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Sri Lanka Cricket Team Beats Pakistan Cricket Team In Final To Win Asian Cup 2022

2022/11/24
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After a collapse with the bat in the first inning, the Island nation never looked back, nor did they panic. They lost five wickets just before the end of the 10th over to Pakistan pacers, but the Sri Lanka batters continued to smack boundaries to finish the score at a whopping 170/6.

They went on to score just over 100 runs in the last 10 overs, targeting any bowler that Babar Azam had put in.

Sri Lanka Cricket Team Beats Pakistan Cricket Team In Final To Win Asian Cup 2022

The Men in Green, however, were dismissed at 147, thanks to Pramod Madushan who scalped four wickets. Madushan, 28, put SL in the driving seat in his opening spell where he dismissed Babar Azam and sent Fakhar Zaman back to the hut on a duck.

Sri Lanka also went on to prove that teams can win games with big margins despite losing the toss on a UAE track.

Here Are The 6 Talking Points From The Asia Cup 2022 Final:

Shadab Has Series Of Brain-Fade Moments

Shadab Khan is regarded as one of the best fielders in world cricket currently, let alone on the Pakistan side. But even the best in the lot have their off days at times.

The 23-year-old was hit in the head with the shining white ball while trying to save the ball from reaching the boundary of an overthrow.

He was initially checked in by the team physio and allowed to resume, but his performance was never the same. The gun fielder went on to drop the catch of Sri Lanka’s danger man - Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

In the death overs of the first inning, Rajapaksa gave another chance to be dismissed off Haris Rauf. This time Asif Ali was under the ball but neither Shadab nor Ali called for the game and ended up colliding with each other.

The shot that would’ve landed for a four had there been no fielder on the spot, went for a six instead. He didn’t have the best outing with the bat either, scoring only 8 (6) when the team desperately needed him to replicate his innings against Afghanistan.

Hasarange Shines In Both Halves

Wanindu Hasaranga continued his A-form in the finals as well, walking away with the Player Of The Tournament trophy after a fabulous all-round performance in almost every Asia Cup encounter this year.

Against Pakistan on Sunday night, the 25-year-old first scored a fiery 36 off 21 that included a mammoth six and five fours.

Sri Lanka Cricket Team Beats Pakistan Cricket Team In Final To Win Asian Cup 2022

He then went on to pick three key wickets (Muhammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, and Asif Ali) to put Sri Lanka on the winning track, giving away merely 27 runs in his entire quota.

The all-rounder has shown no signs of stopping in the shortest format of the game. His spin partnership with Mahesh Theekshana has put the Island nations in a lot of white-ball contests and the story was no different on Sunday too.

Rajapaksa Makes Most Of Lifelines

After being given two huge chances in the later stages of the game, Rajapaksa made hay of the pressurized Pakistan fielders to go big.

The left-hander scored 71* off 45 only, including three sixes and six fours. His innings at the strike rate of 158 allowed the Sri Lanka bowlers to have ample runs to defend.

Despite walking in at a time when half of the team was sitting in the dugout and Pakistan bowlers were dominating the game, Rajapaksa made it look as if he was batting on a different wicket.

He did not resort to his power hitting right away. He instead took his time, middled a few deliveries, and targeted the Pakistan pacers to smack them for runs in gaps.

Babar Skips Nawaz

Many critics have come hard at the Pakistan skipper for not putting on Mohammad Nawaz into the attack with the ball.

Seemingly, Azam avoided bringing Nawaz in because left-handed batsman Rajapaksa was set at the crease, and playing a left-arm spinner would have been easier.

Sri Lanka Cricket Team Beats Pakistan Cricket Team In Final To Win Asian Cup 2022

But Nawaz has proven in the tournament that this doesn’t matter to him. The Pakistan spinner got to bowl only one over (16th) where he gave only 3 runs.

He’s the 4th highest wicket-taker in the Asia Cup 2022 with 8 scalps and a 5.9 economy.

Babar had instead put Iftikhar Ahmed in. But the off-spinner did not succeed at dismissing Rajapaksa either despite edging him on a few occasions.

Rauf’s Masterclass Goes In Vain

Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain were creamed all over the park in the death overs which affected their economy and unarguably confidence as well.

Haris Rauf was the only Pakistan pacer who delivered the goods. His 3/29 does injustice to his performance on the Dubai track where he did not let any Sri Lanka batter play him at their will.

He could bowl at 153km/h as well as deliver a 115km/h ball when needed. The change in pace often deceives the batsman and the same happened with the SL top order too.

Also, he swung the ball both ways which we haven’t seen Rauf do very often in his career.

While the in-form Naseem gifted Pakistan with an early blow by rattling Kusal Mandis on a first-ball duck, he couldn’t keep up with the similar pressure in the final overs.

Rajapaksa was all over the 19-year-old right-arm pacer, judged variations and length extremely well, and ensured he hit the bowler in gaps.

Hasnain had an off day as well despite having a brilliant tournament. He went wicketless and conceded 41 runs in four overs as compared to Naseem’s 1/40.

Both bowlers have a massive room for improvement considering how young they are. They have the energy, game awareness, and pace to keep every batter in the world in check, but more experience will make them world beaters with time.

Sluggish Rizwan Costs Pakistan The Final

Rizwan became the top scorer in the final, surpassing Virat Kohli. His half-century took him to 281 runs in six games at an average of 56.

However, his slow start never had him accelerate throughout the inning against SL.

Sri Lanka Cricket Team Beats Pakistan Cricket Team In Final To Win Asian Cup 2022

With 171 in sight, the right-handed batsman played a 49-ball knock, scoring 55 runs at a 112 strike rate. Many Pakistani fans were seen criticizing the opener for his slow intent.

Rizwan, who was named T20I Player of the Year in 2021 and has scored the most T20I runs since then has been an exception throughout this tournament as well, but his knock in the final seemingly put massive pressure on the middle order which proved to be too brittle with the asking rate only going up in the death overs.

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