In a thrilling cricket encounter, Sri Lanka secured a dramatic two-wicket victory against Pakistan, chasing down 252 runs in 42 overs with a last-ball boundary, setting up an Asia Cup final clash with India.
In a nail-biting encounter that kept fans on the edge of their seats, Sri Lanka emerged victorious against Pakistan in a last-ball cliffhanger, securing their spot in the Asia Cup final. The thrilling match was characterized by Kusal Mendis’ platform-setting innings and Charith Asalanka’s crucial finish. Chasing a target of 252 in 42 overs, Sri Lanka managed to achieve victory by two wickets against a formidable Pakistan bowling attack.
The Sri Lankan innings began with Kusal Perera providing a brief but explosive start, smashing four boundaries in just seven balls. However, his innings was cut short by a sensational direct hit from Shadab Khan at point, leaving Perera stranded at the bowler’s end. Despite this early setback, Sri Lanka remained undeterred.
Kusal Mendis joined Pathum Nissanka at the crease, and the duo maintained the required run rate with a vital half-century partnership. Nissanka’s innings was ended when he skied a return catch to Shadab Khan. Sadeera Samarawickrama then partnered with Mendis and together they built a solid partnership, punishing loose deliveries and ensuring they rotated the strike effectively.
Samarawickrama’s resilience was tested when a bouncer from Shaheen Afridi struck his helmet, leading to a concussion test. Fortunately, he continued his innings, and the pair went on to put up a hundred-run partnership. However, Samarawickrama’s innings came to an end when he was stumped off Iftikhar Ahmed.
Another valuable partnership of 33 runs followed between Charith Asalanka and Kusal Mendis, but Mendis was dismissed after a leading edge was brilliantly caught by Mohammad Haris at cover. What followed was a dramatic collapse, with Sri Lanka going from 210-3 to 246-8.
Asalanka, however, held his nerve and continued to score crucial runs. The tension escalated when Shaheen Shah Afridi picked up two wickets in an over, leaving Sri Lanka with just eight runs to win off six balls with three wickets in hand. A run-out in the final over added to the drama, but Asalanka managed to secure a thrilling victory by clipping the last ball away for a boundary, sparking wild celebrations among the Colombo crowd.
In the first innings, Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first but lost Fakhar Zaman early. Despite a middle-order collapse, a century partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed rescued Pakistan, taking them to a competitive total of 252-7 in 42 overs.
With this thrilling win, Sri Lanka has advanced to the Asia Cup final for the eleventh time. They will face India in the final showdown on Sunday, September 17, in what promises to be an electrifying encounter.
- Pakistan: 252-7 in 42 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 86*, Abdullah Shafique 52, Matheesha Pathirana 3-65)
- Sri Lanka: 252-8 in 42 overs (Kusal Mendis 91, Charith Asalanka 49*, Iftikhar Ahmed 3-50)
- Result: Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets