SHARJAH: In-form openers Sami Aslam and Imamul Haq continued to pile up the runs to help Pakistan crush Sri Lanka in the ICC Under-19 World Cup quarterfinals in Sharjah on Sat. The pair put on 177, the second-highest partnership in the tournament, to set the base for a total, which proved well out of Sri Lanka’s reach. Both Imam and Aslam preferred to bide their time, but urdayended their innings with strike-rates in the late 70s. No. 3 Kamran Ghulam hammered 52 off 44 balls to push Pakistan to 279. Imam’s 82 made him the tournament’s highest run-getter, and captain Aslam’s 95 put him third on the charts.
Pakistan lost six wickets in the final 23 deliveries of the innings, but that didn’t prevent them from adding 32 in that stretch. For Sri Lanka, left-arm quick Binura Fernando went at over six an over, but struck four times to go to second on the list of the tournament’s highest wicket-takers. While Sri Lanka took 37 overs to get their first breakthrough, Pakistan got theirs in the first ball itself when opener Hashan Dumindu was bowled by Zia-ul-Haq. The chase went awry soon after, as two run-outs left Sri Lanka at 44 for 3.
Opener Sadeera Samarawickrama and Priyamal Perera kept Sri Lanka in the game with half-centuries, but the dismissal of Samarawickrama in the 24th over sparked a collapse. None of the final six batsmen got into double figures as Sri Lanka went from 103 for 3 to 158 all out. The wickets were shared around, with four bowlers taking two each as Pakistan cruised into the semifinals.
Pakistan Innings 279-9 (Sami Aslam 95, Imamul Haq 82, Kamran Ghulam 52; B Fernando 4-56, S Fernando 2-45)
Sri Lanka Innings 158 (P Perera 68, S Samarawickrama 51; Kamran Ghulam 2-19, Zia-ul-Haq 2-36)
Toss: Pakistan and chose to bat
Man of the match: Sami Aslam (PAK)
Umpires: S George (SA) and S Ravi (IND).
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