In Dubai, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by a margin of 23 runs to win the Asia Cup for the sixth time. Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s (71* off 45) and Wanindu Hasaranga’s (36 off 21) counter-attacking batting performance, which raised Sri Lanka from 58/5 and set Pakistan a target of 171, proved to be too much for Babar Azam and company on sunday evening. For the first time since April 2014, Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup with five straight wins after being bowling Pakistan out for 147 in 20 overs in the finale clash.
Mohammad Rizwan’s fifty lacked the drive to chase something like 171 in a high-stakes final despite Babar Azam’s form and his own form. When Pakistan lost Babar and Fakhar Zaman off consecutive balls to Pramod Madushan, they were unable to retaliate (who finished with 4 for 34). Pakistan had only 68/2 at the midway point because Iftikhar Ahmed and Rizwan were both hesitant to get going. To be fair to the pair, they had performed admirably against Hasaranga, scoring 25 runs off of each of his first three overs, but it can be stated that his fourth over effectively ended the game. In that over, Rizwan (55 off 49), Asif Ali, and a well-positioned Rizwan all lost their wickets.
After that, Pakistan was unable to recover and lost both the game and the championship by 23 runs.