Sri Lanka were in inspired form as they cruised to a win against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2022 final, at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai on Sunday. Defending a target of 171 runs, Sri Lanka bowled out Pakistan for 147 in 20 overs with Pramod Madushan and Wanindu Hasaranga taking four-wicket and three-wicket hauls respectively. Meanwhile, Chamika Karunaratne took two wickets as Sri Lanka ended up winning by 23 runs. Initially, Sri Lanka posted 170 for six in 20 overs, with Bhanuka Rajapaksa smacking an unbeaten knock of 71 runs off 45 balls. Speaking after the match, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka revealed how MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) performance in the Indian Premier League 2021 (IPL 2021) final inspired him and his team.
“I want to thank the crowd; they have been supporting us massively. Hopefully we made them proud today. 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”, said Shanaka.
During the IPL 2021 final, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) initially won the toss and opted to bowl in Dubai. A knock of 86 runs off 59 balls by Faf du Plessis helped CSK post 192 for three in 20 overs, setting a target of 193 runs. Chasing the target, a three-wicket haul by Shardul Thakur restricted KKR to 165 for nine in 20 overs, with CSK winning by 27 runs.
Further adding on his side’s win, Shanaka said, “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. It can happen to any team in the world. [On the first game against Afghanistan] It happened for a good reason. We had serious discussions after that game. Each and every individual did well for us and that is how we became champions. The fielding improved a lot in the finals. We had some mistakes in the league stages. We were 100% today, credit to the players and the coaching staff. I want to thank the Sri Lankan cricket board and the selectors as well.”
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