Sri Lanka thump Pakistan for Asia Cup title

DHAKA, March 8, 2014 (AFP) – Opener Lahiru Thirimanne hit a magnificent century to help Sri Lanka thump Pakistan by five wickets to regain the Asia Cup title in Dhaka on Saturday.

The left-hander notched 101 for his third one-day hundred to anchor Sri Lanka’s successful chase of a 261-run target in 46.2 overs for his country’s fifth Asia Cup title at Dhaka’s Shere Bangla stadium.

Thirimanne, who also scored a hundred in the tournament’s opening match against the same opponents, hit 13 boundaries during his 108-ball knock and steadied the chase during a solid 156-run third-wicket partnership with veteran team-mate Mahela Jayawardene, who made 75.

Pakistan’s main spin weapon Saeed Ajmal had broken through after Sri Lanka’s confident start of 56, dismissing Kusal Perera (42) and dangerman Kumar Sangakkara (nought) off successive deliveries.

Jayawardene, who had a poor run of scores with 13, nine, 14 and nought in the tournament, benefitted when wicket-keeper Umar Akmal dropped a regulation catch off Shahid Afridi.

Jayawardene, then 36, hit nine boundaries and a six before he holed out off paceman Mohammad Talha.

Sri Lanka also lost Ashan Prinyanjan (13) to Ju