pakistan's pace attack also sizzled to dismiss Sri Lanka for 236 in 49.2 overs in what was a virtual quarter-final of the eight-nation spectacle.

Pakistan's journey has been unpredictable so far, having lost heavily to India but still, it receives a bouncing back in the match by defeating South Africa in a rain-interrupted match in Edgbaston.

On the other Semi-Finals, India will be playing against Bangladesh.

From the moment Pakistan's seventh wicket fell - with 75 still to win - two antsy sides were hoping they could do just about enough to pip the other. The victor of the Pakistan V/S Sri Lanka game will face England in these knock-out matches. It was typical of Pakistan, making a calamity out of a comfortable situation, and proved that their batting line-up is still hugely limited in this format of the game.

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Dhananjaya de Silva only mustered one run, while Dickwella went on to make 73 off 86 balls, which included four boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Amir.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed saw his side home with the bat as he took control of the game as Pakistan made life hard for themselves in their chase after Sri Lanka scored 236. Yes, we were 30, 40 runs short, obviously, but I'm really proud of the guys, the way they came out and tried to defend that.

Malinga, Lakmal and Perera got one each.

Mohammad Amir celebrates Pakistan's win.

Sarfraz, who was adjudged Man of the Match, was dropped twice in the 39th and 41st over off Malinga.

Winning the toss and coming out to bowl, Pakistani bowlers kept their cool throughout the innings to pick up Sri Lankan wickets at right times to restrict them to a comparatively low total. "Credit should go to Pakistan". Many felt the omission of Rashid to be a mistake but it was more than justified after the pace quartet of Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir and Fahim took all 10 wickets as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 236 in 49.2 overs.

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