Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s HIGHLIGHTS of the Asia Cup 2022 final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Sunday.
SRI LANKA BEAT PAKISTAN BY 23 RUNS
Karunaratne to bowl the last over. Slower bouncer, Rauf misses the pull. Pakistan needs 32 off five balls. Single at deep midwicket for a single. Another slower one and Hasnain drills it to long-on for one more. Slower length ball outside off and Rauf swings and misses. SIX! Full outside off and Rauf gets underneath it and hammers it over long-off for a maximum. OUT! And a symbolic end to the tournament as Karunaratne smashes Rauf’s stumps. Sri Lanka wins by 23 runs and lifts it sixth Asia Cup title and first since 2014.
Naseem walks in. Pakistan needs 51 runs to win from 12 balls. Wide down leg first ball. FOUR! Naseem goes for the slog on the leg and gets a thick outside edge that runs away to the third man boundary. OUT! Naseem drills this full one straight to the long-off fielder. Slower one outside off and Hasnain is beaten. He gets off the mark with a single as he clears his front leg and hammers it to long-off. FOUR! Haris Rauf smashes this to the long-on boundary. The fielder in the deep ran in too much to take the catch and ended up conceding four runs. It is also a no-ball as the buzzer goes off. Free hit coming up and a bouncer from Madushan and wide called. SIX! Slower length ball and Hasnain waits and slogs this over wide long-on for a maximum.
FOUR! Thick outside edge for Shadab as he goes for the slog and this runs away past the keeper for a boundary. The batters swinging the bat hard now but no real timing. Shadab takes a tight two and Theekshana cannot collect the ball and a let-up for Pakistan. OUT! Shadab skies this in the air and over covers and taken by Gunathilaka.
OUT! Tossed up outside off, Rizwan slog sweeps this straight into the hands of deep midwicket. Is that the game here? Asif and Khushdil at the crease. OUT! Asif Ali is cleaned up first ball and goes for a golden duck. Shadab is in now. Flicks on off the front foot for a single. OUT! Another one bites the dust. Khushdil slogs against the spin and ends up slicing it high in the air. Three wickets for Hasaranga in the over.
Rizwan swings this to deep square leg for a single. OUT! Nawaz pulls this but finds deep backward square leg and Pakistan loses its fourth wicket. Slower one, angling away outside off and Khushdil is beaten as he looks to open the face of the bat. Pulled away by him for a single at deep square leg next ball. SIX! Full outside off and Rizwan gets on one knee and slog sweeps over deep midwicket for a maximum. Slower one again this one, Rizwan steps out early and just manages it to flick on leg-side for one.
Dhananjaya de Silva will bowl now. Nawaz drills the first one down the ground and a sensational save at long-on keeps it to a couple. A couple more as Nawaz flays this full toss to deep point. De Silva keeping Nawaz on a leash here. Just four runs from the over. Asking rate now 14 and Sri Lanka favourite to lift the trophy from here now.
Madushan with the ball. Slow and short and this is done leg and will be a wide. OUT! Iftikhar goes for the big one and ends up slicing it high in the air and it is taken at deep square leg. Pakistan in trouble now. Nawaz is in next. Three singles after the fall of the wicket. Rizwan moves to 47. Nawaz takes a last-ball single and keeps strike.
Theekshana returns. Rizwan starts off with a couple. Excellent over from the off-spinner as just three runs come off it. The pressure building on Pakistan as the asking rate shoots over 11.4.
Hasaranga into his third over. SIX! Finally something to cheer about for Pakistan. Iftikhar slog sweeps and sends the ball sailing over deep midwicket for a maximum. FOUR! This is hammered down the ground for a one-bounce four. Guided behind for a couple at deep third. This one keeps low and Iftikhar punches this to deep midwicket for a single. Swept by Rizwan for a single off the last ball.
Karunaratne will continue after the break. Length on the stumps and Rizwan gets behind the ball of defends solidly. Whipped off his pads for a single next ball. Slower on the stumps, one more at deep midwicket. A series of slower balls in the over and just six runs come off it.
Hasaranga is back. Rizwan sweeps this from wide outside off to deep square leg for a single. One more for Iftikhar next ball. Googly has Rizwan in trouble as it beats his inside edge before thudding into his pad. LBW shout is turned down but Shanaka goes upstairs. Rizwan will survive as this has brushed the inside edge, as replays confirm. Sri Lanka loses a review. Four singles from the over so far. Make it five as Rizwan gets low and sweeps behind square for a single.
Theekshana comes back for his second over. FOUR! Delicately done by Rizwan. Shortish and he stays back and guides it behind to the third man boundary. Another tight couple of runs and it could have been close if the throw at the non-striker’s would have been better. Rizwan flicks the last one off his pads for a single.
