In the final Super 4 match of the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka overcame a poor start to defeat Pakistan by five wickets thanks in large part to an unbeaten half-century from opener Pathum Nissanka.
On September 9 in Dubai, the last Super 4 game will feature Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan. Both sides are anticipated to compete in the championship match on September 11 in Dubai. Both PAK and SL have defeated India and Pakistan in the Super 4s and are showing some signs of consistency.
In the practice match before the summit match on Sunday, Sri Lanka was reduced to 29/3 after five overs of chasing a meager 122, but the 24-year-old Nissanka kept the innings together with his unbeaten 55 off 48 balls. Pakistan was dismissed for 121 in 19.1 overs by the superb bowling of Sri Lanka, which was headed by mystery spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed three wickets.
Player of the Match – Wanindu Hasaranga
Pakistan seemed especially helpless against Hasaranga’s main weapon, the ball that turns into the right-hander, perhaps because they hadn’t seen him since 2019 (he has grown as a bowler since then). In his first two overs, he only allowed six runs. When Babar Azam, who had reached 30 from 28 deliveries, did come down the track and take a chance, Hasaranga slid a straighter one beneath his bat and onto the wickets, and he was soundly defeated.
Wanindu Hasaranga had his first standout performance of the competition when the middle overs arrived, taking 3 for 21. Pakistan’s innings was never quite able to take off. Despite Mohammad Nawaz’s best efforts, Pakistan’s horizons significantly shrunk after his strikes, despite the fact that he appeared to be striking well in the 26 he made off 18 before being run out. Pakistan eventually lost to 121.
Hasaranga’s final over saw Iftikhar Ahmed score a six off the fourth ball, but the bowler roaringly recovered. In addition to bowling Iftikhar with a googly, he also dismissed Asif Ali with the first pitch despite the batter making merely a defensive shot and still managing to play inside the line of the googly that clipped off stump. Pakistan had a 91–6 advantage.
Sri Lanka control early overs
The tight bowling of Sri Lanka throughout the powerplay had prepared for that period. On a worn-out surface, Sri Lanka only allowed one boundary off the bat in the first five overs. Fingerspinners Maheesh Theekshana and Dhananjaya de Silva, together with debutants Pramod Madushan and Dilshan Madushanka, mostly kept things in check. Hasaranga helped Sri Lanka restrain the score despite the sixth over going for 12 runs.
In fact, Pakistan did not hit a boundary off the bat for 53 deliveries (from balls 5.5 to 14.3); the only time the ball passed the rope was on five wides. This put a lot of pressure on the innings’ second half, and batters were out attempting to hit big. For a loss of 58 runs, Pakistan’s last nine wickets were lost.
Hasnain and Rauf rip out three wickets
Because Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf took three early wickets and gave hope, Pakistan’s bowlers had an even stronger powerplay than Sri Lanka’s. With the batsman edging Kusal Mendis’ second pitch to slip, Hasnain got one to bounce. Mohammad Rizwan dived acrobatically to his right to grab the opportunity as Rauf took Danushka Gunathilaka’s outside edge next over with the aid of additional bounce.
If Hasnain had held onto a difficult return opportunity, he might have been able to get Dhananjaya in his subsequent over. However, Rauf caught him quickly by outpacing him with a delivery on the stumps that de Silva mishit to mid-off.
Nissanka and Co. reach a resolution.
For Pakistan, however, that was the best things it could get. Early in the middle overs, Rajapaksa struck a few sixes off Usman Qadir to put Sri Lanka far in advance of the needed rate. Nissanka gathered securely at the opposite end. Although Rajapaksa was out with 42 remaining, they still had 51 balls to bring them in and occasionally struck boundaries.
Nissanka finished off the seventh fifty of his T20I career and assisted Hasaranga in bringing the pursuit home.
Since they have successfully chased three times in a row, Sri Lanka in particular has improved. The Lankans defeated India in their most recent match by chasing down 174 with one ball remaining. Pathum Nissanka (52) and Kusal Mendis (57) provided the first impetus for their pursuit, which was completed by their skipper Dasun Shanaka (33 * off 18) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25* off 17).
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka – Final T20 13 of 13 on September 11, 10:00PM IST
Sri Lanka 38%