Both teams rested a couple of important players but there was no compromise in the intensity. Dasun Shanaka didn’t want to experiment and stuck to the winning formula of winning the toss and bowling first. The most heartening aspect of the bowling was star leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga rediscovering his rhythm to take 3/21 before opener Pathum Nissanka stayed unbeaten on 55 off 48 to see Sri Lanka home.
Sri Lankan 🇱🇰 skipper @dasunshanaka1 and @Wanindu49 discuss Pathum Nissanka’s contribution in the batting line-up,… https://t.co/wkme5JLpOa
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If Friday’s match is any indication, one can expect another thriller in the final. Defending 121, the Pakistan bowlers, without Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan, were not going to make it easy for the Lankan batting. Pacer Mohammad Hasnain (2/21) and Haris Rauf (2/19) came hard with the new ball to reduce Sri Lanka to 29/3 in five overs.
The air might have been tense, but Wanindu Hasaranga 🇱🇰 was as cool and calm as you like! 😎He produced a great per… https://t.co/pZRFpVlBwu
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However, Nissanka anchored the innings well with Bhanuka Rajapaksa (24 off 19) and Dasun Shanaka (21 off 16) to ensure there was no collapse.
Pakistan 🇵🇰 Head Coach, Saqlain Mushtaq talks about @babarazam258 👀 and a promising Pakistani squad that is ready f… https://t.co/zGnRHBBZ02
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It was a match in which Pakistan captain Babar Azam could have played himself in and regained his form ahead of the final. Babar decided to take his time and bat deep even as the Sri Lankan bowling, which has been very effective at the top of the innings, kept chipping away at the wickets. As spinner Maheesh Theeksana applied the choke in the powerplay, the Pakistan innings struggled to get going. The pressure applied by Theeksana, Dilshan Madushanka and Pramod Madushan up front was amplified by Hasaranga. Every time Pakistan tried to break the shackles; Sri Lanka had an answer.
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The real contest was when Babar faced Hasaranga. Batting on 30 at about a run-a-ball, he couldn’t have taken anymore time to settle in. Babar showed his first real sign of intent when he ran down the track to Hasaranga, only to be beaten in the air as his wild slog missed the ball and hit the stumps.
Rounding up 📸 the second innings of the last #Super4 match of the DP World #AsiaCup 2022 🏆 before the final. Well… https://t.co/pAqotSA0zU
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Hasaranga’s guile was too tough to get past. Every time a Pakistan batter tried to go big, Hasaranga found their stumps.
Scores: Sri Lanka 124/5 in 17 overs (Nissanka 55*, Rauf 2/19) beat Pakistan 121 in 20 overs (Babar 30, Hasaranga 3/21) by 5 wkts (with 18 balls remaining).