Dambulla: Defending champions Sri Lanka fought jangled nerves to override Shahid Afridi's blistering century and record an exciting 16-run win over Pakistan in the first match of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here today.
Chasing 243 at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Pakistan seemed on course for a win as long as Afridi (109) was in the middle. But once Muttiah Muralitharan ended his scintillating 76-ball knock, Lasith Malinga (5/34) mowed down the lower order and bundled Pakistan for 226 in 47 overs.
Earlier, Sri Lanka showed great character in recovering from a poor start to make a fighting 242 for nine, thanks in main to the never-say-die Angelo Mathews (55 not out), Mahela Jayawardene (54) and Kumar Sangakkara (42).
Image:Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi raises his bat to acknowledge the applause after making a whirlwind ton