Dasun Shanaka, the captain of Sri Lanka, gave his nation a victory speech after his team won the Asia Cup.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s magnificent half-century, as well as ferocious outings from pacer Pramod Madushan and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, helped Sri Lanka win its sixth Asia Cup championship on Sunday in Dubai, defeating Pakistan by a score of 24 runs. In a post-game press conference, Shanaka remarked, “We would want to dedicate our win to our country. They all were waiting for this.”
After their first defeat by Afghanistan in the group stage, the team allegedly had a serious conversation, according to the captain.
This is the environment as a team that we have created, he continued. “We knew we had talent, but it is about applying it in-game scenarios. The players stood up and each and everyone contributed.
Shanaka stated that his team believed 170 would be a respectable score in the game’s finale.
“We have got diversity in our bowling. It is challenging to chase 170 in the final. I thought the last six by Bhanuka was remarkable,” he said.
Shanaka claimed that despite playing excellent cricket over the previous two to three years, Sri Lanka lacked the winning edge.
We’ve made a terrific turnaround, and this group will stay together for another 5 to 6 years.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, the batter, added that his team wished to give the supporters memories like this to remember.
There are a lot of crises going on at home, but we are playing really well as a team. We are looking forward to the World Cup and keeping up the pace. We’re happy and we hope we made some people smile,” he continued.
As Pakistan was defeated by Sri Lanka by 24 runs in the tournament’s final on Sunday in Dubai, Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s stunning half-century, furious spells from bowler Pramod Madushan and spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, and other factors helped Sri Lanka win its sixth Asia Cup.
Rajapaksa (71*) and Hasaranga (36) helped Sri Lanka achieve a spectacular recovery from a precarious position in the powerplay while batting, enabling them to reach 170/6 in 20 overs. Despite a dangerous stand of 61 runs between Mohammad Rizwan (55) and Iftikhar Ahmed, bowlers Wanindu Hasaranga (3/27) and Pramod Madushan (4/34) enabled Lanka to win by 24 runs (32).
Pakistan gained some additional runs while attempting to chase down 171 as pacer Dilshan Madushanka conceded nine more runs owing to wides and no-balls. The pacemaker, though, came back, allowing only three more runs in his over.
The following two Pakistani overs were quiet, but Sri Lanka struck gold when they removed star batsman Babar Azam for five runs. After the batsman was caught by Madhushanka at short fine leg, Pramod Madushan grabbed his wicket, making up for his costly opening over. It was 1/22 in Pakistan.
With two wickets in two deliveries, Madushan removed left-hander Fakhar Zaman for a golden duck. After a disastrous first over, Sri Lanka were favourites again, having limited Pakistan to 2/22.
Rizwan and Ifitkhar Ahmed then made an effort to steady the Pakistani ship. But Sri Lanka persisted in bowling beautiful lengths and lines, usually putting their rivals on the back foot.
After Madushan’s double blow, Men in Green could only score 15 in 15 balls, and after six overs of powerplay, Pakistan was at 37/2 with Rizwan (16) and Iftikhar (6).
In 7.3 overs, Pakistan reached the 50-run milestone with the help of the duo.
Pakistan stood at 68/3 after 10 overs, with Rizwan (36) and Ifitkhar (17) batting.
A 50-run partnership between the two was up after 44 balls. With a four and six at the opening of the second half, Iftikhar appeared to change the momentum in his team’s favour. In his 12th over, Wanindu Hasaranga conceded 14 runs.
When Madushan claimed his third match-winning wicket in the fourteenth over, the tide appeared to be turning in Sri Lanka’s favour. He ended the 71-run stand between Rizwan and Iftikhar after the latter was caught for 32 off 31 balls at backward square leg by KNA Bandara.
After him came Mohammad Nawaz on the field. Pakistan was at 101/3 after 15 overs, with Rizwan (47) and Nawaz (6). Dhananjya de Silva’s 15th over, which was effective and yielded just four runs, increased the pressure on Pakistan. In its final five overs, Pakistan needed to score 70 runs.
Sri Lanka finished their 20-over innings at 170/6. After scoring 42/3 on the power play, they had brilliantly recovered. They scored 50 runs in the last overs after scoring 78 runs in the middle overs from overs 7 to 16.
Rajapaksa hit six fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 71 off 45 balls. Together, he and Karuratne (14*) forged a 54-run partnership off just 31 balls.
With 3/29 in four over, Haris Rauf was Pakistan’s best bowler. Each of Shadab, Iftikhar, and Naseem secured one wicket.