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Asia Cup: Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in final to claim sixth title

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Bhanuka Rajapaksa played a starring role in Sri Lanka’s Asian Cup triumph, going 58-5 with 71 knots out of 45 balls.
Asian Cup final, Dubai
Sri Lanka 170-6 (20 overs): Rajapaksa 71* (45); Rauf 3-29
Pakistan 147 (20 overs): Rizwan 55 (49); Madhushan 4-34
Sri Lanka win by 23 points

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in the Asian Cup final by 23 runs to claim an unexpected sixth title in Dubai.

Sri Lanka went 170-6 in 20 overs, posting an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls from Banuka Rajapaksa.

Mohammad Rizwan scored 55 for Pakistan’s answer, but Pramod Madushan dashed hopes 4-34.

The win marks a major turning point for Sri Lanka, coached by former England coach Chris Silverwood after losing their first match against Afghanistan.

Victory looked unlikely when Sri Lanka lost 58-5 before Rajapaksa and Wanindu Hasaranga teamed up.

They added 58 for the sixth wicket as Hasaranga took 36 off 21 balls to take a challenging total.

Fast bowler Harris Rauch led Pakistan’s bowling attack 3-29.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers regularly took wickets during Pakistan’s pursuit to limit scoring, but Rizwan took the lead.

Seamer Madushan quickly picked up three top order wickets and leg spinner Hasaranga put in a good all-around performance with numbers 3-27.

“There was always a certainty that the team had talent. All we needed was a way,” said Silverwood.

“We worked hard and the results are showing. Our young seam attack was great, but it was a team effort.”

Only India has won more Asian Cup titles than Sri Lanka, with seven.

Pre-tournament favorites India failed to reach the final after losing to Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Super 4 stage.

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