Pakistan skipper Babar Azam admitted Sri Lanka played better cricket than them after they were knocked out of the ongoing Asia Cup. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by two wickets (DLS method) to book their place in the tournament’s final against India.
Sri Lanka chased down 252 runs in 42 overs in a thrilling fashion. In fact, Sri Lanka needed six runs on the last two balls but a well-settled Charith Asalanka was able to keep his calm as he smashed a four on the penultimate delivery against Zaman Khan. The left-hander took a double on the final ball to take his team home.
Asalanka scored an unbeaten knock of 49 runs off just 47 balls as he delivered the goods despite wickets tumbling at the other end.
Babar Azam said in the post-match presentation, “In the end, we decided to bowl our best bowlers. That’s why I decided to bowl Shaheen the second last over and then we believed in Zaman Khan for the final over. SL played really well, they played better cricket than us, that’s why they won.”
Azam admitted they were not up to the mark with either bowling or fielding and it led to their downfall in a must-win match.
He added, “We weren’t up to the mark with our bowling and fielding, that’s why we lost. In the middle overs, we are not bowling well. That partnership (between Mendis and Samarawickrama) cost us. We are starting well, we are finishing well, but we are not taking wickets in the middle overs.”
Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis scored a fine knock of 91 runs for Sri Lanka and played a key role in the team’s win. Mendis added 100 runs with Sadeera Samarawickrama, who scored a fine knock of 48 runs.
Earlier, Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan scored 52 and 86 runs respectively to take Pakistan to a score of 252 runs in 42 overs but their efforts went in vain.
Sri Lanka will take on India in the Asia Cup final at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Sunday.