Pakistan were defeated by Sri Lanka in their Asia Cup 2023 match© X (formerly Twitter)
It was a case of so close yet so far for the Pakistan cricket team as they failed to reach the Asia Cup 2023 after a last-ball defeat against Sri Lanka in their Super 4 clash on Thursday. With 8 runs needed to win from the final over of the rain-affected game, Pakistan pacer Zaman Khan was able to keep the Sri Lanka batters in check as he conceded just two runs in four balls. But, Charith Asalanka proved to be ultimate hero for Sri Lanka as he scored six runs in the last two balls to clinch the win. The Pakistan side was left stunned as skipper Babar was visibly upset at how the game ended for his team.
Kusal Mendis' 91 and an unbeaten 49 by Charith Asalanka helped Sri Lanka edge out Pakistan by two wickets in a last-ball thriller of the Asia Cup to set up a final clash with India.
Chasing a DLS revised target of 252 in the 42-overs-a-side contest in Colombo, Sri Lanka needed eight from the final over and achieved the target with Asalanka's winning hit on the last ball at 1.07 am local time.— Disney+ Hotstar (@DisneyPlusHS) September 14, 2023
A raucous home crowd rejoiced but the result broke the heart of millions of fans awaiting an India-Pakistan final in the 50-over tournament, a prelude to the upcoming ODI World Cup.
The left-handed Asalanka held his nerve despite Shaheen Shah Afridi's two wickets in two balls in the penultimate over and the first four balls from Zaman Khan giving away just two runs and a wicket in the 42nd over.
Mendis set up victory with a 100-run third-wicket stand with Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made 48, but Asalanka took it on himself after their departure.
"Kusal and Sadeera played brilliant knocks. I think they are the best players of spin in the Sri Lanka squad," said skipper Dasun Shanaka.
"And Charith, showed great character. Special feeling, back to back finals. I must thank the crowds who kept supporting us, and looking forward to the finals."
(With AFP inputs)
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