Pathum Nissanka scored a fine unbeaten 55 as Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets in Super 4 encounter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
After being asked to bat first by Sri Lanka skipper, Pakistan lost Mohammad Rizwan (14) early as he top edged a delivery from Madushan to wicket keeper Mendis at short fine leg.
The pair of Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman featured in a 35 run stand for the second wicket before the latter was caught at deep by De Silva while attempting an upper cut off Chamika Karunaratne for 13.
Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva then struck a crucial blow by dismissing the well set Babar Azam, bowled for 30.
Dhananjaya de Silva then got into the act by dismissing Khushdil Shah (4), who skied a catch to Nissanka at long on.
Hasaranga then struck twice- first by dismissing Iftikhar Ahmed and then claiming Asif Ali for a first ball duck, leaving their side in big trouble at 91/6.
Mohammad Nawaz scored a valuable 18 ball-26 as Pakistan were bundled out for 121 in 19.1 overs.
Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/21, while Maheesh Theekshana and Pramod Madushan claimed 2 wickets each.
Chasing 122, Sri Lanka were rocked early as as Kusal Mendis (0) and Danushka Gunathilaka (0) fell to Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf.
Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva anchored the innings with a third wicket stand of 27 runs for the third wicket before the latter fell to Harris Rauf for 9.
Nissanka was involved in yet another crucial 51 run stand for the third wicket alongside Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa got a reprieve when Rizwan missed the stumping off Usman Qadir on 13. He however failed to capitalize on the opportunity and was caught by Harris Rauf at deep midwicket boundary off Qadir.
Dasun Shanaka looked good in his innings of 21, before falling to a slower delivery from Mohammad Hasnain.
Wanindu Hasaranga (10*) then scored the winning runs by cutting Hasnain for a boundary to take the Islanders to a comfortable 5 wicket win.
The two sides will meet again in the final of the Asia Cup on Sunday, September 11 at Dubai.