[Watch] Zaman Khan in Tears, Babar Azam Devastated As SL Eliminate PAK From Asia Cup
Pakistan loss by 2 wickets [AP]
In a dramatic turn of events in the Asia Cup 2023, the cricketing world watched in disbelief as Pakistan's campaign came to an unexpected and heart-wrenching end. What was supposed to be a high-voltage showdown between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the final has now transformed into a clash between India and an inspired Sri Lankan team, all thanks to a heroic performance by Charith Asalanka.
Pakistan, led by their captain Babar Azam, began the Super Four stage of the tournament on a high note, convincingly defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium. This victory had the fans dreaming of an epic finale against India, but fate had other plans. A crushing defeat to the Men in Blue and a roller-coaster ride against Sri Lanka followed, leaving Pakistan's fate hanging by a thread.
Facing the wrath of their Indian counterparts, Pakistan suffered a humbling 228-run loss that sent shockwaves through their camp. The loss highlighted several concerns, including the fitness and form of key players, which were pivotal in their downfall. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but Pakistan was not ready to give up without a fight.
In the must-win encounter against Sri Lanka on 14th September, Pakistan showed remarkable resilience and spirit, putting up a vastly improved performance. However, it wasn't enough to secure victory, as Charith Asalanka's heroics and Dasun Shanaka's captaincy brilliance guided Sri Lanka to a thrilling two-wicket win on the final ball.
As the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo erupted in jubilation, the Pakistan cricket fraternity, including their heartbroken skipper Babar Azam and pacer Zaman Khan, was left in tears.
Watch - Babar Azam vigorously gestures in frustration
Sri Lanka's triumph, on the other hand, was a testament to their fighting spirit and ability to handle pressure in crunch situations. Charith Asalanka's exceptional innings underlined his potential as a future star, while Dasun Shanaka's astute leadership has rejuvenated the Lankan lions. The victory earned Sri Lanka a spot in the Asia Cup 2023 final, where they will face Rohit Sharma's formidable Indian side on 17th September at the same venue.