The much-awaited final of the Asia Cup got underway on Sunday between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Dubai. Continuing with the trend in the tournament, Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and chose to bowl first in the all-important game.
Sri Lankan openers, Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis walked out to bat to give a blistering start to their team in the big final. However, seamer Naseem Shah destroyed all their plans as he cleaned up Mendis on the third ball of the over. Nissanka also followed him quickly as he was dismissed by Haris Rauf with a score of 23. Pakistan bowlers were all over Sri Lanka as they got three more wickets, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 58/5.
A brilliant partnership of 58 runs in just 36 balls between Wanindu Hasaranga and Bhanuka Rajapaksa brought Sri Lanka back into the game. Hasaranga was dismissed with the score of 116 after 14.5 overs but Rajapaksa continued to attack from the other end. He got involved in another partnership with Chamika Karunaratne of 54 runs for the seventh wicket. The partnership took Sri Lanka to a good total of 170 at the end of their innings.
Rajapaksa remained unbeaten on 71 off 45 balls for Sri Lanka. Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers as he picked three wickets for 29 runs. The Pakistan chase got off to a great start as Dilshan Madushanka bowled a no ball, three wides and another wide that went away for four byes before his first legal delivery.
Despite a bizarre start, Sri Lankan bowlers made a terrific comeback into the match as they built pressure on Pakistan batters. Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman were removed on consecutive balls by Pramod Madushan. Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed came together at the crease and built a partnership of 71 runs to stabilize the Pakistan innings.
The Sri Lankan bowlers didn’t allow them to score at a brisk pace and kept the pressure on. The partnership was broken by Madushan, who picked up his third wicket of the match. Rizwan also followed him as he was dismissed by Hasaranga after scoring 55 off 49 balls. After Rizwan’s wicket, Pakistan completely lost their way and began losing wickets while trying to keep up with the required run rate.
Wanindu Hasaranga picked three wickets in the 16th over and sealed the match for his team. Pakistan tail scored a few boundaries at the end but it was too much work to be done for them. Sri Lanka finally tasted victory on the last ball of the over as they got Pakistan all out for 147. They won the final by 23 runs and clinched their 6th Asia Cup victory staging a dramatic comeback in the tournament. Here’s how Twitter reacted to Sri Lanka’s incredible win:
— Zeshan Yousuf (@YOZeshan098) September 11, 2022
@babarazam258 why did you not use Nawaz, why do u want to give Iftikhar so many chances? Why u want Khushdil in your team. So many questions man which you need to answer. Jeeta huwa match haar rahey ho. @Saqlain_Mushtaq #PAKvsSL
— Hasan R?? (@TM00121) September 11, 2022
— Shanzay khan (@shanzaykhan2) September 11, 2022
— Fayaz Ahmad (@fayazkhyber) September 11, 2022
— Osama Khan (@Osama1848) September 11, 2022
— Abdullah Akhtar Shaikh (@abdullahakhtars) September 11, 2022
— Hamd Al Saleh (@HamdAlSaleh1) September 11, 2022
Sri Lanka the team which will be playing qualifying matches for Wt20 is now the champion of Asia very well played guyz you really deserve this victory for sure ??
Congratulations @OfficialSLC #AsiaCup2022Final #TeamSriLanka #PAKvsSL
— Sheheryar Javed ?? (@Sherryjaved3) September 11, 2022
Congratulations Sri Lanka ?? for playing exceptional cricket despite low on resources and massive problems back home!
Hope rich Indian cricket players learns lesson from you guys! #respect #AsiaCup2022Final #PAKvsSL
— ? Bhushan S ?? ? (@bhushanshende) September 11, 2022
@OfficialSLC Not Finished Yet !!!
6th Asia Cup Title ?
— fantasyevolution.in (@Fantasyevo21) September 11, 2022
Well done Team Sri Lanka ??@OfficialSLC
Well Played, You Deserved The Victory ? Congratulations ??
I Salute U ???#AsiaCup2022Final #PAKvsSL #SLvsPAK #AsiaCup2022 #Rizwan #BabarAzam pic.twitter.com/53Hj7FnQNs
— Zain Rajpoot (@zain_rajpoot38) September 11, 2022
— jigar saraswat (@jigar31) September 11, 2022