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Misbah and Umar guide Pakistan

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Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal struck half-centuries as Pakistan claimed their second successive Asia Cup victory courtesy of a comfortable six-wicket triumph over Sri Lanka at Mirpur.

Coming in at 33 for three, the pair added 152 for the fourth wicket, with Umar making 77 from 72 balls and Misbah compiling an unbeaten 72 to guide Pakistan to their target of 189 inside 40 overs to claim a bonus point.

Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga passed fifty in a fifth-wicket partnership of 96 but, after losing six wickets for 27 runs, Sri Lanka were dismissed for 188 with 26 deliveries unused.

Paceman Aizaz Cheema did most of the damage, claiming figures of 4-43 from nine overs, while spinner Saeed Ajmal returned 3-27.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Sri Lanka were soon in trouble as Cheema removed captain Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, caught by Mohammad Hafeez at extra cover and Ajmal at midwicket respectively, inside the first eight overs.

Umar Gul found the edge of Dinesh Chandimal, who saw Younus Khan hold on at slip, before Lahiru Thirimanne was dismissed by an excellent Umar catch at point off Hammad Azam as Sri Lanka slipped to 65 for four.


Captain Misbah-ul-Haq leads from the front with an unbeaten 72 from 93 deliveries as Pakistan saw off Sri Lanka by six wickets

But Sangakkara and Tharanga used all their experience to bring stability to the innings with a 21-over stay, only for the latter’s wicket - he was bowled by Ajmal - to spark the devastating collapse.

Misbah held on at square-leg to remove Farveez Maharoof and provide Ajmal with his second scalp before Gul had Nuwan Kulasekara caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed.

Cheema piled further misery on Sri Lanka by bowling Sangakkara for 71 and Lasith Malinga in consecutive overs as Ajmal wrapped up the innings by dismissing Suranga Lakmal, who found Nasir Jamshed at long-off.

Pakistan were soon in trouble as they lost their top three inside 13 overs, Lakmal accounting for Jamshed and Younus either side of Hafeez slicing Seekkuge Prasanna to backward point.

However, Misbah and Umar took the game away from Jayawardene’s side. The latter struck seven fours and two maximums but, with four required, perished attempting to hit his third six, top-edging Maharoof to Tharanga at midwicket.

Azam accompanied Misbah, who hit nine fours and a maximum in his 93-ball innings, and struck the winning runs with a boundary.