Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lankan team created history by winning their sixth Asia Cup title after they defeated Pakistan in the final on Sunday, September 11 by 23 runs in Dubai. This was the Lankan side’s 5th straight win in the tournament after losing their first match.
It was a brilliant performance from Dasun Shanaka’s men as they recovered from 58/5 inside the first 10 overs after being asked to bat by Babar Azam who had won the toss. Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 71* was the cornerstone, while Dhananjaya de Silva’s 28 and Wanindu Hasaranga’s 36 came in handy as Sri Lanka put up 170/6 in 20 overs.
Pakistan played their part by poor fielding and dropped catches, though Haris Rauf took 3 wickets.
In reply, though Mohammad Rizwan made 55 and Iftikhar Ahmed made 32 runs, their slow batting in middle overs proved to be the death knell for Pakistan, who folded for 147 and lost by 23 runs. Dilshan Madushan picked 4 wickets, while Hasaranga took three in over itself.
After the win, former India batter Gautam Gambhir was seen posing with the Sri Lankan flag and the entire supporters of Dasun Shanaka's side erupted in joy.
Gambhir shared a video of the incident on his Twitter account and he wrote: "Superstar team...Truly deserving!!#CongratsSriLanka."
It was a victory that was just not about cricket but way beyond that with much deeper historical and political importance.