Pakistan and Sri Lanka locked horns in the Asia Cup final on Sunday evening (September 11) at the iconic Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai. Havig defeated the Babar Azam-led Men in Green in the Super Four clash, Dasun Shanaka-led Islanders once again emerged on top of the two-time champions to win the tournament for the sixth time, second-most after India (seven).
Being asked to bat first, SL were in a spot of bother and tottering at 58-5 in 8.5 overs before Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 45-ball 71 and Wanindu Hasaranga’s 21-ball 36 propelled the Islanders to a competitive 170-6 in 20 overs. In reply, Pakistan were never in the run-chase with Pramod Madushan, Hasaranga and Chamika Karunaratne sharing nine scalps in between. After the clash, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja was asked about the national side’s loss in the summit clash of the continental tournament and he made heads turn with his behaviour.
An Indian reporter asked him if he had a message for the Pakistan fans, back home, post the defeat. To this, Ramiz said, “You must be from India and will be very happy now that Pakistan has lost”. Later, the reporter argued that he wasn’t happy as well but the argument continued between the duo before Ramiz slammed him and even grabbed his phone to move ahead and answer another reporter’s question. The video has gone viral in no time. Here’s the clip:
At the post-match presentation, Babar said, “Congratulations to Sri Lanka for playing outstanding cricket. We dominated them for the first eight overs, but the partnership that Rajapaska got was amazing. This was a true wicket and it is always nice playing in Dubai. We didn’t bat according to our potential. We started well, but we gave away 15-20 extra runs and couldn’t finish well. A lot of positives for us to take. In a final, the margin for mistakes is lesser. Our fielding wasn’t up to the mark and the batting couldn’t finish it off well. But Rizwan, Naseem and Nawaz were positives. Ups and downs will be there, but it would be nicer if we made lesser mistakes.”
Pakistan will focus on the positives from the multi-nation tournament and regroup before the T20 World Cup 2022 edition, to be held in October-November in Australia.