Asia Cup 2022 REVIEW
The Asian Cricket Council Asia Cup is a men’s ODI and T20 International cricket tournament. It was established in 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was founded as a measure to promote goodwill between Asian countries. It was originally scheduled to be held every two years. The Asia Cup is the only continental championship in cricket and the winning team becomes the champions ofAsia. It alternates every 2-years between ODI and T20I formats.
After suffering a humiliating defeat, being bundled out for a paltry 105 runs , at the hands of the emerging Afghans in the T20 format in the pipe opener, the Srilankan tigers tamed the Pakistani juggernaut in the final hustings of the Asia Cup 2022 played at U.A.E and won the title for the first time in a T-20 format and they annexed the Asia Cup for the sixth time. The Srilankan team supporters erupted in the stadium and fireworks seen in the stadium.
The celebrations started in Srilanka and the players were given rousing reception at the Colombo Airport including an Open Bus and the players standing on the top of the bus waving to the crowds with motorcades following after their tumultuous title win at Dubai Cricket stadium on Sept.11, 2022.
Photo courtesy : The New York Times
The crisis-hit Srilankan Board could not conduct the Asia Cup on their shores and chose U.A.E., the ultimate destination for sub continent teams , which comes to their rescue to conduct any tournament including T20 WC last year and the cash-rich IPL tournaments.
The Emerland Island nation players stoke to the finals after crossing some tough terrains including a tense going to the wire moment against India when they won the game by a cliff hanger in the 19.5 overs.
A team which has to qualify for T20 WC to be held later in Australia and a dark horse in the Asia cup, the Srilankans held their nerves in the Finals when they defended 170 runs after they were down with 59/5 half way and a rear guard action by Bhanuka Rajapakse and Warintu Hasaranka took them to 170 runs.
And a rookie pace bowler Madhushan started the proceedings of taking wickets when Pakistan started the chase earnestly. He had the tentative Pakistan Captain Babar Azam, who had a poor series in the tournament, chased a wide leg side delivery only to be caught in short fine leg and soon Fakar Zaman followed him castled by the same bowler. Then there was some semblance of fight by Rizwan, the ever dependable Pakistan gloveman, who was in sublime form in this tournament and ably supported by Ifthikar and once Ifthikar got out there was sudden vacuum in the pakistani batting line up and they caved in and Srilanka romped home in the ultimate over. The ground fielding by the Srilankan players was outstanding including some breathtaking catches throughout the tournament.
And the jubilant srilankan players paraded the ground at Dubai in a victory march.