As the two teams have already reached the finals of the Asia Cup, the Super Four match on Friday was strictly a rule-keeping affair. Before the finals, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aimed to understand how advanced the opponents are, what are each other’s strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day, Dasun Shanaka aced Babar Azam. Sri Lanka prepared well for the final by defeating Pakistan by five wickets.
After losing to Afghanistan in the first match of the Asia Cup, many thought that hosts Sri Lanka’s exit from the competition was just a matter of time. It was Sri Lanka that reached the final after winning four matches in a row. By winning against Pakistan, they made a hat-trick of victories in the Super Four. Shanaka’s team has defeated Afghanistan, India and Pakistan consecutively.
Being a regulation match, both the teams walked the testing road. Hasan Ali, Usman Qadir came to Pakistan team. Dhananjay D’Silva and Pramod Madushana got a chance in the Sri Lanka team. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first. After batting first, Pakistan got all out for 121 runs before the scheduled over. In reply, Sri Lanka won the match by five wickets courtesy of Pathum Nisank’s half-century. It is even clearer after Friday’s match that the toss is going to play a decisive role in the final as well. Whoever wins, the margin of victory will be heavy on him.
Pakistan faced a batting disaster after losing the toss and opting to bat first. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam did not make a bad start. But Khawan Rizwan took the wicket by playing a bad shot. Pramod Madushan’s ball hits the edge of the wicketkeeper’s bat and goes to zero. Wicketkeeper Kushal Mendis took the catch with ease. Fakhar Zaman joins captain Babar Azam. Even after handling the initial shock, the pace of the run-up is greatly reduced.
Jaman (13) returned to Karunaratne in the tenth over. Babar (30), who was playing well, collapsed in Pakistan’s innings on his return in the next over. The next to come to the crease, except for Mohammad Nawaz (26), no one could stand. Sri Lankan bowlers bowled fast. Wanindu Hasrang took three wickets. The ball in which he dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed is bound to be remembered for a long time. Mahish Thikshana and Pramod Madushane took two wickets each.
Rahane started trying to get into Rohit’s team after scoring a double hundred in the Duleep Trophy.
Afghans huddled with Indian fans, the opposite picture of the Pakistan match was seen in Dubai
Pakistan got off to a great start with the ball. Mendis returned with the second ball. Danushka Gunathilaka is out in the next over. Dhananjay D’Silva was dismissed in the fifth over. Sri Lanka lost three wickets for 29 runs. Openers Nisanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksha saved the disaster. The duo added 51 runs for the fourth wicket. Sri Lanka’s innings was led by Nisanka and captain Dasun Shanaka after Rajapaksa returned with a personal 24-run lead. Shanaka returned later but there was no problem. Nisanka (55 not out) and Hasranga (10 not out) led Sri Lanka to victory.
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