Dasun Shanaka‘s Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in Dubai on Sunday to clinch their sixth Asia Cup.
AFP Sport appears to be like at 5 issues we discovered from the six-nation event, which was a precursor for subsequent month’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
– Island nation excel –
Pundits gave Sri Lanka little probability of creating the Super Four after an embarrassingly one-sided opening defeat towards Afghanistan, however 5 successive wins took them to Asia Cup glory.
Sri Lanka beat favourites India within the Super Four after which obtained previous Pakistan twice to present the younger group confidence going into the T20 World Cup in Australia, the place they must progress via a qualifying spherical.
But Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who hit an unbeaten 71 within the closing, mentioned he believed a rejuvenated Sri Lanka might journey the momentum of their Asia Cup triumph and go all the best way within the T20 showpiece.
– Naseem Shah shines –
Pakistan’s bowling assault was with out the injured tempo spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi however one other Shah, teenager Naseem, rose to the event.
The 19-year-old’s categorical tempo noticed him take seven wickets in 5 matches and he was additionally a match-winner with the bat — his two last-over sixes within the thrilling win over Afghanistan took his group into the ultimate.
Shah signed off the Asia Cup in typical vogue by taking a wicket within the first over in Sunday’s closing, spectacularly uprooting Kusal Mendis‘s off stump after Pakistan captain Babar Azam had received the toss and opted to bowl.
– King Kohli is again –
Kohli went on to attain 276 event runs at a median of 92, along with his 122 not out towards Afghanistan changing into his first century for India in any format since November 2019. It was additionally his first three-figure rating in a Twenty20 worldwide.
Kohli’s prolonged batting hunch had turn into a significant speaking level, however after taking a month’s break from cricket earlier than the Asia Cup he returned refreshed to silence the chatter.
Kohil struck two fifties as nicely in his 5 event innings and his Asia Cup whole was solely surpassed by Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan, whose 55 within the closing nudged him in entrance with 281 runs from six matches.
– Afghanistan a risk –
Mohammad Nabi‘s group confirmed their white-ball credentials by bundling out eventual champions Sri Lanka for 105 within the opening match, which Afghanistan received by eight wickets with practically 10 overs to spare.
Afghanistan then hammered Bangladesh and within the Super Four gave Pakistan a mighty scare earlier than happening by one wicket within the closing over of an ill-tempered conflict.
Most of the group learnt their cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan and so they have made large strides since getting Test standing in 2017.
Nabi predicted they are going to “come back stronger” for the T20 World Cup the place Afghanistan can be seeking to upset the established cricket powers.
– Shakib’s Cup of woe –
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan returned as captain after he bowed to a Bangladesh Cricket Board ultimatum to scrap a cope with a betting website.
But his presence made little distinction to Bangladesh’s woeful T20 file as they did not make it to the Super Four after shedding group matches to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Shakib returned figures of 1-13 along with his left-arm spin towards Afghanistan after which made 24 within the Sri Lanka defeat, Bangladesh’s fifteenth T20 loss of their final matches, however insisted his group had a “plan in place” to enhance.
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