September 25, 2022
Asia Cup 2022: From ‘Underdog’ to Asian Champions – the story of Sri Lanka’s rise

Disappointed Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka said after his team’s disappointing loss to Afghanistan in the first match of the 2022 Asia Cup, “I think anything can happen in T20 cricket, we can come back in the next match.” Many experts wrote the side off after the defeat. To be honest, they were not even among the top contenders to win the tournament. Despite all-around talks, the group believed in its potential – so much so, that it eventually went on to win the 2022 Asia Cup – its 6th title – by beating teams like India and Pakistan, who were considered favourites, to kudos along the way. .

a forgettable start

Initially it seemed that Asia Cup 2022 is not for Sri Lanka. The tournament, which would have taken place on their home soil, was moved to the United Arab Emirates due to the unprecedented economic crisis in the island nation.

To put salt on the injury, the Lankans lost their first game to Afghanistan by 8 wickets. Their batsmen failed miserably and were bundled out for 105 runs. What made it more painful for Sri Lanka, Afghanistan reached home in just 10.1 overs. Disappointment was at its peak for the five-time Asia Cup champion, but his faith turned the tables for him.

return and rise to glory

Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh in a tense chase to enter the Super 4 of the Asia Cup 2022. A thrilling victory that once seemed a blue moon for the Lankans soon became their style of play in the tournament.

Sri Lanka avenged their loss to Afghanistan with a four-wicket win in Super 4 and defeated favorites India by 6 wickets. They also defeated Pakistan before meeting the team in the final.

A sensational comeback story was in the offing, but Dasun Shanaka and company still needed to cross the final hurdle and here’s the final!


With their countrymen still back home due to the economic crisis, here was the Sri Lankan team at the Dubai International Stadium, gearing up for the summit clash against Pakistan. A win could have given their country something to rejoice at in tough times and also lift the spirits of the team, which has struggled with its performance in recent times.

It is not that before this Sri Lanka had not surprised its opponents. In recent times whether Australia or Pakistan, even the best Sri Lankan talent in the business was finally at the receiving end. But consistency has long been the team’s worst enemy. However, this time he had a different story to tell.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and invited Sri Lanka to bat first. The team led by Dasun Shanaka, who had won all their matches in the chasing tournament, was left with no option but to set a target for Pakistan under the famous “Ring of Fire”.

Sri Lanka were 58/5 in 8.5 overs and once again many would have written them off. But how can it concern the team which had entered the final of 2022 Asia Cup against all odds.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa (71 not out off 55) played a blind game for Sri Lanka and the bowlers worked their way into the second innings to help the team win their 23-run victory, helping them clinch their 6th Asia Cup title.


“It can happen to any team in the world,” once again Dasun Shanaka speaking about the loss against Afghanistan but this time the tables had turned for him and his men.

“It happened for a good reason. We had serious discussions after that game. Everyone did well for us and that’s how we became champions,” concluded the confident Sri Lankan captain with a stellar comeback story that would go on for ages. Will put

In the words of Jim George: “It’s not how you start, but how you end!”

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