With a heavy trend of teams winning matches while chasing in the Asia Cup 2022 in UAE, when Sri Lanka lost the toss and were asked to bat first by Pakistan, many thought the Men in Green would end up on the winning side. However, against all odds, the Islanders managed to script a terrific turnaround and defeated Pakistan to win the epic final and clinch their 6th overall Asia Cup title.
After the historic victory over Pakistan, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka revealed how MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) inspired his troops to win the summit clash. Shanaka said that the team had in mind the final of IPL 2021 when the Super Kings batted first and won.
Notably, in IPL 2021, which was also played in the UAE, the teams batting second did win more matches. But CSK did the reverse, batted first, and defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to clinch the title.
“In IPL 2021, Chennai won the match batting first, and that is what was in my mind, we talked about it,” Shanaka said in the post-match press conference.
“These youngsters know the conditions really well. Wanindu made a huge impact after losing five wickets. Chamika and DDS batted really well too. The last ball, six, was the turning point. 170 was mentally the difference, as 160 always feels chasable. As a youngster, we knew Madushanka would deliver, and as a captain, we had to back him,” he added.
Not to mention, the Lankans had lost their opening game in the tournament against Afghanistan, but after that, they won every single game and clinched the title. Shanaka said it was good they lost early as it gave them enough reason to assess themselves.
“It can happen to any team in the world. [On the first game against Afghanistan] It happened for a good reason. We had serious discussions after that game. Each and every individual did well for us, and that is how we became champions. The fielding improved a lot in the finals. We had some mistakes in the league stages. We were 100% today, credit to the players and the coaching staff. I want to thank the Sri Lankan cricket board and the selectors as well,” Shanaka added further.