Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed celebrates after seeing his side to victory against Sri Lanka ©Getty Images

Pakistan progressed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy semi-finals after beating Sri Lanka by three wickets in a thrilling match at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff today.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed saw his side home with the bat as he took control of the game as Pakistan made life difficult for themselves in their chase after Sri Lanka scored 236.

Sarfraz, who had won the toss earlier in the day, scored 61 not out as he added 75 runs for the eighth wicket, an ICC Champions Trophy record, alongside Mohammad Amir, who finished unbeaten on 28, to seal victory and a semi-final clash with hosts England on Wednesday (June 14) at the same ground.

Sri Lanka were left rueing missed chances after dropping three catches in the field, knowing if they had won, it would have been them who reached the last four.

They had been looking set to post a big score after reaching 161-3 with 18.5 overs left.

However, a spell which saw four wickets fall for six runs completely changed the outlook for Sri Lanka as Amir and Junaid Khan picked up two scalps each.

Among the quartet to fall for Sri Lanka included their skipper Angelo Mathews for 39 and opener Niroshan Dickwella for 73.

Asela Gunaratne and Suranga Lakmal restored so solidity to the innings with a 46 run partnership, but Pakistan’s bowling attack managed to wrap things up with four balls left.

Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga reacts after Pakistan's victory was confirmed ©Getty Images
Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga reacts after Pakistan's victory was confirmed ©Getty Images

Pakistan’s innings looked to be in cruise control as Fakhar Zaman smashed boundaries for fun before being caught by Gunaratne off Nuwan Pradeep’s bowling for 50, having been part of a 74 run opening partnership with Azhar Ali.

His dismissal appeared to take some of the sting out of the innings as wickets started falling as Sri Lanka looked to have taken control.

But an inspired display from Sarfraz, who showed all the qualities a captain needs in a situation like the one he entered, ripped any ideas of a Sri Lankan win away.

He did ride his luck as he was dropped twice, first on 38 and then on 41, but Sarfraz got Pakistan over the line with a ramp shot which went for four, sparking scenes of wild jubilation as he ran round the field in celebration.

The other semi-final will be between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday (June 15).

The Oval in London will host the final on Sunday (June 18).