The Champions Trophy might have been damp and lifeless on the English shores this year, but it was on a Welsh detour that it finally roared to life.
Other than the opener Fakhar Zaman, none of Pakistan's middle-order batsman could perform to capitalize on the strong opening stand provided by Zaman. Sarfraz kept the scoreboard ticking early on in the innings by taking singles and doubles and hit occasional boundaries as well.
The fifth over was rather a good one as Malinga concede just two runs in it.
The Islanders found their foundation in the opener's 73-run knock that came off 86 balls.
Pakistan were 65 for no loss after 10 overs.
The Sri Lankan captain, however, backed his inexperienced team for trying to defend the modest total. Besides, young pacer Hasan Ali has been in top form along with the ever unsafe Mohammad Amir. This was the best Hatke Moment of the Match.
Once Lakmal was cleaned up by Hasan for 26, Gunaratne, who made 27, followed not long after. Those grafters contrived to spoon and nick catches and the Sri Lankans under the calm leadership of Mathews started to believe.
"Being an global team - well, I thought we've improved a little bit, but today was not really our day". Sri Lanka 4/0 with two overs.
Two runs later Sarfraz was again given a lease of life when substitute fielder Seekkugge Prassana tried valiantly to catch a mistimed hook, again off Malinga, but to see the ball dropping out of his hands.
Overs 33: ANOTHER WICKET!
Skipper Mathews supported his colleague with a patient knock.
Sri Lankan players offered their thoughts on the match as well.
In case of rain and no result, both sides will get one point each.
Sri Lanka looked to be on target for many more. Sri Lanka's position of strength was decimated in mere minutes. Dickwella eying a century.
Malinga's performance so far has been 2 for 127 off 20 overs.
It's not surprising that Angelo Mathew's timely return coincided Sri Lanka's form reversal in the tournament. If Sri Lanka win, they are through. Unsafe looking partnership broken by Hasan Ali. One ramp over the wicketkeeper's head by Dickwella off Junaid was a shot of startling impudence and skill; Kusal Mendis oozed quality in a more orthodox manner.
Kusal Mendis joins Dickwella at the crease.
"He's been a great servant for Sri Lanka cricket", said Mathews. He was of the opinion that "Straight boundaries are short, so didn't want to risk a spinner".
Kapugedera was then ruled out with a knee problem, and replaced for Sri Lanka's shock victory over India by Danushka Gunathilaka, only for Perera to be forced off mid-innings at The Oval on Thursday with a hamstring injury.