Sunday came as a disappointment for Pakistan’s fans as their side faced a 23-run defeat in the summit clash of Asia Cup 2022 against Sri Lanka, at Dubai International Stadium. Pakistan, who were playing for their third Asia Cup title, were bundled out at 147 in the chase of 171 runs. There were low points in the match for the Babar Azam-led side but wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan’s slow knock of 55 runs off 49 balls, utterly disappointed the fans and cricket pundits alike. The batter received a lot of flak from a section on social media but on a positive note, Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq came in his defense and said that nobody from outside knows what goes inside a dressing room and in a player’s mind.
“It is their thinking. I always say this that people who are sitting outside, look at things from the outside and then they comment on it. When the result comes, they look at the scorecard and then they give their comments. What is going on in the dressing room and in the minds of players, what situation players are in, people on the outside do not know about this,” said Saqlain Mushtaq in a post-match press conference.
“I have also worked as a broadcaster sitting outside, it is easy to give comments. When you come inside the dressing room, you would know what is going on. From the outside, anyone can give comments,” he added.
Coming to the match, Bhanuka Rajapaksa played a brilliant knock of 71* off 45 deliveries to take Sri Lanka to 170/6 from a position where even 150 looked difficult for them to reach. He was given ample support by Wanindu Hasaranga, who hit 36 off 21 deliveries.
Pramod Madushan then took two wickets in two balls to rattle Pakistan early. Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed put on a 71-run stand, but their scoring rate was too low and the pressure was building.
Madushan then broke the stand and claimed his third wicket, and since then, it was all Sri Lanka despite Rizwan hitting a half-century. Rizwan, Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah were all sent packing in one over to end Pakistan’s hopes.
Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 147 off the final delivery of the match, leading to ecstatic celebrations from the Sri Lanka players.
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