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Asia Cup 2023 Qualification Scenarios: How Sri Lanka Can Spoil Chances Of First-Ever India vs Pakistan Final

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Youngster Dunith Wellalage elevated his stocks in international cricket with a remarkable performance against Rohit Sharma's Team India in the Asia Cup 2023 on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old prodigy claimed the prized wickets of Rohit, Virat Kohli , Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Hardik Pandya in a nail-biting, low-scoring thriller at the R Premadasa Stadium. However, despite Wellalage's all-round prowess, India emerged victorious in match No.10 of the continental tournament.

Rohit's explosive innings, coupled with Kuldeep Yadav's magical spin, secured a thrilling 41-run victory for the Men In Blue. With this win, Rohit's Team India became the first team to secure a spot in the final of the Asia Cup 2023.

India's impressive triumph over the defending champions also sealed Bangladesh's exit from the competition. Bangladesh had previously suffered defeats in their Super 4 matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka . India will prepare for the final by facing an already eliminated Bangladesh side in their final Super 4 encounter on Friday.

The question now looms: Who will join India in the final, Pakistan or Sri Lanka?
With India securing their spot in the final and Bangladesh exiting the competition, either Pakistan or Sri Lanka can claim the remaining second spot for the summit clash. Sri Lanka is set to face Babar Azam 's Pakistan in their final Super 4 match of the Asia Cup on Thursday. The reigning champions are expected to capitalise on their home advantage at the Premadasa Stadium against Pakistan. The winner of this virtual semi-final will go on to face India in the Asia Cup final on Sunday.

But what happens if the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan match is washed out?
In the event that the virtual semi-final is cancelled due to weather, the team with the superior net run rate will secure a place in the Asia Cup final. Presently, Sri Lanka holds an advantage over Pakistan in terms of net run rate. India leads the Super 4 stage with four points from two games. Following closely are Sri Lanka, who are tied on points with Pakistan.

The Asia Cup holders are in second place as things stand, while Pakistan sits third in the current standings. If Babar's team triumphs over Sri Lanka in their final Super 4 match, Pakistan will secure their spot in the historic Asia Cup final against India. The arch-rivals, India and Pakistan, have never faced each other in the summit clash of a 50-over Asia Cup tournament. India, with seven Asia Cup titles to their name, holds the record for the most wins, while Pakistan has claimed the prestigious trophy twice.
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