Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 23 runs in the summit clash of Asia Cup 2022, on Sunday at Dubai International Stadium. The unbeaten knock of 71 runs by Bhanuka Rajapaksa and a four-wicket haul by Pramod Madushan, helped Sri Lanka clinch their sixth Asia Cup title. The team has been garnering praise from all over the world for their spectacular performance in the tournament and following their win, the players took part in a massive victory parade, when they returned home on Tuesday morning. The players were welcomed by officials from Sri Lanka Cricket and the Sports Ministry at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
In the pictures posted by Sri Lanka Cricket on their Twitter, the players were seen travelling in a double-decker bus, with fans on the roadside cheering and congratulating them. The players also interacted with the fans and thanked them for their massive support, even during the time of crisis in the country.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 13, 2022
“Believe in our cricketers…a lot of bad things are going around. As cricketers, they too should enjoy their lives as well, not spreading bad things. They have private lives too. Keep believing, that is the key. As a captain, I give confidence to the players, [whatever] I can. I can’t ask for more than that,” captain Shanaka had said at the post-match conference, as Sri Lanka’s unprecedented economic crisis formed the backdrop of the cricket team’s Asia Cup campaign.
A crippling shortage of foreign reserves has led to long queues for fuel, cooking gas, and other essentials while power cuts and soaring food prices have heaped misery on the people.
Coming to the match, Bhanuka Rajapaksa played a brilliant knock of 71* off 45 deliveries to take Sri Lanka to 170/6 from a position where even 150 looked difficult for them to reach. He was given ample support by Wanindu Hasaranga, who hit 36 off 21 deliveries.
Pramod Madushan then took two wickets in two balls to rattle Pakistan early. Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed put on a 71-run stand, but their scoring rate was too low and the pressure was building.
Madushan then broke the stand and claimed his third wicket, and since then, it was all Sri Lanka despite Rizwan hitting a half-century. Rizwan, Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were all sent packing in one over to end Pakistan’s hopes.
Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 147 off the final delivery of the match, leading to ecstatic celebrations from the Sri Lanka players.
With PTI inputs
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