Finally, Asia Cup 2022 is finished. Sri Lanka has risen through the ranks in the tournament to win the mega title. This is the 6th Asia Cup title for the tigers. Pakistan was the favourites to win the Asia Cup 2022 final against Sri Lanka. However, there is always a high possibility of odds proving to be wrong. In the first of the final, Pakistan did not let Sri Lanka settle their feet on the crease. The bowling attack of the men in green demolished the batting side of Sri Lanka. Half of the team returned to the pavilion on 58 runs. At that very moment, it seemed that the winner of Asia Cup 2022 is Pakistan. But the intent and guts! Sri Lanka carried it until the end to grab the victory from the jaws of Pakistan.
There are celebrations all over Galle and Colombo over the win of Sri Lanka. In times of crisis, the Asia Cup victory is a huge morale booster for the fans. When Sri Lanka lost the opening game against Bangladesh, the experts almost ruled Lions out of the tournament. The close victory against Bangladesh helped the men in blue towards the Super Four qualification. The temperament and class which Sri Lanka carried in Super Four is an inspiration. Despite the absence of superstars in the line-up and the absence of big names, Sri Lanka defeated all major Asian T20 sides.
While newspapers were writing Sri Lanka off in modern-era cricket, the spectacular display by Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2022 final has demonstrated that no team is small in cricket. The defeat will help Pakistan in rectifying the problems on their side ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022. The grandest T20 festival is just around the corner!
What Went Wrong For Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022 Final?
Pakistan played splendid cricket throughout Asia Cup 2022. They defeated strong T20 sides like India and Afghanistan to demonstrate their phenomenal potential on the field. However, in the disguise of wins, the problems in Pakistan’s middle order were getting ignored. Pakistan won the toss and opted to field first against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2022 final. The myth was always there! The team which wins the toss always wins the games. Pakistan took a flying start and demolished the core of the Sri Lankan batting line-up in the initial moments of the Asia Cup 2022 final. Sri Lanka faced huge pressure when captain Dasun Shanaka returned to the pavilion playing an aggressive sweep shot.
It was the time for Pakistan to carry a full attacking mindset and hit the plans of Sri Lanka with full force. There was no need to become easy on the ground. Yes, Iftikhar produced the wicket but he is not a frontline spinner. Due to Iftikhar, you cannot stop your best bowler of the tournament to bowl in the most significant game. In Asia Cup 2022 final, Babar Azam gave only 1 over to Mohammad Nawaz, who conceded only 3 runs in the final stages of the innings. It was a shocker from Babar Azam because he is one of the sanest minds in cricket. Furthermore, when Pakistan brought Mohammad Hasnain to the attack in the middle-overs, Sri Lanka attacked the young fast bowler. Hasnain was missing the troubling line and length. At that moment, an over from Haris Rauf would have been a better choice.
When Sri Lanka initiated the 2nd innings against Pakistan, they gave nine extra runs to the opposition. Even before the first legal delivery was bowled, Pakistan had 9 free runs on the board. Despite having a tremendous advantage in the powerplay overs, Pakistan could not utilize an amazing in the powerplay overs. If we cut out the extras from the innings of Pakistan in the first three overs, the men in green scored only 10 runs. After Rizwan wasted so many deliveries, Babar Azam played a rash shot on a bad delivery giving his wicket away. The pressure was humongous when the Sri Lankan fast bowler bowled Fakhar Zaman on the first delivery. Sri Lanka was all over Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2022 final. The bad start to the powerplay restricted Pakistan from having a strong command of the game.
Partnership Between Rizwan and Iftikhar
Yes, there is no shadow of a doubt that wickets are significant in a game of cricket. But in the fear of losing wickets, batsmen could opt a road of playing slow in the T20 international format. In this form of the game, batting with a higher strike rate is tremendously important. While Pakistan had 8 wickets in hand against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2022 final after 10 overs, they did not reach the figure of 70 runs. The required run rate was cruising towards 12 runs per over.
The similar gameplay has helped Mohammad Rizwan numerous times as batsmen at the other end used to provide full support to him. Iftikhar did not play shots in the gaps to pick up the intelligent boundaries. Yes, he cleared the boundary one time against Sri Lanka. But not every time, you are going to clear the fielder. Following the sluggish game plan of Rizwan and Iftikhar in the middle order, the win in the Asia Cup 2022 final was next to impossible for the Pakistan team. You cannot expect six on every ball from the lower-order batsmen. This approach can backfire for Pakistan in the forthcoming event the T20 World Cup 2022.
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Fielding was the major reason Pakistan could not lift its third Asia Cup title at Dubai International Stadium. Pakistan dropped two catches of Bhanuka Rajapaksa who went on to score 71 runs off balls against the strong bowling attack of the men in green. Yes, the first catch drop was justifiable. These things could happen in cricket. Especially, when Shadab Khan suffered a concussion and still was showing tremendous spirit on the field. There was a moment when the management could decide to send him back to the dressing room for the rest. The all-important second innings was set to come.
You would need Shadab to play a blistering knock in the middle-order against Sri Lanka. But Shadab Khan remained on the field. He looked out of sorts on the field. In the death overs, Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit the ball in the air and Asif Ali was under the ball. It seemed that things could finally get in control for Pakistan. But Shadab Khan interrupted Asif Ali in his catch. He made an attempt to catch the ball while Asif Ali was taking the catch. Hence the catch was dropped and the ball crossed the boundary line. It was a sixer. The vital runs were added to the board. Pakistan needs to improve its fielding department ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022.
Sri Lanka Played Phenomenal Cricket in Asia Cup 2022
Despite the mistakes of Pakistan players on the field, no need to take any credit from the Sri Lankan side. When the Asia Cup 2022 was about to begin, everybody was talking about the final between Pakistan vs India. Some experts shared the opinion that Sri Lanka can’t even go through from the first round. There is a thing in cricket that even though the teams look strong on paper, the game on the cricket field is different. Sri Lanka played a team game throughout the whole tournament. There is no number one or number two ranked player on the side. No Sri Lankan is topping the charts. Cricket is a team game. Sri Lanka has proved that only big names are not significant to form the composition of the team. Hence, the side has risen through the ranks to defeat Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022 final to write history in their cricketing textbook.