Despite entering the Asia Cup 2022 final as favourites, Pakistan had to be content with the runners-up position. The Babar Azam-led unit started the clash in the manner it was expected of them and packed half the Lankan unit with just 58 on the board.
However, a splendid show by Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who scored an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls and a 21-ball 36 cameo by Wanindu Hasaranga helped the side reach 170/6 after 20 overs.
The run chase by Pakistan started with pacer Dilshan Madushanka conceding 10 freebies without a single delivery being bowled. Madushanka started with a no ball and then bowled a series of wide deliveries, one of which also resulted in a boundary.
However, Pramod Madushan provided Sri Lanka with the first dismissal as Pakistan’s premier batter Babar Azam once again failed to make an impact with the bat. The skipper nudged a wide delivery down the leg and ended up giving a catch to Madushanka at short fine leg. He was dismissed for 5(6) and soon after his dismissal Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman in the following delivery.
With the run-rate mounting and Lankan players displaying an excellent effort in the field, Pakistan could only manage 147/10 in response.
Babar, who holds the reputation of being a prolific scorer, managed just 68 runs in the six matches his side played, but Pakistan head coach Saqlain Mushtaq defended the skipper’s loss of form.
“As I said before, anybody with a deep eye of cricket will realise that he is unlucky with the way he is getting out,” said Saqlain at the post match press conference.
“The way he plays and his work ethic needs no further discussion. He is a world-class player and God save him from the evil eye,” he added.
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