In the last Super 4 match of the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka overcame a poor start to defeat Pakistan by five wickets thanks in large part to an unbroken half-century from opener Pathum Nissanka.

In the practice match before the summit match on Sunday, Sri Lanka was reduced to 29/3 after five overs of chasing a meager 122, but the 24-year-old Nissanka kept the innings together with his unbeaten 55 off 48 balls. Pakistan was dismissed for 121 in 19.1 overs by the superb bowling of Sri Lanka, which was headed by mystery spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed three wickets.

The Sri Lankan spin trio claimed 5/60 in 12 overs after Hasaranga returned with 3/21, including two in his last over. The spinner had a superb cameo, slamming two boundaries off three balls in his 10 not out to push them over the line with three overs to spare. He also collected two catches in the deep.

With three wickets taken between them in the powerplay, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain showed off Pakistan’s speed and swing while defending a modest score. With a scorching outswinger, Hasnain provided them the ideal start by getting Lanka’s top run-getter Kusal Mendis out for a golden duck.

To tighten the noose around Sri Lanka, his pace partner Rauf struck twice in two overs, but Hasan Ali was the weak link in their pace lineup in the absence of Naseem Shah. His slower tempo did not concern the batsmen, as Nissanka and Rajapaksa were content to go all out to construct their innings against him.

Before Bhanuka Rajapaksa (24) was bowled out by Usman Qadir, the pair put up an important stand of 51 runs. Then, captain Dasun Shanaka chipped in with 21 runs from 16 balls to help the team come close to the finish line. Hasnain dismissed the Lankan captain with a slower ball when 15 runs were needed from the last four overs, and Hasaranga then scored the decisive four.