Despite being the favourites going into the Asia Cup 2022 final, Pakistan had to settle for second place. With just 58 on the board, the Babar Azam-led team packed half of the Lankan unit and got the match off to the predicted start.
However, the team managed to reach 170/6 after 20 overs thanks to a superb performance from Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who hit an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls, and a cameo of 36 runs in 21 balls from Wanindu Hasaranga.
Unlucky With The Way Babar Azam’s Getting Out: Saqlain Mushtaq
When Pakistan began their run chase, pacer Dilshan Madushanka let up 10 freebies without bowling a single ball. Madushanka got things going with a no-ball before bowling a string of wide ones, one of which also produced a boundary.
Though Pakistan’s star hitter Babar Azam once again failed to have an impact with the bat, Pramod Madushan gave Sri Lanka their first dismissal. The captain pushed a wide ball down the leg, which led to Madushanka collecting a catch at short fine leg. Following his dismissal, Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman in the next delivery. He was out for 5(6).
Pakistan could only muster 147/10 in response as the run rate increased and the Sri Lankan players put out an outstanding effort on the field.
Even though Pakistan’s captain Babar, who has a reputation for being a prolific scorer, only managed 68 runs in the six matches his team played, head coach Saqlain Mushtaq justified the skipper’s decline in performance.
“As I said before, anybody with a deep eye of cricket will realise that he is unlucky with the way he is getting out,” said Saqlain at the post-match press conference.
“The way he plays and his work ethic needs no further discussion. He is a world-class player and God save him from the evil eye,” he added.