Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan to win Asia Cup on Sunday© AFP
The Asia Cup 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw a heavy trend in the favour of teams chasing, making the toss in the final a crucial one to win. The odds were already in favour of Pakistan when Babar Azam called it right and opted to field. Things got worse for Sri Lanka when they were down to 58/5 in the 9th over. But from then on, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Pramod Madushan and an inspired display of fielding saw them register a rather comfortable win over Pakistan to lift their sixth Asia Cup title.
Sri Lanka bowled Pakistan out for 147 to win the match by 23 runs.
Of the 11 matches played in the tournament before the final, the team batting first had won only thrice.
Two of those were when India and Pakistan beat Hong Kong and the other was when Virat Kohli’s century powered India to a big win over a tired Afghanistan side that was playing on back-to-back days.
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka had acknowledged at the toss that his side was up against it having been put in to bat, but had said even then that they could still win.
After the match, he said that the team had in mind the final of IPL 2021, when Chennai Super Kings batted first and won.
“In IPL 2021, Chennai won the match batting first and that is what was in my mind. These youngsters know the conditions really well. Wanindu made a huge impact after losing five wickets. Chamika and DDS batted really well too. The last ball six was the turning point. 170 was mentally the difference, as 160 always feels chasable. As a youngster, we knew Madushanka would deliver, and as a captain we had to back him,” said Shanaka at the post-match presentation ceremony.
IPL 2021 was also played in the UAE and the teams batting second did win more even in that edition of India’s premier T20 tournament.
But CSK had batted first and ended up beating Kolkata Knight Riders in the summit clash.
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