Pakistan were the favourites on Friday in Dubai in what was a dress rehearsal for the Asia Cup 2022 final, but Sri Lanka’s renaissance continued in the tournament as they won by five wickets to end their Super 4 campaign on an unbeaten note. Despite a poor outing for Babar Azam’s men, where the batters failed to prove their worth again, there was one moment that surely made the highlight reels for the side, which even managed to put a smile on their face.
It happened in the 17th over of the match when Mohammad Hasnain dished out an off-cutter to Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka, who fell for the bait and went for the bog slog, but instead miscued the shot sending it high towards long-on. Hasan Ali, who was at mid-off, made a spectacular run as he kept his eyes on the ball, and so did Iftikhar Ahmed, but neither had knew they were both going for the catch. Pakistan team have previously been involved in nasty collisions during catches, but Hasan Ali was lucky to have survived that as he grabbed the stunner and then evaded past his teammate to complete the dismissal before both fell on the ground.
Naturally one would have been annoyed at not calling for the catch, but Hasan Ali reacted differently. He threw the ball straight at Iftikhar and the two played catch-catch for a few seconds before they joined the teammates in the celebration.
Talking about the game, which was a dress rehersal for the Asia Cup 2022 final on Sunday, the rejuvenated Sri Lankan side continued their incredible winning run in the tournament as they beat Pakistan by five wickets. The bowlers were incredible in their outing as they folded Pakistan for just 121 runs. Pakistan bowlers gave a glimmer of hope to their side by picking a couple of early wickets but Pathum Nissanka’s valiant unbeaten half-century score guided the team to the target with three overs to spare.
“Always acceptable these kind of results. The combination we have with the left-arm fast bowlers, the leg spinners – the variation we have is amazing. I think the extras were a concern in this game, and the lines the fast bowlers bowled. These are areas we can improve, if we could get early wickets in the next game that will be good,” Sri Lanka skipper Shanaka said after the match.
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