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Asia Cup 2023: Babar Azam's Acknowledgment Of Sri Lanka's Brilliance

In a closely contested match of the Asia Cup, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam admitted that Sri Lanka outperformed his team, securing a spot in the final by the narrowest of margins.

Pakistan's star fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi , made the final moments of the game nerve-wracking, claiming two crucial wickets in the penultimate over while conceding only four runs.

However, Zaman Khan faltered in the last over, allowing Charith Asalanka to score the winning runs and snatch victory.

Babar 's Post-Match Analysis
Reflecting on the game, Babar Azam discussed the critical decisions that impacted Pakistan's performance, including the decision to exclude the in-form bowler, Iftikhar Ahmed , from the attack. Babar noted the areas where his team fell short, ultimately leading to their downfall.

"In the end, we decided to bowl our best bowlers. That's why I decided to bowl Shaheen 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.

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," said Babar after the match.

Late Triumph for Defending Champions
In a thrilling encounter, the defending champions, Pakistan, made a late push for victory against a Sri Lankan side that notably missed the presence of their star pacers, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf , in the death overs.

Shaheen Shah Afridi almost snatched the victory away from Sri Lanka's grasp with a remarkable performance in the penultimate over. However, Charith Asalanka remained composed and guided Sri Lanka to a last-ball victory, shattering Pakistan's hopes.

The game boiled down to the final two overs, with Afridi setting up a nail-biting climax by taking two wickets in consecutive balls in the penultimate over.

Debutant Zaman Khan faced the daunting task of saving nine runs to secure Pakistan's spot in the final. However, Charith Asalanka's unbeaten 49 runs proved to be the difference-maker as he held his nerve.

A fortuitous outside edge secured the crucial boundary on the second-last ball, and a delicate flick into the gap sealed Sri Lanka's victory.