Sri Lanka beats Pakistan to reach Asia Cup final against India

Photo of Sri Lanka vin over Pakistan in Asia Cup

On September 14th, in Colombo, Sri Lanka managed to secure their chance to defend their Asia Cup championship with an exciting two-wicket triumph over Pakistan. This victory granted them a place in the final against India, scheduled for Sunday. Opting to bat first in a rain-affected match, Pakistan posted a total of 252-7 in 42 overs, thanks to half-centuries contributed by Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique.

While Kusal Mendis played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s pursuit, it was Charith Asalanka’s unbeaten 49 that ultimately sealed the win in a thrilling contest that went down to the final ball. The Super Four encounter between the co-hosting teams effectively transformed into a semifinal, considering that both squads had previously suffered defeats to India.

After choosing to bat, Pakistan encountered an early setback when they lost Fakhar Zaman, and their captain, Babar Azam (29), departed just as he appeared to be settling into his innings.

Abdullah Shafique (52) and Mohammad Rizwan (86) brought stability to Pakistan’s batting, while Iftikhar Ahmed (47) provided a brisk performance towards the end, pushing their total past the 250-run milestone.

Shadab Khan made an impact by taking a catch to dismiss Pathum Nissanka off his own delivery and later executing a run-out against Kusal Perera. These incidents created some challenges for Sri Lanka.

However, the complete collapse that Pakistan had hoped for did not materialize. Mendis (91) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (48) combined forces to construct a crucial 100-run partnership, breathing new life into Sri Lanka’s chase.

Samarawickrama, holding a score of 41, faced a challenging moment when he was struck on the helmet while attempting to execute a pull shot against a rising delivery from Shaheen Afridi. In response, he dropped both his bat and helmet and knelt down, clutching his forehead.

Although he received clearance to continue, Samarawickrama’s time at the crease was brief as he was subsequently stumped by Iftikhar, breaking the partnership. Iftikhar (3-50) also thwarted Mendis from reaching a century and dismissed Dasun Shanaka before Afridi claimed two wickets in successive deliveries, dramatically changing the game’s dynamics.

With just six runs needed from the last two balls bowled by debutant Zaman Khan, Charith Asalanka managed to score a somewhat fortuitous boundary and then complete two runs, securing a nail-biting victory for his team.


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