Asia Cup Final: Sri Lanka’s Cup Of Glory As Pakistan Get Vanquished

Sri Lanka, a country picking up pieces after the death of democracy while facing massive financial turbulence, found 11 worthy heroes on a cricket pitch as Dasun Shanaka’s unannounced platoon crushed Pakistan by 23 runs to claim their sixth Asia Cup title here on Sunday. to win. It was a victory that was not just about cricket, but went far beyond that with a much deeper historical and political significance. It was one for posterity as Sri Lanka rose from the dungeons for the first time, hitting 170 for 6 from a hopeless 58 for 5 due to Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 45-ball-71, easily one of the best pressurized punches in T20’s in recent times.

As if that wasn’t enough, Pakistan, which was cruising 93 for 2, was eventually ejected from Pakistan for 147 as pacer Pramod Madushan (4/34 in 4 overs) and leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (3/27 in 4 overs) ) caused the few thousands of Sri Lankan fans to cheer on the 20,000 Pakistani fans.

Passed 17th by Hasaranga which served as the death knell for Pakistan with three wickets falling in quick succession.

It was Rajapaksa who laid the foundation, Madushan who built the structure and Hasaranga who put the finishing touches.

Sri Lanka doesn’t have fine donas like the ‘Men in Blue’ but a team of good cricketers who have understood how to win crunch matches from the dead.

The rousing right-handed fast medium Madushan, who got Babar Azam (5) and Fakhar Zaman (0), gave Sri Lanka the upper hand at the start of the chase.

While Babar was guilty of hitting a wide, long, splayed leg side right into the hands of the short, fine-legged fielder, Fakhar dragged an angular throw back on stumps.

Rizwan (55 from 49 balls) played the part of the blade anchor as usual to hit the odd boundaries when Iftikhar Ahmed (32 from 31 balls) started batting after 10 overs, but Madushan came back for his second spell and dropped him in the deep dives.

If there was one difference between the parties, it was fielding. While Pakistan was poor on the pitch and dropped catches, Sri Lankans took some smart catches and were excellent in the deep mid-wicket bounary.

At one point, even the spectators got frustrated with Rizwan’s push and prod game, which is good for totals in the 150-plus range, but not the 170-plus. When the pressure finally rose above the critical limit, Hasaranga had him caught at depth.

It was a good throw to win for Babar as the Pakistani pacers started with a bang before Rajapaksa’s brilliance provided a challenging total for the islanders.

Rajapaksa’s calculated attack on death resulted in 50 runs being scored from the last 4 overs.

Young Naseem Shah (1/40 in 4 overs) and super cool Haris Rauf (3/29 in 4 overs) threw themselves off the court with great pace and fire-sucking motion as they broke the backbone of the Lankan at bat within the Powerplay overs before Rajapaksa scored one of his best fifties considering the situation his team found themselves in.

Rajapaksa and Wanindu Hasaranga (36 from 21 balls) added 58 quick runs after Sri Lanka gasped at 58 for 5.

There was still a 54-run score with Chamika Karunaratne and Sri Lanka passed the 160-run. Shah, the 19-year-old pace sensation threw one of the deadliest off-cutters seen in this tournament, throwing the length, but he came in sharp, leaving no time to get Kusal Mendis (0) into form to bring his bat down.

While Dhananjaya de Silva (28 from 21 balls) made it through some picturesque cover drives, there was literally no support from the other side.

But Rajapaksa with his all-round stroke play gave Sri Lankan a lot of respect. He hit six fours and three sixes and Naseem’s flick for maximum was a sight to behold. Equally good was Naseem’s ramp which went for four before an angled six over cover point took Lanka to 170.


When Shadab threw a googly or Iftikhar got a day off, Rajapaksa played some nimble late cuts as Babar got a little restless.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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