Former captain Mahela Jayawardena heaped praise on the victorious Sri Lanka team after they beat Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup, saying that the players showed character and passion to play for the country.
The island nation has been the story of the entire tournament as they started off with a crushing loss to Afghanistan. However, they pulled themselves together against Bangladesh and remained unbeaten till the end, claiming wins over India and Pakistan along the way to the crown.
The final wasn’t a straightforward match for the Sri Lankan team as they were left reeling by the Pakistani bowlers at 58 for five in 8.5 overs. Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Wanindu Hasaranga decided to step forward at that moment and stitched together a partnership that shifted the momentum in Sri Lanka’s favour.
Rajapaksa scored a 45-ball 71 to help the island nation register a challenging 170. Chasing a target of 171, Pakistan got off to a poor start as they lost captain Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman in quick succession. Mohammed Rizwan and Ifthikar Ahmed got together for a partnership but the Sri Lankan bowlers ensured that the pressure was applied on the pair and the required run rate kept on rising.
Wishes have been pouring in for the team after their triumph, with Jayawardena being the latest one. Taking to Twitter, the former captain said that it turned out to be a good toss to lose. He also said that the players showed character and passion to play for the country and everyone is porud of their efforts.
“Good toss to lose boys !! Showed character and passion to play for the country and so proud of each and every one enjoy the victory as entire country will.. brilliant team effort #AsiaCup2022,” tweeted Jayawardena.
The victory on Sunday saw Sri Lanka lift their sixth Asia Cup.