India and Sri Lanka produced a thrilling contest in the Super Four clash at the Asia Cup 2022 edition before Rohit Sharma & Co. went down on the penultimate ball. Defending a competitive 174, Dasun Shanaka & Co. rode on the captain’s finishing cameo, Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 25-ball 17* and fifties from Pathan Nissanka-Kusal Mendis to push India close to an early elimination.
Being asked to bat first, Rohit-led India rode on the skipper’s 42-ball 71 and some useful contributions from Suryakumar Yadav (34), Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya (17 runs apiece) and R Ashwin’s 7-ball 15 not out to post 173/8. In reply, SL’s refreshing and confident approach took India by surprise despite the game going down to the wire.
In the last over, Arshdeep Singh was given seven runs to defend and the 23-year-old speedster gave his all to keep the game alive. With two needed off as many deliveries, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant had taken a glove off in anticipation of a throw. While Shanaka failed to connect the second-last delivery, he ran and Pant missed a direct hit, which would’ve easily led to Rajapaksa’s dismissal.
Following Pant’s failed attempt, Arshdeep also tried to run-out Shanaka at the non-striker’s end before missing the stumps as the Lankan batters completed two runs. Thus, SL beat India by six wickets on the penultimate delivery. After Pant’s failed attempt, Twitterati was quick to criticise him and MS Dhoni became trending in no time. Here are some of the responses:
At the post-match presentation, Rohit said, “We just ended up on the wrong side, as simple as that. We could have capitalized on the first half of our innings. We fell 10-15 runs short. The second half wasn’t good for us. The guys who were out in the middle can learn about what shots can be played. These things can happen. Losses like these will make us understand what works as a team.”