The much-talked-about Asia Cup came to a befitting end. It started from Sri Lanka crumbling against Afghanistan to clinching the Asia Cup against mighty Pakistan, the journey was an uphill task for the Sri Lankan team and they made it strong. The Sri Lankan coach after winning the Asia Cup with a deflated Sri Lankan side has won an Asia Cup after he was sacked as a coach for the England Cricket team.
Pakistan had been a mighty opponent to everyone who faced them winning once again India and taking the other one to the end over. With the No. 1 and No. 2 T20 batsmen opening the innings for Pakistan it was expected to be a relatively easy task for Pakistan to win this Asia Cup. But Sri Lank came prepared, they prepared well for every aspect of the game and the innings of 55 of 49 balls from Rizwan didn’t help. Babar getting out cheaply and Fakhar Zaman departing the very next ball for a golden duck broke the middle order and sent a sense of panic in the Pakistan dressing room. Pakistan’s innings during the chase started off on a very good note with 11 runs coming off without even one legal ball being bowled.
With Pakistan winning the toss it was expected that Sri Lanka who had lost the last 6 Games when they batted first and with the trend being that every chasing team has won the game, so at the toss, it was thought of to be a win for Pakistan but Sri Lanka had other plans. Sri Lankan innings didn’t start off on a high note with both the openers getting out cheaply, Pakistan Pacers kept things quiet but Rajapaksa made an unbeaten 71* and took Sri Lanka’s innings to a score of 170 at the end of the first innings. Pakistan’s fielding let them down, dropping a couple of catches for Rajapaksa helping him play an attacking inning and posting a competitive score.
Sri Lankan bowling didn’t start off well but it picked the pace slowly and steadily and chipped away with wickets at regular intervals not letting anyone stabilize the innings, while Rizwan tried to anchor the innings but his innings more or less proved to be a hindrance in Pakistan’s middle order which is packed with some of the cleanest power hitters in the game. Sri Lanka came with a plan for every batter and executed it to perfection thus getting 9 wickets in the 19 overs and leaving an unfathomable task of 32 runs needed off the last over with two tailenders batting and one wicket in hand.