Asia Cup: Sri Lanka bowled out for 188

Mirpur (Dhaka), March 15: A splendid show by Pakistani bowlers Aizaz Cheema and Saeed Ajmal skittled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 188 in 45.4 overs in the third match of the Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here Thursday.

Electing to bat, Sri Lanka were in trouble from the outset, but a gritty 96-run stand for the fifth wicket between Kumara Sangakkara (71) and Upul Tharanga (57) saved the World Cup finalists more blushes.

Cheema, playing his 11th ODI, was plundered for 17 runs in his first over but came back strongly to equal his best figures of 4-43. Cheema was well supported by fellow pacer Umar Gul (2-20) and offie Ajmal, who picked up three for 27.

Gul bowled accurately and did not allow the Sri Lankan batsman to dominate the proceedings, while on the other end Cheema chipped away with wickets.

Ajmal bowled with great craft and guile and the Sri Lankan batsmen were all at sea. The off-spinner mesmerised the Lankan tailenders, who barely put up a fight and gave away their wicket with Sangakkara fighting a lone war at the other end.

Besides the top three batsmen and Tharanga none of the Sri Lankan players managed to get into double figures. Pakistan fielded extremely well and catching was of the highest level.

IANS