WORLD TWENTY20, Johannesburg:
Pakistan 189-6 (20 overs) beat Sri Lanka 156-9 (20 overs) by 33 runs
Shahid Afridi starred with the ball as Pakistan completed a 33-run victory over Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 Super Eight match in Johannesburg.
Afridi took three wickets in four superb overs
Afridi (3-18) picked up the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene (28) and Chamara Silva (38), while Mohammad Asif chipped in with two important wickets.
A partnership of 101 between Shoaib Malik (57) and Younus Khan (51) helped Pakistan to finish on 189-6.
Lasith Malinga (3-43) and Dilhara Fernando (2-17) shone for Sri Lanka.
The victory was entirely deserved as Pakistan's talented line-up produced a performance worthy of a place in the last four of this exciting tournament.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene had won the toss and opted to bowl first on a wicket which has seen its share of runs since the very start of the tournament.
The seamers made the ideal start when Chaminda Vaas had Imran Nazir caught at cover off the third over.
Dilhara Fernando then removed Salman Butt (12), who was comprehensively bowled attempting to make room on the leg-side, and a fine yorker took care of Mohammad Hafeez (10) to leave Pakistan struggling at 33-3.
It was left up to captain Malik and man of the match Younus to consolidate Pakistan's innings and build a competitive total to defend.
The captain was the more dominant of the pair, but Younus began to unleash his array of strokes in the 13th over, smashing Jayasuriya for two sixes along with a reverse sweep four.
The pair brought up the 100 partnership from just 53 balls, although Younus's entertaining innings came to an end when he attempted to loft Malinga back over his head, but instead found the safe hands of Tillekeratne Dilshan at long-off.
The dismissal brought the dangerous Afridi to the crease, but it was his captain who continued the onslaught, mowing Gayan Wijekoon over the deep mid-wicket boundary for another fine six.
Malinga eventually removed Malik but big-hitting at the end of the innings from Afridi (17 from nine balls) and Misbah-ul-Haq (16 from six balls) helped Pakistan to a very competitive total.
Sri Lanka made the worst start possible when opener Upul Tharanga top-edged Mohammed Asif to Umar Gul at third man off the second ball of the day.
His opening partner Jayasuriya soon followed when he was cleaned up by Sohail Tanvir in the next over to leave the World Cup finalists struggling at 6-2.
Sangakkara and Jayawardene attempted to rebuild after Sri Lanka's faltering start, but Sangakkara's innings came to an end when he deflected the ball off his arm onto his stumps.
Jayawardene and Chamara Silva began to build a promising partnership, taking advantage of indiscipline from one Asif over to plunder 22, which included two free hits for two no-balls.
But Sri Lanka's hopes of victory faded when captain Jayawardene was caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Mohammad Hafeez off Afridi for 28.
Silva continued to attack but his risky attacking strategy cost him his wicket as he was bowled attempting to smash Afridi across the line for 38.
Mubarak, who had scored an incredible 46 runs from 12 balls against Kenya, could not repeat his heroics and he tamely top-edged Gul to mid-wicket for a simple catch for Afridi at mid-wicket.
With all aspirations of victory gone, Dilshan threw the bat at everything, hitting 38 runs before he was caught on the boundary by Younus off Hafeez.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik:
"When I was walking out to the wicket I was thinking, Let's forget about the three wickets and display positive cricket.
"Sanath Jayasuriya is a superb batsman, if you get him early it's good for any team."
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene:
"Losing a couple of early wickets did not help our cause, but Pakistan played good cricket, all credit to them.
"It's not a lost cause for us yet, it's the first game we have lost (in the tournament).
"It's up to us to show character and come back strongly."