Sri Lanka came from behind to lift their sixth Asia Cup title courtesy a 23-run win in the final against Pakistan. Lankan pacers Pramod Madushan and Wanindu Hasaranga shared seven wickets between them. For the first time since 2014 that includes their title-winning World Cup campaign in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka have won five consecutive T20Is cricket match.
“Everybody put their hands up,” Sri Lanka head coach Chris Silverwood told a news outlet. “It was the confidence in the team [that was the difference]. They worked very hard and the results show. The plan was there and we were able to follow it. The young seam attack put their hands up and delivered. The whole team [came together] to perform.” Follow us for more cricket news and updates!
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In the wake of the country’s political and economic turmoil, Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s batting prowess and Hasaranga’s all-round brilliance helped Sri Lanka secure the victory at Dubai stadium. The tournament was supposed to be staged in the country, but moved to UAE following the crisis. Rajapaksa was named the Player of the Match after lifting Sri Lanka to 170/6 from a precarious 58/5.
Although Sri Lanka were initially stifled by the Pakistan bowling, a 71-run partnership between Rajapaksa and Gurusinha helped set 171 as their target. Meanwhile, Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan set a tournament record with 281 runs over six innings. In the final against Sri Lanka, he was once again at his best: 55 runs off 36 balls. Sri Lanka is one win short of equalizing India’s 7 Asia Cup crown.
“Congratulations to Sri Lanka for playing outstanding cricket. We dominated them for the first eight overs, but the partnership that Rajapaska got was amazing,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. “Our fielding wasn’t up to the mark and the batting couldn’t finish it off well. But Rizwan, Naseem and Nawaz were positives. Ups and downs will be there, but it would be nicer if we made lesser mistakes.”
Pakistan’s Playing XI: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain
Sri Lanka’s Playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis(w), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka(c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Pramod Madushan, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka
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