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Pakistan clinch comfortable win

Pakistan opened their Twenty20 World CUp Super Eights campaign with a comfortable 33 run victory over an in form Sri Lanka in Johannesburg.

After losing the toss and being put into bat, the Pakistanis were put firmly onto the back foot when a brilliant spell of new-ball bowling by Dilhara Fernando helped reduce them to 33 for three.

However, a fine stand of 101 in 55 balls between Younus Khan and captain Shoaib Malik - who contributed 51 and 57 respectively - saw Geoff Lawson's team post an imposing total of 189 for six.

Lasith Malinga claimed three wickets for 43 while Sanath Jayasuriya went for 64 from his four overs.

Jayasuriya's day did not get any better when it was his side's turn to bat - he made just five as Sri Lanka's top order crumbled.

Upul Tharanga failed to trouble the scorers and the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara left the Sri Lankans reeling on 35 for three.

Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan made 38 apiece but they never looked like getting close to their 190 target, finishing on 156 for nine.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was left to rue the fact Pakistan were able to reach such a healthy total after struggling early on.

"Probably with three early wickets we should have kept them to 160, 170," he told Sky Sports.

"They batted really well, especially Shoaib and Younus in that middle part. Credit to them. they changed the momentum of the game. We came back but it wasn't enough.

"Losing early wickets when we're batting didn't help our cause."

Jayawardene is not giving up, however, and is backing his side to bounce back in their remaining Group F games against Bangladesh and Australia.

"It's definitely not a lost cause yet," he said. "It's the first game we've lost in this tournament. We need to respond and come back stronger. Anything can happen in Twenty20.

"This is what it's all about - pressure in big games...we need to get back into it."

Victorious Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik, whose crucial knock of 57 came off just 31 balls, said: "When I was walking out I was thinking 'let's forget about those three wickets and just play positive cricket'."

Of the vital early dismissal of Jayasuriya, he added: "Jayasuriya is a superb batsman. We knew we needed to get him early on. If we get him early on, it's good for the energy."

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