Sri Lanka 170 for six (Rajapaksa 71*, Rauf 3-29) beat Pakistan 147 all out (Rizwan 55, Madushan 4-34, Hasaranga 3-27) by 23 runs
A revival led by Rajapaksa and Hasaranga helped Sri Lanka pressure themselves again into the sport and a spirited end ensured they’d put up a aggressive rating. It was assisted by some atypical floor fielding and catching by Pakistan; their finest fielder, Shadab Khan, had a notoriously poor outing. Sri Lanka, against this, confirmed within the discipline how desperately they wished this. Pakistan have been stifled by the primary half after which blown away within the second.
Babar Azam’s aspect by no means fairly positive the best way to tempo their innings, with an unrelenting Sri Lanka refusing to allow them to grind by the gears. In the long run, it was a mismatch between a aspect that had introduced their A-game and one which by no means fairly discovered theirs. Lengthy earlier than it turned official, it was evident Sri Lanka would win their sixth Asia Cup trophy, capping a sensational event by saving their finest efficiency for final.
Naseem Shah’s first over
No matter present Shaheen Afridi possessed that bought batters out in his first over appears to have been bestowed on Naseem in his absence. In a mesmeric begin the place the 19-year previous discovered excessive tempo virtually proper from the off, Kusal Mendis was carried out in for a golden duck by a close to unplayable supply. It made a beeline for the stumps, at searing velocity, and the hapless Mendis might do little about it. The inswinger went by the hole between bat and pad, and uprooted off stump after clipping the thigh. It was Pakistani quick bowling at its scintillating finest.
The umpire’s name
First, there was a slice of luck, after which the fantastic ability. Off the fifth ball of his innings in Rauf’s scintillating sixth over, the bowler despatched down a close to unplayable leg-stump yorker on the in-form Rajapaksa. The batter performed throughout it, with the ball crunching into his foot. The umpire deemed it not out, solely to have his resolution upheld by the barest of margins, with Hawkeye deeming it to be umpire’s name on affect. To the bare eye, it seemed out from nearly each angle.
With Pakistan on prime, it was a colossal second within the remaining, and Rajapaksa would not let it go to waste. What adopted was an innings of excessive class, that noticed by a interval of consolidation whereas Hasaranga on the different finish took on a extra proactive function. Sri Lanka have been slowly chipping away at Pakistan, and with out taking too many dangers, Rajapaksa had introduced up a 35-ball half-century.
Most memorable of all although, was the way in which he took on Naseem on the finish, a bowler who had begun so sensationally within the Powerplay. A flick of the wrists deposited him over backward sq. leg in his penultimate over, earlier than a 4 and a six off the innings’ remaining two balls ensured Sri Lanka had all of the momentum with them on the break.
The Sri Lankan first over
There may by no means have been a recreation that noticed such a distinction firstly of every bowling efficiency. Whereas Naseem was unplayable to start Pakistan’s work, Dilshan Madushanka was something however. It wasn’t till the sixth ball that the innings even started with the left-arm seamer beginning off with a no-ball and following it up with 4 wides, one in every of which went all the way down to the boundary for an additional 4. Pakistan had 9 to their identify with no authorized ball being bowled and a free hit to observe. However Madushanka would come again well to permit simply three extra by the over, and Sri Lanka ensured it was a blip slightly than a harbinger of what was to observe.
The complete second innings
There was a lot to get pleasure from about Sri Lanka within the discipline it is virtually unimaginable to select particular person moments. Madushan’s two-in-two to take away Babar and Fakhar Zaman set the tone. It additionally helped that an off color Mohammad Rizwan by no means actually found out the best way to manipulate his innings in line with the wants of the goal.
Shanaka was particularly canny about utilizing his bowlers, maybe in stark distinction to Pakistan who mysteriously opted to not have Mohammad Nawaz bowl out his quote. Throwing the ball to the offspinner de Silva simply because the left-hander Nawaz got here in to bat at No. 5 proved a masterstroke, with a few sensational dives within the discipline saving worthwhile runs off the primary two balls, adopted up by 4 dot balls that noticed the asking price balloon to 14.
Sri Lanka caught like a aspect possessed, too, whereas the one montage you can make of Pakistan’s fielding can be about their sloppiness. In the long run, there was a yawning chasm between the performances the 2 sides put in, with the consequence a good reflection.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000