Chamika Karunaratne into the attack. FOUR! Length ball, Rizwan shuffles across the stump and cross-bats that to the square leg fence for four runs. A couple next ball and some good running by the batters. Slower on off and Rizwan gently taps that on off and hares for a single. Three more singles to end the over. Pakistan finally getting some momentum going.
Hasaranga into the attack. FOUR! Flighted outside off and Ifthikar clears his front leg and pummels that over the covers for a boundary. Six runs from the over despite the boundary.
Madushan continues. Ifthikar lofts this over the circle on the leg-side for a couple. Rizwan pulls one to deep square for one more. Thick outside edge off Itikhar’s blade and he gets a single between cover and point.
Madushanka to bowl his third over. Back of a length on middle and leg and Rizwan pulls this through square leg for a couple of runs. Iftikhar is beaten as he looks to drive outside off. Well-directed short ball and Iftikhar is hurried on the pull and just gets a single. FOUR! Back of a length outside off again and this time Rizwan cuts it well and past the cover fielder for a boundary.
OUT! Babar falls to a nothing delivery on leg stump. Length ball, going down leg and he flicks it to short fine-leg, who does very well to cling on to this one. Fakhar Zaman comes in next. OUT! Fakhar goes for the drive outside off and gets an inside edge and chops on. Fakhar goes for a golden duck. Two wickets in two balls for Madushan. The hat-trick ball is on a length on the pads and Iftikhar pushes it on leg for a single. Rizwan pushes the last ball of the over for a quick single at mid-on.
Madushanka continues. Bowls a wide yorker outside off and Rizwan cannot dig it out. FOUR! This is a half-volley outside off and Rizwan pushes this gently past mid-off for a boundary. SLightly shorter and wider outside off this one and Rizwan is beaten! Rizwan is timing the ball well on the off and picking the fielders to perfection. Just four runs from the over.
Theekshana from the other end with his off-spin. Going down leg and wide called. Rizwan finds it hard to get him away as he plays three consecutive dot balls. Finally gets a single off the fifth ball as he gets low to sweep to square leg. A couple for Babar to end the over.
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will get the chase underway for Pakistan. Madushanka with the new ball for Sri Lanka. Length ball, over the stumps on off stump and Rizwan gets behind to defend it. No-ball however as the buzzer goes off. Pakistan off the mark. Short ball and this is called wide. Another extra run and the free hit continues. Third extra in a row as this is down leg-side. And the misery continues as this is bowled on leg and the swing takes it further away for five wides. Eight runs on the board without a ball bowled. Make it nine extras now as this is going down leg as well. PAK 9/0 in 0.0 overs. And finally a legal delivery as this is a good length ball on off and Rizwan swipes across the line for a single. Wide outside off and Babar is beaten driving away from his body. Full on the pads and Babar misses the flick behind the keeper. Length ball, angling away outside off and Babar is off the mark with a single as he guides this to third man. Full outside off and Rizwan drives this to extra cover for a dot ball. Full on the pads and Babar pushes this to mid-on for a quick single. Twelve runs from the over. Good comeback from the bowler after he conceded nine without bowling a ball.
SRI LANKA 170/6 IN 20 OVERS
Naseem to bowl the final over. Slower length ball on the pads and Karunaratne swings it to deep square leg for a single. Rajapaksa gets a top edge as he looks to clear backward square leg and gets a couple as the ball lands short of the deep fielder. Two more for him next ball. Two back to back sixes from Rajapaksa to end the innings and Sri Lanka gets 170.
Good over from Hasnain so far. Just two singles off the first four balls. SIX! Rajapaksa goes big on leg-side. It’s high in the air and Asif Ali and Shadab Khan collide as they go for the catch at deep midwicket. The ball pops out of the fielder’s hand because of the collision and goes over the rope for a maximum and Shadab is down on the ground and seems to have hurt himself.
Rauf bowls out. Rajapaksa cuts this slower one behind point for a single. FOUR! Karunaratne shuffles across a bit and the ball goes off his thigh for four leg-byes. Driven by Karunaratne for a quick single at extra cover. Rajapaksa ends up hitting this high into the night sky and Shadab drops this skier at long-on, allowing the batters to come back for three. Rajapaksa brings up his 35-ball 50 with a single off the last ball.
Length ball angling into the pads, Karunaratne misses the flick and collects one leg-bye. SIX! Slower length ball on leg and Rajapaksa outrageously picks it up over deep backward square leg. SIX! Karunaratne now joins the party, hammering a full one over long-on for a maximum to end the over.
Nawaz into the attack. He keeps it flat mostly in this over. Three singles from the over.
