Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka scripted history on Sunday evening as contrary to everyone's expectations, the team lifted their sixth Asia Cup title by defeating Pakistan at Dubai International Stadium. Written off by many cricket pundits prior to the tournament, Sri Lanka emerged as force to reckon with and outplayed big teams like India, and Pakistan.
While Sri Lanka secured historic victory at Dubai International stadium on Sunday, cricket fraternity was in awe of the champions who surprised everyone with their collective performance. Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was highly impressed with the way team performed and he heaped praises on the relatively younger side which made the island nation proud.
Taking to Twitter, Jayawardene hailed the side for showing great character and passion to win the game. "Good toss to lose boys!! Showed character and passion to play for the country and so proud of each and every one… enjoy the victory as entire country will. brilliant team effort," tweeted Sri Lankan legend.
Good toss to lose boys !! Showed character and passion to play for the country and so proud of each and every one… enjoy the victory as entire country will.. brilliant team effort #AsiaCup2022 👊— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) September 11, 2022
After being forced to bat first, Sri Lanka had a troublesome start as the side was soon reduced to 58/5 in the 8.5 overs. But Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa batted brilliantly in the final clash as he steered Sri Lankan innings.
Unbeaten Rajapaksa executed himself well in the innings as he scored 71 runs off 45 deliveries and got much-needed support from Wanindu Hasaranga who scored valiant 36 in 21 balls to propel Sri Lanka to 171/6 in 20 overs. In response to Sri Lanka's 171, Pakistan Cricket team reduced their two top-order batters in 3.3 overs with 22-run on board.
While Mohammad Rizwan (55 off 49) and Iftikhar Ahmed (32 off 31) kept the hopes alive with their matured knock, but Sri Lankan bowlers won the battle soon as they broke the partnership in the 13.2 overs by dismissing Iftikhar. After the dismissal of Iftikhar, Pakistan could not comeback in the game and kept losing wickets at regular intervals to eventually getting bundled out at 147 in 20 overs.