ANI Photo | Afghans celebrate Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup win, take to streets & social media to express joy

Following Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup 2022 win, people in Afghanistan took to the streets to celebrate the sixth title win of the island nation, which is currently going through severe economic crisis.

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A brilliant half-century from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and fiery spells from spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and pacer Pramod Madushan helped Sri Lanka lift its sixth Asia Cup title, defeating Pakistan by 24 runs in the final in Dubai on September 11.

In a video shared by Afghanistan journalist Abdulhaq Omeri, a huge crowd of people was seen in the street, with some cheering, with some dancing with joy after Sri Lanka’s win.

People also took to social media to congratulate Sri Lanka on their win and also to poke fun at the Pakistani team’s performance in the final, especially while fielding.

“Congratulations Thank You Sri Lanka for making us very Happy.. Afghanistan is cheering & celebrating Sr Lanka win,” tweeted a user.

A user under ICC’s post about Sri Lanka being crowned as champs mocked Pakistan for not being able to defeat Sri Lanka in both of their matches, while Afghanistan did it once.

“We beat the Asia Cup champions but you lost 2 times,” tweeted the user.

Under the same post, another user posted a video of Afghanistan fans celebrating SL’s win by dancing in the streets.

“This is how Afghanistan people celebrating Sri Lanka’s victory. #AsiaCup2022,” he tweeted.

An Afghanistan fan also poked fun at Pakistan’s fielding in a photo posted in comments of a video posted by legendary Pakistani bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

Another Twitter user from Afghanistan expressed happiness after Pakistan’s loss in the final. “Pakistans downfall is my happiness,” the user tweeted.

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This comes after clashes were reported between the supporters of Afghanistan and Pakistan after the latter won the cricket match in the Super Four phase of Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah on Wednesday.

Afghanistan themselves had a decent outing at Asia Cup 2022. They qualified for the Super Four phase of the tournament after wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Group Stage, but could not score any win in the Super Four stage, losing to Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India.

Coming to the final, a brilliant half-century from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and fiery spells from spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and pacer Pramod Madushan helped Sri Lanka lift its sixth Asia Cup title, defeating Pakistan by 24 runs in the final of the tournament in Dubai on September 11.

Sri Lanka will be extremely ecstatic with their performances. They pulled off a remarkable comeback from a poor position in powerplay while batting, with help of Rajapaksa (71*) and Hasaranga (36) to reach 170/6 in 20 overs. While bowling, it was spells of Wanindu Hasaranga (3/27) and Pramod Madushan (4/34) that helped Lanka seal the victory by 24 runs, despite a threatening stand of 61-runs between Mohammad Rizwan (55) and Iftikhar Ahmed (32).

Chasing 171, Pakistan got some free runs as pacer Dilshan Madushanka gave away nine extras due to wides and no balls. However, the pacer made a comeback, giving only three more runs in his over.

Sri Lanka kept Pakistani willows silent for the next two overs and struck gold with the wicket of star batter Babar Azam for 5. Pramod Madushan took his wicket after the batter was caught by Madhushanka at short fine leg, with the latter making up for his expensive first over. Pakistan was 1/22.

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Madushan dismissed left-hander Fakhar Zaman for a golden duck, taking two wickets in two balls. After a terrible first over, Sri Lanka were favourites again, having reduced Pakistan to 2/22.

From then on, Rizwan and Ifitkhar Ahmed tried to steady the ship for Pakistan. Sri Lanka, however, continued bowling brilliant lines and lengths, keeping their opponents largely on the backfoot. Men in Green could score only 15 in 15 balls after Madushan’s double blow and at powerplay end in six overs, Pakistan was at 37/2, with Rizwan (16*) and Iftikhar (6*).

The duo helped run come for Pakistan and the 50-run mark was touched in 7.3 overs.

At the end of 10 overs, Pakistan was at 68/3, with Rizwan (36*) and Ifitkhar (17*) at the crease.

A 50-run stand between the duo was up in 44 balls. At the start of the second half, Iftikhar seemed to turn things in his side’s favour with a four and six. Wanindu Hasaranga’s 12th over gave away 14 runs.

Things seemed to swing in favour of Sri Lanka when Madushan bagged his third wicket of the match in the 14th over. He ended the 71-run stand between Rizwan and Iftikhar after the latter was caught for 32 off 31 balls at backward square leg by KNA Bandara.

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Mohammad Nawaz was next on the crease. At the end of 15 overs, Pakistan was at 101/3, with Rizwan (47*) and Nawaz (6*). A solid 15th over by Dhananjya de Silva built pressure on Pakistan by giving away just four runs. Pakistan needed 70 runs in the final five overs.

Pressure piled up on Pakistan and evidence was Nawaz giving away his wicket for just four runs to Chamika Karurathne while attempting to pull but was caught by Madushan at backward deep square. Pakistan was reduced to 102/4.

Khusdil Shah was the next batter on the crease. Rizwan brought up his third half-century of the tournament with a pressure-relieving six. However, Hasaranga’s final over changed the game in favour of Sri Lanka once again, as he picked up wickets of Rizwan (55), Asif Ali (0) and Khusdil (2) in a span of five balls. Pakistan sunk to 112/7 after this over.

Miseries did not seem to end for Pakistan as Theekshana dismissed Shadab Khan for just 8 runs after he was caught by Gunathilaka. Naseem Shah, Pakistan’s hero in the match against Afghanistan was also sent packing by Madushan, who got his fourth wicket of the match after Karunarathne caught him at long-on.

Pakistan finished the match at 147 all out after Haris Rauf was bowled by Karunaratne for 13. Sri Lanka clinched its sixth Asia Cup 2022 title.

Madushan (4/34) and Hasaranga (3/27) were the heroes for Sri Lanka with the ball. Theekshana and Karunaratne took one scalp each.

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