In a dramatic turn of events at the Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the tournament final were dashed as Sri Lanka emerged victorious in a virtual semi-final clash. Charith Asalanka displayed nerves of steel in the crucial moments, guiding Sri Lanka to a thrilling victory on the final delivery of the match.
Former Pakistan pace sensation Shoaib Akhtar expressed his thoughts on missing out on the historic Indo-Pak final clash in the Asia Cup. He praised the young Pakistani pacer Zaman Khan, who was drafted into the squad due to injuries to Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, for his exceptional performance.
“You’ve seen the match. Pakistan are out of the tournament. The match that was made in favour of Pakistan was all done by Zaman Khan. Whatever chances Pakistan had of winning the match were all because of him. Shaheen Afridi also got a few wickets, but credit goes to Zaman. He bowled really well,” Shoaib Akhtar praised on his YouTube channel.
While Akhtar believed that Pakistan deserved a place in the Asia Cup final, he candidly acknowledged that Sri Lanka outperformed them on the fateful day.
“Pakistan deserved to go to the Asia Cup final, but they are out of the tournament. They can be criticized a lot as they were touted as the ‘favorites’ but are out of the tournament now. Unfortunately, there can’t be a Pakistan vs. India match in the final; it has never happened. This was the chance, but Sri Lanka deserved to be the finalists. They were the far better team,” he opined.
After the crushing loss, a disheartened former Pakistan pacer labeled it as ’embarrassing’ and called on Babar Azam’s men to regroup and prepare vigorously for the upcoming ODI World Cup, scheduled to begin next month.
“Having said that, this is a very embarrassing loss. The fact that Pakistan is out of the tournament doesn’t look nice. Pakistan has a lot to think about. The captaincy needs to sharpen up a bit. I am very disappointed. Can’t say more,” Shoaib Akhtar concluded.