Sri Lanka stunned Babar Azam’s Pakistan by 24 runs in the Asia Cup 2022 final in Dubai on Sunday (September 11) and skipper Dasun Shanaka revealed that he took inspiration from Chennai Super Kings’ IPL 2021 win under captain MS Dhoni. CSK defeated Kolkata Knight Riders to claim their fourth title after electing to bat first in Dubai.
Speaking after the match skipper Shanaka said, “If I go back to IPL 2021, it was Chennai who won the final after batting first. These youngsters know conditions and situations really well. After losing five wickets, Hasaranga-Rajapaksa made a difference. Up front, Chamika (Karunaratne) and DDS (Dhananjaya de Silva) batted really well too.”
Shanaka dedicated the win to his country. A brilliant half-century from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and fiery spells from spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and pacer Pramod Madushan helped Sri Lanka lift their sixth Asia Cup title, defeating Pakistan by 24 runs in the final in Dubai on Sunday.
“We would like to dedicate this victory to our country. They all were waiting for this,” said Shanaka after the match in a press conference.
Sri Lankan __ skipper @dasunshanaka1 and finals player of the match, @BhanukaRajapak3 grab the mic to talk about their performance _, the coaching that helped them succeed __, and maintaining their form _#SLvPAK #ACC #AsiaCup2022 #GetReadyForEpic pic.twitter.com/iixJpSynwZ
— AsianCricketCouncil (@ACCMedia1) September 11, 2022
The captain said that the team had a serious discussion after their first loss to Afghanistan in the group stage. “We knew we had talent but it is about applying it in game scenarios. The players stood up, each and everyone contributed. This is the environment as a team that we have made,” he added.
Shanaka said that before the game, his side felt that 170 would be a good score in the final. “We have got variety in our bowling. It is tough to chase 170 in the final. I think that last six by Bhanuka was special,” he added.
Shanaka said that though Sri Lanka played good cricket in the past 2-3 years, the winning factor was missing. “We have had a good turnaround. This lot will continue for 5-6 years. It will be a great team,” he added.
Batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa also said that his side wanted to create memorable moments like this for the fans. “We are playing fantastically well as a unit. We are looking forward to World Cup and keeping up the momentum. There is a lot of crisis happening back home. We are glad and hope we brought some smiles to faces,” he added.
(with ANI inputs)