In the final match of the Asia Cup 2022, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 23 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, UAE.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided to let Sri Lanka set up a target for them. Both the Lankan openers failed to score big in the powerplay. Dhananjay de Silva (28) got some decent runs but it was still looking rough for SL. To rescue them, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (71) played a huge role. The southpaw smashed a quickfire fifty which took the 2014 Asia Cup winners to a good position by the end of the first inning. Rajapaksa hammered six fours and three sixes while batting at a strike rate of 157.78. Towards the end, Wanindu Hasaranga’s (36) and Chamika Karunaratne’s (14) needful contributions took Sri Lanka to a strong score of 170/6 in 20 overs.
In reply, Mohammad Rizwan (55) scored a fifty from 49 deliveries. Something very rare to see in the finals as this slow inning brought a lot of pressure to other following batters. Iftikhar Ahmed (32) also played a sensible inning but again the strike rate at which he played justifying at all. Pakistan kept on losing wickets and eventually got all out on the final ball of the inning for 147 runs.
Pramod Madhushan grabbed four wickets while defending in the second inning. Along with him, Wanindu Hasaranga scalped three wickets. All three wickets were claimed in one over itself which ensured SL’s win. Chamika Karunaratne also got two, while Maheesh Theekshana picked one wicket.
For Pakistan, Haris Rauf got three wickets and with him, Naseem Shah, Shahdab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed got one wicket each.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa was adjudged Man of the Match for his scintillating batting show. Following this victory, Sri Lanka have claimed their sixth Asia Cup title.
Sri Lanka: 170/6, Overs 20, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 71, Haris Rauf 3/29
Pakistan: 147/10, Overs 20, Mohammad Rizwan 55, Pramod Madhushan 4/34