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September 15, 2023
Sri Lanka win thrilling showdown over Pakistan to set up final against India as Charith Asalanka does it after Kusal Mendis’ Player of the Match 91

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

With two needed off the final ball, a battered and bruised Sri Lanka from a 41-run loss to India a day ago, won a pulsating Super Four Asia Cup showdown over Pakistan with both sides totaling 252 off 42 overs that saw the hosts go through on the DRS in a rain havocked slinging to book a final clash with India when Charith Asalanka turned the final delivery off Zaman Khan to fine leg for 2 having  edged the penultimate ball behind the wicket-keeper and short third man for four spurred on by a roaring home crowd in yesterday’s Day-Night that boiled over to a virtual semi-final at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.

 

The left-handed Asalanka remained unbeaten on 49 off 47 hitting 3 boundaries and a six having fronted the final over with 8 needed with 3 wickets intact when Pramod Madushan was run out to holding his nerve to bridging the final 6 off 3 in an epic contest drummed up upfront by a scintillating one drop Kusal Mendis showmanship of 91 off 87 inclusive of 8 boundaries and a six. The Mendis Player of the Match leverage based on a century third-wicket partnership off 98 balls between Sadeera Samarawickrama who struck 49 off 47 filled with 3 boundaries and a six set the tempo having come together with the score 77 for 2 as Sri Lanka’s frontline shot down Pakistan’s early thrust that revolved around Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 86 off 73 (6×4, 2×6) and Abdullah Shafique’s 52 off 69 (3×4, 2×6) in Sri Lanka and the cricket winning over the nagging rains. The early brash of Kusal Janith Perera in a flurry of boundaries to 17 off 8 before being unnecessarily run out by the very bad call by Pathum Nissnka who had not got off the mark at the time when Sri Lanka saw the back of Perera, known for his gung ho was bitter stuff when in full flight to go out by that indiscretion.

In a typical crowd puller magnified by Pakistani spectators as well in seesawing fortunes, the final drama play out in the center piece of No.5 Asalanka was in the heat of having taken strike with the score on 177 for 3 after 29.4 overs staring at 30 off 26 at 222 for 5 after 37.4 that reached the edge of 246 for 8 with 6 required off the last two balls with Pakistan’s bowlers cutting through Dasun Shanaka for 2 in another failure, and Tuesday’s Player of the Match Dunith Wellalage for a duck and Dhananjaya de Silva for 5 to reaching the tail. The defending champions will face off with India in Sunday’s D/N at the same venue.

 

Pakistan 252/7 (42 Overs) RR: 6.00

(Abdullah Shafique 52, Babar Azam 29, Mohammad Rizwan n.o. 86, Ifthikar Ahmed 47, Matheesha Pathirana 3/65, Pramod Madushan 2/58, Dunith Wellalage 1/40, Maheesh Theekshana 1/42)

Sri Lanka 252/8 (42 Overs) RR: 6.00

(Pathum Nissanka 29, Kusal Janith Perera 17, Kusal Mendis 91, Sadeera Samarawickrama 49, Ifthkar Ahmed 3/50, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2/52, Shadab Khan 1/55)

 

CHIEF SCORES

Chasing Pakistan’s 252

Pakistan 252/7 (42 Overs) RR: 6.00

(Abdullah Shafique 52 69 32, Babar Azam 29 35 3, Mohammad Rizwan n.o. 86 73 62,

Ifthikar Ahmed 47 40 42, Matheesha Pathirana 3/65, Pramod Madushan 2/58, Dunith Wellalage 1/40, Maheesh Theekshana 1/42)

Sri Lanka 252/8 (42 Overs) RR: 6.00

(Pathum Nissanka 29 44 4, Kusal Janith Perera 17 8 4, Kusal Mendis 91 87 81, Sadeera Samarawickrama 49 47 31, Shanaka 2, Dhan 5 7, Wel 0, Madu 1 Pth n.o. 0, Ifthkar Ahmed 3/50, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2/52, Shadab Khan 1/55)

 

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