Asia Cup 2022: Sri Lanka stunned the Pakistan cricket team in the Asia Cup final as they beat the Green Shirts by 23 runs in the high-voltage encounter in Dubai.
The Lankans were on the receiving end after they lost plenty of wickets already. This gave us a hint that Pakistan were the clear-cut favourites to win the title.
When the first half of Sri Lankan batters fell prey to Pakistan bowlers, Bhanuka Rajapaksa had other ideas in mind. He went on to display counter-attacking cricket at the best scene.
The left-handed batsman flawlessly struck the balls over the fence and had enough teeth in his armour to tear the opposition’s bowling attack with ease.
At the same time, Wanindu Hasaranga also contributed quite well by supporting Rajapaksa down the order as Sri Lanka got valuable runs on the board.
Asia Cup 2022: Last ball six helped us with the momentum, says Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Bhanuka Rajapaksa was the pick of the batters for Sri Lanka as he chipped in with an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls with the help of six boundaries and 3 hits over the fence.
He provided a ray of hope to the nation by playing a fearless brand of cricket. Hasaranga scored 36 off 21 balls including 5 boundaries and a six.
In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 147 runs. Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 55 off 49 balls (4 fours, 1 six). Pramod Madushan took 4 wickets for Sri Lanka whereas Hasaranga took 3 wickets to his name.
Rajapaksa was named the man of the match for his heroics. At the post-match presentation, he said the last ball six struck by him helped the team with the momentum.
“It was not easy out there. Pakistan were bowling well. When Wanindu came in, we got a plan. We wanted to be positive all through. When Iftikhar was bowling, Wanindu said that he would attack him. But thankfully both of us went har. I had to change my game because Pakistanis were on top,” Rajapaksa said after the game.
“We wanted to spend some time in the crease and that helped in getting 170. When Chris (Silverwood) came out to talk to us after the 10th over, I told him that 140 was a good score. But we stayed till the end and the target was much different. The last ball six and the last over helped us with the momentum and this is a game of momentum.,” he added.