Rauf comes back. A couple for Hasaranga as he fearlessly backs away outside leg, exposing his stumps and slaps through the covers. FOUR! Stupendous from Wanindu! Makes room again by backing away on leg and goes down the ground for four more. FOUR! Three stumps to hit for Rauf as Hasaranga once again makes room on off side and slices the ball over backward point for another boundary. Makes room again, misses and that’s been given out caught behind. Hasaranga walks without reviewing and that’s a big blow for Sri Lanka. Karunaratne is in next. Full and pushed off the pads for a single at long-on.
Shadab bowls out. Hasaranga pushes one to long-off for a single and that’s 100 up for SL in 13.1 overs. FOUR! Rajapaksa steps out and hammers this down the ground for a boundary. A tight single next ball but Hasaranga makes his ground with a dive. Shadab ends with figures of one for 28 from his four overs.
Hasnain back into the attack. He beats Rajapaksa with a short one on leg-stump, which hits the batter on the body before going to third man for one leg-bye. FOUR! Hasaranga with some crucial runs here. Stays low and puts this yorker away through the covers with a jab. He backs away next ball outside leg and flays this covers for two more. SIX! Sensational shot. Hasaranga cuts this with the pace over deep backward point for a maximum. Single to end the over.
Another over for Ifthikar. Rajapaksa living dangerously here. Goes for the slog sweep, gets an inside edge onto his pads and the ball loops up but falls short of the bowler. Hasaranga slog sweeps this time and gets a single at deep midwicket. FOUR! Very cheekily done by Hasaranga. Opens the face of the bat and runs it very fine past the keeper’s gloves to the boundary behind for four runs.
Shadab bowls his third over. FOUR! Rajapaksa goes inside out after stepping out and finds the cover boundary. He flicks the next one for a single. FOUR! Cut away with precision by Hasaranga to the point boundary. Slightly short and Hasaranga stayed low. This is still short and skids off the surface before coming into Hasaranga, who punches it to mid-on for a single. Ten runs from the over.
Rajapaksa the key here now for Sri Lanka. Iftikhar continues. Rajapaksa cuts one to deep point for a couple. Next ball he almost plops a catch back to the bowler as he gets a bit of a leading edge. A bit of confusion in the middle as Hasaranga guides one off the backfoot to mid-on and hares for a single but is sent back halfway down the pitch.
Shadab continues. A couple of singles off the first two balls. OUT! Shanaka swipes across the line of the ball, misses and makes a mess of his stumps. Sri Lanka five down and in absolute disarray. FOUR! Hasaranga gets off the mark with a first-ball four. He stays back and steers this behind point.
Iftikhar comes on with the ball. FOUR! A slight outside edge for Rajapaksa past the keeper and to the boundary. OUT! de Silva hands a catch back to Iftikhar as he looks to loft this over the bowler’s head.
Shadab with the ball after the PowerPlay. Five singles from the over.
Rauf continues. OUT! Gunathilaka sees his stumps shattered. Pitched up and it moves into the left-hander to beat his defence and clatter into the stumps. FOUR! This one moves away, thick outside edge for Rajapaksa and runs away to the third man boundary. Serious pace here from Rauf - darted in 153 kmph. Cracking yorker next up and Rajapaksa digs it out to the cover fielder. This is on a length on middle and Rajapaksa defends it back. LBW shout off another Rauf yorker. Umpire is unmoved but Babar goes up for the review. Tough luck for Pakistan as this is clipping leg-stump just enough to be called umpire’s call and Rajapaksa survives.
Hasnain comes back. FOUR! de Silva lifts this over the circle for another boundary. Length ball, moving away and de Silva goes inside out. Tucked off the pads for a single next ball. Gunathilaka is off the mark with a single off the third ball he faces.
Haris Rauf into the attack. Nissanka gets a bit of an inside edge as he defends this length ball back to the bowler. OUT! Nissanka lofts this over the bowler’s head and doesn’t time it and Babar makes no mistake in pouching this. Prodigious away swing and de Silva is beaten as he goes for a booming drive outside off. Gunathilaka is the next batter in at No. 4. FOUR! de Silva punches this length ball between cover and point for a boundary. de Silva keeps strike with a single.
Naseem beats Nissanka with the one that keeps low. Huge LBW shout next ball but Nissanka survives as that looked like going down leg. FOUR! Now it is Nissanka who unleashes the cover-drive for a boundary. Three singles to end the over.
Hasnain from the other end. Nissanka pokes at a length ball in the channel tentatively for a single. FOUR! de Silva crunches a full one outside off through the covers with a delectable cover-drive. The ball was moving away but de Silva kept himself steady and got in perfect shape. Going down leg but the ball goes off the batter’s thigh and still called wide. FOUR! Another four for de Silva. Tucked off his pads for a couple off the last ball.
