Saqlain Mushtaq did not hold back any praise while applauding Sri Lanka for their victory in the Asia Cup. He said that the Pakistan squad was defeated in both of the game’s innings. He then proceeded to evaluate the strategies used by the top three batters before passing the baton to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who went on to play a magnificent knock.
The oddsmakers were mistaken about Sri Lanka’s chances of winning the Asia Cup, but they were soundly disproved when the team not only won the Super Four game against Pakistan in a resounding victory but also went on to win the tournament overall. After building their reputation in recent years as a dangerous chasing side with a vicious middle order — as was on display in the round-robin encounter — the Lions demonstrated that they can adapt equally well and be successful in a final even when defending a total.
What did Saqlain Mushtaq say?
“If you’re a champion team, you need to be a champion regardless of whether it’s first innings or second innings,” Pakistan’s head coach Saqlain Mushtaq said at the press conference.
“We were requested to bat first in the game before, and they still won. In this game, we had to bat second, and they still won. Considering how well they performed in both games, it is well-deserved,” he added.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 71 runs off 45 deliveries carried Sri Lanka to victory in the last match, capping up a run streak of five consecutive victories for the team. They went from 58/5 to a total of 170 under his guidance.
“They have been playing brilliant cricket; credit goes to all of the boys. It appears that they are on top of the world. The way that they played against India and got momentum against Afghanistan, a lot of praise for all of them. The way that they played today, we played just nine overs of good cricket. After that, they dominated for 31 overs in all aspects. They have been playing brilliant cricket; credit goes to all of the boys,” said Mushtaq.