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Sri Lanka win Asia Cup

Sri Lanka won their sixth Asia Cup title beating Pakistan by 23 runs at Dubai International Stadium in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday (Sept 11) night.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 71 off 45, laced with five fours and three sixes, strung two crucial partnerships, first of 58 off 36 balls with Wanindu Hasaranga and an unbeaten 54 off 31 balls with Chamika Karunaratne after Sri Lanka were in serious spot of bother, having been five down for 58 inside the ninth over.

Defending 171, the Lankans displayed brilliant fielding skills and all of their bowlers performed as a unit as Pakistan’s innings was restricted to 147 all out after 20 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga picked three wickets and Pramod Madushan, playing his first game of the tournament, scalped four wickets for his side.

Sri Lanka were drawn alongside Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Group B of the league stage and they beat Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan in the Super4s to make it to the Asia Cup final 2022.

Pakistan, on the other hand, were drawn alongside India and Hong Kong in Group A of the league stage and they beat India and Afghanistan in the Super4 stage to qualify for the Asia Cup 2022 final.

The tournament began on a poor note for Sri Lanka as they were bowled out for just 105 by Afghanistan. Not many had given them even an outside chance of progressing ahead let alone winning Asia Cup 2022.

But Sri Lanka have proved everyone wrong by going on to win 5 matches in a row to lift the Asia Cup title for a sixth time.

In the final match on Sunday night, Pakistan were on top for the first 10 overs of the Sri Lankan but it has pretty much been Dasun Shanaka’s side who have dominated since then.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa turned the Sri Lankan innings on its head with an unbeaten on 71 off 45 balls. He hit a four and a six off the last two balls to take them to a total of 170/6 in their 20 overs despite being 67/5 in the first 10.

Pakistan then got a 10-run boost at the start of their innings after Dilshan Madushanka bowled a no-ball and four wides, one of which went to the boundary.

However, Sri Lanka hardly gave Pakistan any quarter since then. Mohammad Rizwan dragged himself to 55 off 49 balls and his dismissal in the 17th over triggered a collapse.