Asia Cup, 2023 |Super Four - Match 5 |9/14/2023 R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Right then, that is it from this humdinger of a contest. The game went down on the wire and it will be the Lankans who will play the finals against India. We though have a game between India and Bangladesh before the finals on Friday, the 15th of September. The game will begin at 3 pm IST (9.30 am GMT). Do join us a bit early for the build up as well. Until then, take care, and cheers!
Kusal Mendis is the Player of the Match for his excellent knock. He says that he is unhappy that he couldn't complete his hundred but he is happy to be in the finals. Adds that everyone played really well and contributed to this victory. He says that their bowling unit performed really well and ends by saying that their side has ODI experience and they are happy with the support of the crowd.
Dasun Shanaka the skipper of Sri Lanka says that they had the game under control but losing of wickets cost them in the later part. He adds that they had a good discussion about how they lost quick wickets against India and they learned from their mistakes. He ends by saying that Kusal Mendis is a brilliant batter and he is really happy to be in the finals again.
Babar Azam the skipper of Pakistan says that they went with Shaheen Afridi as they decided to bowl with their best bowlers. Adds that in the end they went with Zaman Khan but unfortunately the game didn't go their way. He says that they were not good with their batting and fielding and that is the reason they lost the game. Ends by saying that they didn't do well in the middle overs and that's thy they lost the game.
Charith Asalanka the man of the moment is in for a quick chat. He says that for the final ball, he was just finding the gap and he told Matheesha Pathirana to run hard. He adds that Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Mendis batted really well and he was happy to contribute. Ends by saying that he can rank this innings at the second place in his books.
Presentations coming up...
Earlier in the game, Pakistan were off to a shaky start but the Rizwan-Iftikhar stitched up a partnership of 108 runs and made their side reach a commendable total. For Sri Lanka, they started off well and had Pakistan under pressure but Mohammad Rizwan's knock cost them and they ended up with 252 runs to chase in 42 overs rain-curtailed game.
Pakistan, really missed the likes of Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Shaheen Afridi along with Zaman Khan and Wasim were quite expensive at the start. The spinners too could not apply the breaks in the middle overs and hence, Pakistan kept chasing the game. Iftikhar Ahmed though was brilliant with the ball. His spell is what gave his side some sort of belief. Shaheen Afridi then came back strongly towards the end. He picked up two wickets in the second last over. Zaman, the debutant, bowled his heart out, he had 7 to defend but failed to do so. What a game of cricket in the end but have to say Sri Lanka deserved to win.
Sadeera Samarawickrama fell but Kusal Mendis continued. He was on course for a well-deserved ton before he fell 9 short. Once he fell, the chase still seemed under control. However, wickets right towards the end, some careless batting saw the equaltion come down to 8 needed in the last over with Charith Asalanka the only recognized batter out there. He though, batted brilliantly and scored won the game on the very last ball.
Charith Asalanka, the man with nerves of steel! What an oustanding knock that was! Take a bow, with so much on stake in this one, it came down to 6 needed from the last two balls and it was Charith Asalanka who has taken his side over the line and into the finals. The defending champions will have a chance to retain the Asia Cup against India. However, this game should have ever come this close. It was Sri lanka all the way in the second innings. The openers got them off to a flier but then came the stand which took the game away from Pakistan. Both Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama batted brilliantly to add over 100 and turned the tide completely into their favor.
Zaman Khan to Charith Asalanka, My oh my! Unbelievable scenes here! It will be the home side who will be in the finals against India! Full and on middle, Charith Asalanka flicks it to deep square leg for a brace. Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 2 wickets!
Zaman Khan to Charith Asalanka, FOUR! Streaky but they are much more worth it at this point in the game. On a length and on off, Charith Asalanka looks to loft it but gets a thick outside edge. It races away between the keeper and flying slip for a boundary. 2 needed from the final ball here. This game just couldn't get any better here!
Matheesha Pathirana walks in.
Zaman Khan to Pramod Madushan, OUT! RUN OUT! Fuller one, on off, Pramod Madushan looks to loft it but misses. Charith Asalanka runs anyway to get on strike. Mohammad Rizwan throws it to Zaman Khan who makes a direct hit and Pramod Madushan was way off his crease. He has to depart!
Zaman Khan to Charith Asalanka, A slower one, on off, Charith Asalanka looks to loft it but gets an inside edge onto his pads. They cross. 6 needed off last 3 balls here.
Zaman Khan to Charith Asalanka, Full and outside off, Charith Asalanka looks to loft it but misses. A much-needed dot ball for Pakistan!
Zaman Khan to Pramod Madushan, Lands it down leg, Pramod Madushan looks to paddle it but gets a hit on his thigh. An appeal but turned down. Pakistan go upstairs. The replay shows that it was missing leg and the onfield decision stands NOT OUT! They cross for a leg bye.
END OF OVER 41 | 4 Runs & 2 Wkt | SL 244/7
Shaheen Afridi to Pramod Madushan, On a length and on off, Pramod Madushan knocks it to long on for one. No hat-trick for Shaheen Afridi!
Pramod Madushan walks in next. Shaheen Afridi on hat-trick!
Shaheen Afridi to Dunith Wellalage, OUT! TAKEN! Two in two for Shaheen Afridi! On a hard length and outside off, it shapes away a shade, Dunith Wellalage looks to loft it but misses it completely. Gets a thick outside edge and Mohammad Rizwan behind the sticks completes the catch. What a game we are witnessing out here!
Dunith Wellalage walks in.
Shaheen Afridi to Dhananjaya de Silva, OUT! TAKEN! A full toss, on off, Dhananjaya de Silva lofts it towards long on but doesn't get the elevation on it. Mohammad Wasim runs to his right and takes a great catch near the ropes. The umpire checks for a possible no ball. All fine as the ball was below the waist and Dhananjaya de Silva has to depart!
Shaheen Afridi to Dhananjaya de Silva, Dot! Too full, on off, Dhananjaya de Silva blocks it back. Pakistan are not giving up here!
Shaheen Afridi to Charith Asalanka, A yorker, just outside off, Charith Asalanka digs this to covers for one. Sri Lanka are edging closer and closer to another final...