Twitter Goes Wild As Sri Lanka Become Asia Cup 2022 Champions Defeating Pakistan In The Final
A yorker from Chamika Karunaratne on the last ball of Pakistan’s chase bowled Haris Rauf after the batter’s attempted, futile, hopeless slog missed the ball. Pandemonium.
Sri Lanka are crowned the champions of Asia for the 6th time in history. But this one is so much sweeter for what the players and their countrymen are going through amid the economic crisis. For one night at least, the Sri Lankans can celebrate for some reason.
Pakistan became heavy favourites the moment Babar Azam won the final toss on Sunday evening in Dubai. Winning toss, electing to bowl first and winning the match has been the tradition in most of the matches in Dubai since last year, including the IPL games and the T20 World Cup last year.
Sri Lanka win their 8th Asia Cup
Sri Lanka themselves have won their last four matches - three in Super 4 round - by chasing so it would have been something of craziness if anyone called for a Lanka win while defending. Defend they did - Dasun Shanaka’s spirited team won the Asia Cup 2022 final by 23 runs, which is a significant margin in T20 cricket.
It was Bhanuka Rajapaksa - the only high-profile Sri Lankan batsman good enough to get in the IPL earlier this year - who tore into the Pakistani bowling with a sizzling counterattack after Sri Lanka had been reeling at 58/5 in 9 overs.
The burly left-hander smoked 6 fours and 3 sixes in his entertaining innings to finish with 71* off 45 balls, sharing two crucial, match-turning stands of 58 (36) with Hasaranga, who scored 36 off 21, and after that of 54 (31) with Karunaratne, who held his end with a run-a-ball 14, and took Sri Lanka to a par total of 170.
Pakistan were off to a rapid start themselves, but a slice of luck fell Sri Lanka’s way when, in the 4th over, Babar Azam picked out short fine leg to a poor leg side delivery, followed by a golden duck for Fakhar Zaman.
Sri Lanka had their man and there was no looking back even as Mohammad Rizwan held his hand but with his counter-productive intent, it felt like Sri Lanka were benefitting from Rizwan staying at the crease.
Iftikar Ahmad (32 off 31) and Rizwan (55 off 49) piled up pressure on themselves and other incoming batters with their slow knocks. Eventually, it proved too much of an uphill task for Pakistan and Hasaranga effectively killed the game with three strikes in the 17th over.
Here are some of the best reactions of fans on Twitter to Sri Lanka's inspirational Asia Cup 2022 triumph:
Congratulations to Sri Lanka, Chris Silver wood, Russell Arnold and Jacqueline Fernandes 🎉— Prithvi (@Puneite_) September 11, 2022
PBKS blood Rajapaksa and RCB blood Hasaranga have won a crunch final for their team.— Jokshan Madhushanka (Perry's version) (@Jokeresque_) September 11, 2022
What an emphatic, enthralling brand of cricket played by Sri Lanka! To win by 23 runs after getting slumped to 58/5 inside the first nine overs takes some doing and the Lankan lions have gone above and beyond!#AsiaCupFinal2022 #AsiaCupFinal #SLvsPAK— Roy (@TheRoyNextDoor) September 11, 2022
Premature celebration syndrome. https://t.co/9EIpGiR8KD— Akash Kumar Jha (@Akashkumarjha14) September 11, 2022
Well played Sri Lanka. Great attitude, top approach to the game. Deserving champions.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 11, 2022
An innings like Rizwan will easily fetch you top ranking and average of 50, but not the impact team needs.— ANSHUMAN🚩 (@AvengerReturns) September 11, 2022
Sri Lanka under Arthur & now Silverwood have become very clear about how they want to play T20 cricket.— Nakul Pande (@NakulMPande) September 11, 2022
There’s a rawness to the fast bowling, but the batting & spin bowling is aggressive & capable of doing damage to anyone, and boy they’re fun to watch.#PAKvSL🏏🇵🇰🇱🇰#AsiaCup
Only great sides become champions after defending a score at Dubai.— Manya (@CSKian716) September 11, 2022
Waiting for the post-match analysis now. pic.twitter.com/FQPwvX8ioM— Saurabh Malhotra (@MalhotraSaurabh) September 11, 2022
Sri Lanka breaking the Dubai defending curse - that too in the final - is not something perhaps anyone saw coming..— Jatin Khandelwal (@jr_khandelwal) September 11, 2022
Just a tremendous performance from a fired-up group after the loss in first match #AsiaCup2022Final #SLvsPAK