Naseem Shah has the new ball. Naseem to Nissanka first ball coming up. Wide ball down leg to start with. Going down leg and goes further away with the swing. Length ball on the pads and Nissanka taps this on leg side. Nissanka gets a thick inside edge as the ball swings in sharply and runs away to fine-leg for a single. OUT! Mendis goes first ball. Swings in sharp and late and rattles Mendis’ stumps. Golden duck for Mendis. Dhananjaya de Silva comes in and collects a couple off the last ball of the over to get off the mark.
The Pakistan players are in a huddle. Nissanka and Mendis walk out for opening the batting.
Teams file out for the national anthems. Pakistan’s up first. Done with the anthems.
PAKISTAN PLAYING XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain.
SRI LANKA PLAYING XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Pramod Madushan, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka.
TOSS: Pakistan wins the toss and elects to bowl. Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah are back for Pakistan while Sri Lanka is unchanged.
Sri Lanka has been lucky with the tosses in the tournament so far, winning four out of five. Meanwhile Pakistan has won three out of five tosses in this edition of the Asia Cup.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan have met three times in the final of the Asia Cup (1986, 2000, 2014). Sri Lanka has won two of those encounters while Pakistan has won one.
The last time Sri Lanka and Pakistan clashed in the final of the Asia Cup was way back in 2014. Sri Lanka won the summit clash by five wickets in Mirpur and clinched its fifth continental title.
Sri Lanka will be eyeing a sixth Asia Cup title on Sunday, moving closer to India’s record seven titles. Meanwhile, Pakistan will hope to clinch its third.
SRI LANKA PREDICTED XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka/Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan/Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.
PAKISTAN PREDICTED XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain.
ASIA CUP 2022 FINAL TACTICAL PREVIEW
Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2022 final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The two teams met in the last Super 4 game at the same venue on Friday and served a sneak peek at the tactics that could shape tonight’s final. Here are the four tactical moves that could have a telling impact on the outcome.
Much like last year’s T20 World Cup held in the United Arab Emirates, teams chasing in night matches in Dubai in the Asia Cup have had the upper hand, winning six of the eight matches so far. There is a distinct advantage to chasing in the UAE, where dew tends to make the second innings batting easier. In the last match played in Dubai, Pakistan batted first and struggled to break free on a wearing surface that was being used for the second time in as many nights. But Sunday’s final will be on a fresh wicket. The team batting first here must shed the cautious first innings batting.
Pakistan has won one and lost two matches batting first so far, scoring at a runrate 7.3 in the PowerPlay and losing four wickets. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has preferred chasing and batted first only once in the tournament opener against Afghanistan, which it lost. Sri Lanka’s PowerPlay run rate was 6.83 in that match, and it lost three wickets inside the first six overs. So, how Dasun Shanaka’s men respond to the challenge of batting first, should they be inserted, could be a decisive factor. Since 2021, the average first innings winning total in Dubai has been in excess of 190. Teams batting first would target something in the range of 180-200 to feel comfortable.
The most important player for Pakistan is opener Mohammad Rizwan; he has been his team’s best batter and its highest run-getter so far - 226 runs in five matches. If Rizwan bats deep, he will either match up very favourably with Sri Lankan off-spinnner Maheesh Theeksana, who has usually been held back for the middle-overs and the death, and, or Dhanajaya de Silva. This will be crucial because if Sri Lankans don’t get Rizwan out early, he could hurt them at the death where he is striking at over 180 in this Asia Cup. Against Sri Lanka, in the last Super 4 match, Rizwan was caught in the fourth over, and Pakistan’s innings never quite took off.
Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka will serve a healthy diet of spin bowling in the final. However, both sets of batters have a pretty ordinary average and strike rate against the tweakers in this Asia Cup. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have lost 13 and 16 wickets to spin, respectively, while averaging 26.07 and 21.81. What makes this duel more enticing is the distribution of left-hand - right-hand batters in the top seven of both teams. Charith Asalanka was dropped for the last Super 4 match against Pakistan, but with him in the side, both teams will have three left-handed batters in their top seven, which will prompt both skippers to use the off-break and leg-break options wisely.
Naseem Shah will return for the final after being rested for the last Super 4 match. Haris Rauf and Naseem share seven wickets between them in the PowerPlay of this Asia Cup while going at less than eight runs an over. Openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka have been crucial to Sri Lanka’s quick PowerPlay start in this event. They have gone at a strike rate of 143 and average 41.6 with four fifties so far. Their faceoff with Pakistan’s pace duo could impact the game, especially if Sri Lanka chases again.