Asia Cup Final: Last ball six helped us with the momentum, says Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls in Dubai and led Sri Lanka as it recovered from 58-5 to reach 170-6 in the final after Pakistan won the toss and elected to field.

Rajapaksa provided Sri Lanka with a late flourish when he smashed Shah for a boundary off the penultimate ball and then smashed a six-over extra cover to give Sri Lanka a strong total to defend. Rajapaksa hit six fours and three sixes in his innings.

In reply, Pakistan crashed to 147 all out off the last balls as its top order continued to struggle against the pace with fast bowler Pramod Madushan claiming 4-34 in only his second T20 international.

“The last ball six and the last over helped us with the momentum and this is a game of momentum,” said Bhanuka Rajapaksa at the post-match press conference.

Rajapaksa and Wanindu Hasaranga (36 off 21 balls) added 58 quick runs after Sri Lanka were left gasping for breath at 58 for 5.

“It was not easy out there. Pakistan were bowling well. When Wanindu came in, we got a plan. We wanted to be positive all through. When Iftikhar was bowling, Wanindu said that he would attack him. But thankfully, both of us went hard. I had to change my game because the Pakistanis were on top. We wanted to spend some time in the crease and that helped in getting 170,” he said.

There was another 54 run stand with Chamika Karunaratne and Sri Lanka did cross the 160-run mark.

“When Chris (Silverwood) came out to talk to us after the 10th over, I told him that 140 was a good score. But we stayed till the end and the target was much different,” he added.

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