Colombo [Sri Lanka], September 13 (ANI): Hundreds of fans on Tuesday flooded the streets of the city as Sri Lanka took out a victory parade on an open-top bus to celebrate their title triumph in a memorable Asia Cup 2022.
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 Sunday.
Sri Lanka 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).
Taking to their official Twitter handle Sri Lanka Cricket shared photos of the overjoyed players travelling in a double-decker bus, with fans congratulating them.
The players also engaged with the crowd and expressed gratitude for their overwhelming support throughout the nation’s crisis.
Talking about the match, 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.
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 Iftikhar 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 Iftikhar (17*) at the crease.
A 50-run stand between the duo was up in 44 balls. In 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 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.
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 Dhananjaya 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.
Khushdil 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 a 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. (ANI)
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