The Sri Lanka Under-23s clinched the Max Emerging Teams Asia Cup title with a comprehensive five-wicket win against the Pakistan Under-23s in a one-sided final at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.
The fate of the final was all but written on the wall when Pakistan were bundled out for 133 runs.
Sri Lanka suffered a middle-order hiccup in reply to the paltry target but eventually sailed to victory at 134 with 157 balls remaining thanks to an unbroken 36-run sixth wicket partnership between Kithuruwan Vithanage and Hasaranga De Silva.
Sri Lanka lost opener Avishka Fernando during the fifth over and then kept losing wickets at regular intervals. At one point they lost four wickets for 89. But with plenty of overs left and a small target to chase, the Lankans were never been in any sort of trouble after opener Sadeera Samarawickrama scored a watchful 45 followed by composed unbeaten knocks by Vithanage (20) and De Silva (22).
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat but the decision backfired as they lost wickets at regular intervals and failed to put up a decent partnership on a wicket that helped the bowlers.
Sri Lanka's Asitha Fernando, who claimed a hattrick against the hosts in the first semifinal, delivered the first breakthrough by dismissing Imran Butt for 5. Chamika Karunaratne then struck twice before Shehan Jayasuriya joined the party to take the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah and Zafar Gohar in quick succession, reducing Pakistan to 85 for seven.
Pakistan's Usama Mir and Hammad Azam added 47 runs for the eighth wicket but their efforts proved insufficient to challenge the Lankans. Player-of-the-match Shehan Jayasuriya was the most successful bowler with 3 for 22.
SCORES IN BRIEF
PAKISTAN: 133 in 42.1 overs (Mir 26, Rizwan 26, Azam 25, Jayasuriya 3/22, de Silva 2/13, Karunaratne 2/20)
SRI LANKA: 134/5 in 23.5 overs (Samarawickrama 45, de Silva 22*, Vithanage 20*, Gul 2/33, Gohar 1/20, Mir 1/22)
Result: Sri Lanka won by five wickets.