CARDIFF: A superb captain's innings by Sarfraz Ahmed and assisted by pacer Mohammad Amir, led Pakistan to a much needed victory over Sri Lanka in the virtual quarter-final of the ICC Champions Trophy on Monday.

Pakistan achieved 237 runs off 44.5 overs with seven wickets lost, as Sarfraz brilliant unbeaten knock of 61 off 79, earned him the 'man of the match'. Amir finished with valuable a 28 not out.

Sri Lanka's total of 236 seemed like a reasonable chase at first, and with seven Pakistani batsmen back in the pavilion by the 35-over mark, the fate of the match seemed decided.

But an unbroken stand of 75 between Sarfraz, dropped twice on his way to 61 not out, and Mohammad Amir (28 not out) saw Pakistan complete a thrilling win.

Pakistan turned it around when it mattered, and qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals. They will return to Sophia Gardens for a last-four clash with tournament hosts England in Cardiff on Wednesday.