Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga led Sri Lanka’s bowling charge to a comfortable five-wicket win over Pakistan in their dress rehearsal for the Asia Cup final on Friday. Both the teams have already booked their places for Sunday’s title match in the practice tournament of the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in October-November. Hasaranga returned figures of 3-21 with his leg-spin to help bowl out Pakistan for 121 in 19.1 overs after he elected to field first in Dubai. Sri Lanka slipped 29-3 in their chase as the island nation chased down their target with three overs to spare before Pathum Nisanka (55 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (24) shared a crucial 51-run stand.
Left-handed Rajapaksa fell after his 19-ball knock, but Nisanka persevered and Hasaranga scored the winning run as Sri Lanka registered their fourth straight victory.
It was the Sri Lankan bowlers who started the team’s dominance as debutant pacer Pramod Madushan hit a four in their first over.
He sent in-form Mohammad Rizwan to the pavilion for 14 runs, who is second only to Virat Kohli in the run-scoring charts of the tournament.
Chamika Karunaratne ended Fakhar Zaman’s stay for 13 runs and Pakistan slipped further when Hasranga’s Azam was bowled.
Babar, who has struggled with scores of 10, 9, 14 and zero in his last innings in the tournament, started off with a pleasant straight drive for four but could not score a match-defining score.
Pakistan lost wickets and Hasranga ended his spell with two consecutive wickets to level Pakistan’s batting, which survived only 19.1 overs despite a late 26 by Mohammad Nawaz.
Spinners Mahesh Thikshana and Madhushan took two wickets each.
Pakistan’s fast bowlers also picked up three early wickets to put Sri Lanka on the back foot before Nissanka and left-arm Rajapaksa got the chase back on track.
Mohammad Hasnain gave the team a great start by dismissing Kusal Mendis for a duck on the first ball in the second ball of the innings.
Teammate Tej Haris Rauf took a wicket each in his first two overs, dismissing Danushka Gunathilaka for zero and Dhananjay de Silva for nine.
Nissenka then went with Rajapaksa and scored his seventh T20I half-century for Sri Lanka despite losing his partner after a strong stand.
He was then joined by skipper Dasun Shanaka, who turned 31 on Friday and scored 21 off 16 balls before being dismissed for Hasnain.
India, having lost two of their three Super Four matches, were knocked out of pre-tournament favorites India after losing to Pakistan in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article