The island nation Sri Lanka is currently going through its worst ever economic crisis . A crisis that forced them to give up as hosts of the Asia Cup 2022 . Give this backdrop of events at home, Dasun Shanaka , the Sri Lanka cricket team skipper has given the nation something to cheer about .
It’s finally ours, again 🤗🏆
📸 It was a special moment Sri Lanka Captain Dasun Shanaka receiving the #AsiaCup from the President of Sri Lanka Cricket Shammi Silva.@SLCPresident#RoaringForGlory #AsiaCup2022 pic.twitter.com/EhYbZ3QXCh
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 12, 2022
The never say die Sri Lankan team with youth and energy scripted a fairytale triumph as they beat Pakistan by 23 runs in the final of the Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International cricket stadium. It was their 6th Asia Cup. The earlier victories were in – 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, 2014 and 2022.
It was incidentally their first major triumph since the 2014 T20 World Cup win over India . It was hence long due. During this lean phase the team underwent a transition from the legends like – Sanath Jayasuriya , Mahela de Silva Jayawardene , Kumar Sangakkara, M Muralitharan , Chaminda Vaas. A nation which became potent force ever since its historic 1996 ICC World Cup win under the astute Arjuna Ranatunga. Followed by T20 World Cup win over India in 2014 . In between runners-up at two back-to-back ICC Men’s World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011.
It took a while for the generation next to fill in those big shoes. Sri Lanka went through the re-building phase taking the losses in their stride and having the self- belief that one day they would be back as a dangerous side which plays fearless cricket. Fearless they indeed were in the Asia Cup final 2022 against Pakistan. Reeling at 58/ 5 . The lankans roared back to shock Pakistan to reach a defendable 170/6 in their 20 overs . Bhanuka Rajapaksa who plays for the Punjab Kings In the IPL took the game away from Pakistan with his blazing Knock of 71 off 45 balls. The 30- year-old Bhanuka gave fans a treat with his power hitting ability and innovative shots to unsettle the bowlers .
Victory scenes at the Dubai ICS.🙌#RoaringForGlory #SLvPAK pic.twitter.com/3s21H9O8C2
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 11, 2022
He was superbly supported by wily spinner 25- year-old Wanindu Hasaranga ( another player who plays In the IPL for RCB) who shone with both bat and ball ( 36 with the bat and 3/27) . The other bowling hero was young 28- year-old Pramod Madushan with 4/34. Backed by superb ground fielding and taking all catches coming their way the Lankans bowled out Pakistan for 147 to emerge worthy champions.
What this Asia Cup 2022 triumph will do for Sri Lanka is that it will now give them the confidence to do well in big tournaments ahead like the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia coming up next month and the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 in India . For a young team this win will make them believe that they have in them to take on the big teams .
And the likes of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pramod Madushan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka the skipper who will gain in stature now post win will be on the lips of cricket fans all over. So welcome back spirited Sri Lanka !