Charith Asalanka Help Sri Lanka Register A Crucial Win Over Pakistan
By CricShots - Sep 15, 2023 11:28 am
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The Asia Cup 2023, which had cricket fans eagerly anticipating a thrilling India-Pakistan final clash, took an unexpected turn as Pakistan faced an early exit at the hands of Sri Lanka in the virtual semi-final. In a dramatic showdown at the R Premadasa Stadium, it was middle-order batsman Charith Asalanka who emerged as the hero for Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lankan side.

Kusal Mendis
Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama made a crucial partnership

Opting to bat first in the must-win encounter, Pakistan welcomed back Fakhar Zaman into their playing XI, hoping for a strong start. However, their plans were quickly foiled as Pramod Madushan sent Fakhar packing in just the 5th over. Pakistan’s star batter, Babar Azam, also failed to make a significant impact, further contributing to the team’s early struggles.

Despite these early setbacks, Pakistan managed to regain their footing, largely thanks to the partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique. Shafique’s gritty 52 off 69 balls and Rizwan’s unbeaten 86 off 73 balls proved crucial as they guided Pakistan to a total of 252-7. The match, marred by rain, was reduced to 42 overs per side, putting additional pressure on both teams.

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In response, Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama put on a spectacular 100-run partnership, seemingly steering their team to an unassailable position. However, Pakistan launched a late comeback, with Shaheen Afridi, who had earlier hit Samarawickrama’s helmet when he was on 41, making a significant impact. Iftikhar Ahmed played his part by dismissing Samarawickrama for 48 runs.


Mendis, who had been instrumental in keeping Sri Lanka in contention with his exceptional knock of 91, eventually fell in the 36th over. At this point, Sri Lanka needed just 42 runs off 41 balls.

As the game reached its climax, Sri Lanka faced a sudden collapse. Skipper Dasun Shanaka’s dismissal was followed by crucial wickets taken by Shaheen Afridi, who redeemed himself after a poor opening spell. With only eight runs needed for a stunning victory, Sri Lanka found themselves under immense pressure in the final six balls.



Afridi’s remarkable performance continued as he dismissed Dhananjaya with a low full toss before securing the wicket of Dunith Wellalage in the penultimate over. However, Charith Asalanka remained unbeaten on 49 off 47 balls, playing the role of the anchor that led Sri Lanka to a 2-wicket victory at the Premadasa Stadium.

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This remarkable win marked Sri Lanka’s third-highest successful run-chase in the history of the Asia Cup. With their thrilling victory, they secured a spot in the final, where they are set to face India in a highly anticipated clash. On the other hand, Pakistan’s unexpected exit left fans disappointed and altered the much-anticipated India-Pakistan final scenario, ensuring an exciting showdown between India and Sri Lanka instead.