Pakistan, Sri Lanka eye Asian glory | The Express Tribune


Sri Lanka may have won the dress rehearsal with a one-sided victory, but they will expect Pakistan to come out full throttle when the final of the Asian Cup 2022 is played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Pakistan’s batting line-up fell like a game of cards on Friday against Sri Lanka’s Wanindu-inspired bowling line-up Hasaranga de Silva, but Babar Azam’s rapids showed what Sri Lanka will face next Sunday.

Right-arm point guards Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain, who blasted more than 145 km/h over Sri Lanka at the start of the chase, were not what the higher order expected.

However, the Sri Lankan hitters showed their newfound maturity to first weather the storm of pace and then charge the weak links namely pacer Hasan Ali and leg spinner Usman Qadir to complete their confident run beyond from the finish line.

With this victory, Sri Lanka won their ninth victory over Pakistan in T20I against 13 defeats. Four of those triumphs have come in the last four consecutive T20Is, three in 2019 and one in the Asian Cup Super Fours.

Many would say Pakistan’s loss came because they rested two of their key players, versatile Shadab Khan and teenage pace sensation. Naseem Shah Friday, but with two of the best T20I hitters in the world playing for you, that feels like nothing more than an excuse.

“A sub-par stick,” Wasim said while commenting on the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Super Fours game.

“Generally the attitude wasn’t there. They weren’t willing to take doubles targeting the longest part of the court. They only looked to clear the boundary against the spin,” he said. he adds.

Toss was also criticized for playing a major role in Sri Lanka’s victory as the teams running in the Asian Cup had astronomical success, but according to legendary Pakistani batsman and captain Javed Miandad, one should be able to win in any situation, regardless of being asked to defend or hunt.

While Pakistan may have plenty of questions to answer before they play the final against Sri Lanka, the only rift in the Islanders’ armor was seen when they were asked to defend a total in the very first match. of the Asian Cup.

Afghanistan showed the way for all the other teams by limiting Sri Lanka and then easily chasing the target, but that would force Babar to take a chance and win the draw on Sunday, which did not work in favor of the Pakistani captain lately.

The ‘handshake’ between Babar and Indian batting star Virat Kohli before the start of the Asian Cup is seen as a turning point in the form of the two batters. Babar’s purple patch ended, while Kohli came up with two fifties, then his very first century T20I in the tournament.

But if Pakistan are to beat Sri Lanka in the final, Babar will ultimately have to come up with some much-needed runs at the top of the standings. His opening partner Mohammad Rizwan has been consistent in the Asian Cup, but when it fell on the cheap on Friday, the middle order also collapsed, showing the fragility of Pakistan’s batting order.

The only discovery for Pakistan in the batting department is the return of the versatile Mohammad Nawaz. His cameo against India at the unusual number four helped Pakistan defeat India in the Super Fours. His bowling has also helped Pakistan with economic spells and partnership break wickets.

Former Indian striker Gautam Gambhir has even suggested playing Nawaz at number four in Australia for the 2022 T20 World Cup.

“I’m thinking number four,” Gambhir replied to Wasim Akram during commentary for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Asian Cup Super Fours match.

“He has all the attributes to be a world-class all-rounder. He played a one-shot blinder against India and didn’t hit again at number four, which is a surprise to me,” he said. -he adds.

Although there are many variables involved in the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Asian Cup final, the one thing that is constant is that the two teams will fight to the last ball. One to bring a little happiness to their people struggling under a struggling economy, the other to bring smiles to the faces of people sinking under catastrophic floods.


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