In a heart-pounding encounter at the Asia Cup Super Four stage in Colombo, Sri Lanka once again displayed their cricketing prowess as they triumphed over Pakistan in a nail-biting last-ball thriller. This thrilling victory secured Sri Lanka’s place in the Asia Cup 2023 final against arch-rivals India. The match was nothing short of a roller-coaster ride for cricket enthusiasts, and it left fans on the edge of their seats.
The Chase of a Lifetime
Facing a revised Duckworth-Lewis-Stern target of 252 runs in their final Super Four match, Sri Lanka’s hopes rested on the shoulders of Kusal Mendis, who delivered when it mattered the most. Mendis played a pivotal role in the chase, crafting a crucial 91 runs that breathed life into Sri Lanka’s campaign.
With six runs needed off the final two balls, it was Charith Asalanka who etched his name into the annals of cricketing history. With nerves of steel, Asalanka edged Zaman Khan for a boundary on the penultimate delivery and then calmly guided the ball to the boundary for a couple of runs off his pads, sealing the deal for Sri Lanka. His composure under pressure was reminiscent of legendary cricket moments.
Pakistan’s Grit and Sri Lanka’s Determination
Pakistan had earlier posted a competitive total of 252-7, courtesy of an exceptional performance by Mohammad Rizwan, who remained unbeaten with a scintillating 86 runs off 73 balls. The start of the match was delayed by rain, but it didn’t dampen Rizwan’s spirits as he played a captain’s knock. His efforts were well-supported by Iftikhar Ahmed, who contributed 47 runs off 40 balls. Matheesha Pathirana was the standout bowler for Sri Lanka, finishing with figures of 3-65.
Sri Lanka’s reply was anchored by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis, who formed a crucial century stand for the third wicket with Sadeera Samarawickrama, scoring 48 off 51 balls. Mendis fell agonizingly short of what could have been his third ODI century, dismissed by Iftikhar, who took three crucial wickets for Pakistan.
Thrills and Spills in the Final Over
The penultimate over of the match witnessed Shaheen Afridi’s heroics, claiming two wickets in as many balls. This dramatic twist appeared to shift the momentum in Pakistan’s favor, leaving Sri Lanka with a daunting task of needing eight runs from the final over. The excitement was palpable, and fans couldn’t have asked for a more dramatic climax.
However, in the end, it was Charith Asalanka who emerged as the hero of the hour. Asalanka’s unbeaten 49 ensured that Sri Lanka crossed the finish line. The atmosphere at the R. Premadasa Stadium was electric as local fans cheered on their team well past 01:07 local time.
Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, acknowledged Sri Lanka’s superiority on the day, admitting, “Sri Lanka played very well, better cricket than us. We have not been up to the mark in the bowling and fielding. That is why we lost the match.”
As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the clash between Sri Lanka and India in the Asia Cup 2023 final, this thrilling encounter between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will undoubtedly be etched in the memories of cricket fans as a classic showdown of skill, determination, and nerve-wracking moments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Asia Cup 2023 Final
Q: When and where was the thrilling Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match played?
A: The thrilling Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match took place during the Asia Cup Super Four stage in Colombo.
Q: What was the target set for Sri Lanka in this match?
A: Sri Lanka faced a revised Duckworth-Lewis-Stern target of 252 runs in their final Super Four match against Pakistan.
Q: Who were the standout performers for Sri Lanka in this match?
A: Kusal Mendis played a pivotal role, scoring a crucial 91 runs, while Charith Asalanka held his nerve in the final over, remaining unbeaten on 49, guiding Sri Lanka to victory.
Q: How did Pakistan perform in this match?
A: Pakistan posted a competitive total of 252-7, with Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 86 being the standout performance for their team.
Q: What was the turning point in the match?
A: The penultimate over, where Shaheen Afridi claimed two wickets in two balls, appeared to shift the momentum in Pakistan’s favor. However, Charith Asalanka’s heroics in the final over secured victory for Sri Lanka.
Q: What is the significance of this match for Sri Lanka?
A: This match secured Sri Lanka’s place in the Asia Cup 2023 final against India, setting the stage for an exciting clash between the two rivals.
More about Asia Cup 2023 Final
- Asia Cup 2023 Official Website: For official updates and information about the Asia Cup 2023.
- ESPN Cricinfo: A reliable source for detailed cricket match statistics and news.
- Cricbuzz: Another popular cricket news website with match updates and analysis.
- BBC Sport Cricket: BBC’s dedicated section for cricket news and updates.
- CricTracker: A cricket news portal providing comprehensive coverage of matches and events.