Home Cricket Asia Cup 2022 Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in final to lift Asia Cup 2022

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in final to lift Asia Cup 2022

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in final to lift Asia Cup 2022

Yet another collective performance by Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga and Pramod Madushan saw Sri Lanka lift the Asia Cup 2022 title after an exciting 23-run victory over Pakistan in the final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Thus, Sri Lanka clinched its sixth Asia Cup title – 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2014 & 2022 – the outcome after losing their tournament opener to Afghanistan. The Lankans then defeated Bangladesh, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan during the Group and Super Four stages before again handing Pakistan another defeat to clinch the Asia Cup 2022.

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Sri Lanka posted an imposing total of 170/6 in 20 overs after invaluable knocks by Bhanuka Rajapaksa (71 not out off 45) and Wanindu Hasaranga (36 off 21). After a low-scoring result in the two sides’ last Super Four match, anything over 160 batting first was always going to be challenging.

Dhananjaya de Silva (28 off 21) and Chamika Karunaratne (14 not out off 14) also made crucial contributions to the Lankan total.

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Needing around 8.5 runs per over, Pakistan collected 12 runs in the first over from a wayward Dilshan Madushanka, whose uncontrolled swing resulted in him bowling several wides.

However, Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam failed to get going again as did Fakhar Zaman, who were both dismissed by Pramod Madushan off consecutive deliveries.

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Babar first played a shot to short fine leg before Zaman’s shot was chopped onto the wicket. Pakistan were at a precaurious 22/2 after 3.3 overs, but Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed steadied the ship for awhile to bring Pakistan back into the game.

Rizwan played some exciting shots, hitting boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving. The duo then saw Pakistan reach 68/2 after 10 overs, still needing over 10 runs per over but with eight wickets in hand.

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Iftikhar then smashed Hasaranga for a six and then a boundary to improve the run rate. But a similar attempt against Madushan found the fielder at deep backward square, leaving Pakistan at 93-3 after 13.2 overs.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers then slowed down the run scoring as Pakistan began feeling the pressure. Pakistan’s danger man, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz was unable to deliver when it mattered, falling for 6 to Karunaratne. By this time, Pakistan had an uphill task, requiring 69 off 28 deliveries.

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Rizwan brought up his half century but was almost immediately dismissed by Hasaranga as the required run rate was close to 16 runs per over. Hasaranga got rid of Asif Ali for a golden duck before taking the wicket of Khushdil Shah for just 2 runs.

In the final over, with Pakistan looking done and dusted, Karunaratne picked up the wicket of Haris Rauf (13) as Pakistan were bundled out for 147 in exactly 20 overs, suffering a heartbreaking 23-run loss. Pramod Madushan (4/34) and Wanindu Hasaranga (3/27) were the stars for Sri Lanka while Chamika Karunaratne (2/33) and Maheesh Theekshana (1/25) also contributed with important wickets.

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Earlier, put into bat, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start, losing three wickets inside the power play against Pakistan’s top-class pace attack. In no time, the Lankans were 58/5 in 8.5 overs, before Rajapaksa and Hasaranga came together to put their back on track.

Hasaranga smashed Haris Rauf for two boundaries before the fast bowler dismissed him, breaking what would later be the most important 58-run stand for the sixth wicket. Rajapaksa batted until the last over, hitting boundaries and sixes to complete his half-century in only 35 balls.

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The left-hander was then supported by Chamika Karunaratne, both adding 54 runs off only 31 balls to take Sri Lanka to 170/6 in 20 overs.

Pakistan’s Rauf (3/29) was the pick of the bowlers while Iftikhar Ahmed (1/21), Shadab Khan (1/28) and Naseem Shah (1/40) were the other wicket takers.

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