Sri Lanka continued their brilliant winning run in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 as they beat Pakistan on Friday at the Dubai International Stadium in what was a dress rehearsal for the summit clash. It was a rather comfortable and dominating win for the Dasun Shanaka-led side who folded Pakistan for just 121 before chasing it down with five wickets in hand and three overs to spare. But Pakistan did not have two of their star players in the XI, including pacer Naseem Shah, but the pacer is certain to play in the final on Sunday. And when Sri Lanka star was asked about the threat the youngster poses to the Lankan side, he shut the reporter with a sassy reply.
Pakistan had rested Naseem and all-rounder Shadab Khan for the Super 4 tie against Sri Lanka on Friday which the side eventually lost by five wickets. Naseem, who managed to get an opportunity in the X owing to Shaheen Afridi’s injury, had played an influential role for the team in their Asia Cup journey which included the twin sixes he fired in the match against Afghanistan earlier this week.
Pakistan will play with their full-strength XI on Sunday in the final and hence Naseem will be back in the team. Hence when Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga had taken the presser after the match on Friday, he was asked by a Pakistan journalist, “Do you think Naseem Shah will give you a tough time in the final?” And the all-rounder’s response left the media room burst into laughter. “We will see in the final,” he replied with a smile.
No team has played the Asia Cup final more times than Sri Lanka. Sunday will be their 11th such game, two more than seven-time champions India. However, they have managed only five wins. Pakistan, on the other hand, have won two of their four finals. The two teams have faced each other three times in the Asia Cup final before with Sri Lanka having a 2-1 record, albeit all in the ODI format.
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