Sri Lanka outclass Pakistan to win Asia Cup
Sri Lanka won their sixth Asia Cup title as the Dasun Shanaka-led side handed a 23-run defeat to Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup in Dubai tonight.
Pakistan had everything going in their favour, from Babar Azam winning what seemed to be the all-important toss and electing to field first, up until the first quarter of the game. However, Bhanuka Rajapaksa arrived as the main man with the bat for the island nation and the Lankans turned on the style to seal their sixth Asia Cup title, having won the continental tournament in its 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2014 editions.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 71 off 45, laced with five fours and three sixes, strung two crucial partnerships, first of 58 off 36 balls with Wanindu Hasaranga and an unbeaten 54 off 31 balls with Chamika Karunaratne after Sri Lanka were in serious spot of bother, having been five down for 58 inside the ninth over.
Defending 171, the Lankans displayed brilliant fielding skills and all of their bowlers performed as a unit as Pakistan's innings was restricted to 147 all out after 20 overs. Hasaranga spun his magic with the ball to pick all of his three wickets in a single over -- the innings' 17th which saw the departure of innings' and tournament's top-scorer Mohammad Rizwan (55), Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah -- while Pramod Madushan, playing his first game of the tournament, scalped four wickets for his side.