Pakistan and Sri Lanka clashed in a dress rehersal on Friday (September 9) ahead of their Asia Cup 2022 final on Sunday. Sri Lanka emerged winners by five wickets to head into the final on a happy note, this was also their fourth successive win of the tournament.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl first as the trend suggests that the chasing teams enjoy a massive advantage in Dubai. The script remained the same tonight as Pakistan were bundled out for 121 in their final over.
Apart from Babar Azam (30) and Mohammad Nawaz (26) no batter could impress as Wanindu Hasaranga (3/21), Maheesh Theekshana (2/21) and debutant Pramod Madhushan (2/21) delivered decisive spells for the hosts.
Sri Lanka suffered couple of early blows as Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka were dismissed for ducks but Pathum Nissanka (55*) held the innings together as Bhanuka Rajapaksa (24) and Dasun Shanaka (21) played aggressive cameos. Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain took two wickets each bowling at high speeds. Sri Lanka eventually clinched the victory with three overs to spare.
This was a rare match played under very little pressure as both teams had already qualified for the final, and there was a lighter moment towards the end of the game when Shanaka tried to scoop a delivery from Hassan Ali over third man but missed the ball and keeper Mohammad Rizwan collected the ball cleanly.
Umpire Anil Chaudhary heard nothing but Rizwan felt there was a thin edge, and the Indian umpire quickly referred the decision to the third umpire. Pakistan captain Babar Azam reacted sarcastically to the incident as his approval was not taken before the review. He could be heard saying, "Captain main hoon" while talking to the umpire.
The review was eventually lost but did not mean much as the game was all but over anyway. Fans were left splits by the whole incident though and shared clips of Babar's 'innocent' reaction.