Sri Lanka faltered at one point at 58/5 after being thrown into the fray by Pakistan in the 2022 Asia Cup final in Dubai on Sunday, but the brilliant unbeaten 71-run knock of Bhanuka Rajapaksa coupled with pivotal cameos from Wanindu Hasaranga and Chamika Karunaratne helped bring them to 170/6 in 20 overs. But in conditions where chasing teams had a big lead, Sri Lanka had to get off to a tight start, but pacer Dilshan Madushanka gave Pakistan a good boost in their pursuit.
The left-armed seamer started with a no-ball, then threw a short ball too high and was called a wide.
He then wandered five wide on the leg side as the ball ran away to the boundary rope.
As if that wasn’t enough, he threw another leg-side wide to leave the score at 9/0 from 0 deliveries.
Rizwan got a single from the next delivery, the first legitimate delivery from Sri Lanka.
However, things quickly got back on track for Sri Lanka as Pramod Madushan sent Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman over consecutive deliveries in the fourth.
Pakistan had a great start to the match as Naseem Shah struck in the very first over to remove Kusal Mendis.
Haris Rauf then struck twice to shake Sri Lanka and things got worse when Iftikhar Ahmed removed the Dhananjaya de Silva, who was hitting free. Dasun Shanaka fell over in the 9th and Sri Lanka looked in trouble.
But Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who has been in fine form throughout the tournament, took charge of the Pakistani bowlers, while Wanindu Hasaranga also picked up the pace.
A 58-run tie between the two ended when Rauf claimed his third wicket to send Hasaranga back to the pavilion.
But Rajapaksa continued his attack and found some support in Chamika Karunaratne as he brought Sri Lanka to a battle total.
Rajapaksa finished with 71 of 45 deliveries, with six fours and three sixes.
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