Sri Lanka stun Pakistan to earn Asia Cup final match against India
AFP | Colombo
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Kusal Mendis’ 91 and an unbeaten 49 by Charith Asalanka helped Sri Lanka edged 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.
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. Off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed took three key wickets including Mendis and Samarawickrama to keep the game in the balance till the last.
Earlier Mohammad Rizwan hit an unbeaten 86 to steer Pakistan to 252-7 after they elected to bat first in the rain delayed start to the match.