In a dress rehearsal for the all-important final of Asia Cup 2022, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by five wickets at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Chasing a paltry target of 122, Sri Lanka lost three wickets for just 29 before Pathum Nissanka, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa steadied the ship with a vital partnership. The duo added 51 runs for the fourth wicket to cut short the deficit.
The Islanders lost two more wickets in the form of Rajapaksa (24) and Dasun Shanaka (21), but Nissanka stayed unbeaten at 55 from 40 balls to take Sri Lanka home.
Earlier, Sri Lanka bowled exceptionally well to bundle out Pakistan at 121 in 19.1 overs. Leg-spinner spinner Wanindu Hasaranga did the maximum damage, bagging a brilliant three-wicket haul for just 21 runs in his quota of 4 overs.
Apart from Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana (2/21) and Pramod Madushan (2/21) picked up a couple of wickets each. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam top scored with 30 off 29 balls, while Mohammad Nawaz scored 26 off 18 deliveries.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Lions go marching on and on! 🦁
Sri Lanka finish the super 4 round of the #AsiaCup2022 UNBEATEN! 👊👊👊👊
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 9, 2022
Props to Sri Lanka for backing Dasun Shanaka's talent over the years. Until last year, he had 53 inns with batting average only 17 and SR 107. This year, he has 417 runs at average 38 and SR 144. When you back a talent in this fickle format, it pays off. #AsiaCup
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 9, 2022
— ICC (@ICC) September 9, 2022
Chasing team in Asia Cup 2022:
Lost (Hong Kong)
Lost (Hong Kong)
Lost (India beat Afghanistan)
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) September 9, 2022
Very reassuring run-chase from Sri Lanka. Nissanka is a classy player.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 9, 2022
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) September 9, 2022
— 🏏Flashscore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) September 9, 2022
— Asim Azhar (@AsimAzharr) September 9, 2022
An easy victory for Sri Lanka. Both teams will meet in the final on Sunday! Hope our boys will make a strong comeback.
— Islamabad United (@IsbUnited) September 9, 2022