Sri Lanka surprise, Virat Kohli comeback: Five Asia Cup talking points

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Sri Lanka surprise, Virat Kohli comeback: Five Asia Cup talking points
Sri Lanka surprise, Virat Kohli comeback: Five Asia Cup talking points

Sri Lanka surprise, Virat Kohli comeback: Five Asia Cup talking points

Dasun Shanaka‘s Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 23 runs in Dubai on Sunday to clinch their sixth Asia Cup.

Look at five things from the six-nation tournament, which was a precursor for next month’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

SRI LANKA’S TRIUMPH

After an embarrassingly lopsided opening loss to Afghanistan, analysts gave Sri Lanka little chance of making the Super Four, but five straight victories propelled them to Asia Cup victory.

Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan twice then defeated favourites India in the Super Four to boost their confidence going into the T20 World Cup in Australia, where they will need to get through a qualifying round.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who scored an unbeaten 71 in the championship match, expressed his belief that a revitalised Sri Lanka may capitalise on their Asia Cup victory and win the T20 showdown.

RISE OF NASEEM SHAH

Naseem Shah, a young bowler for Pakistan, excelled despite the absence of injured pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The 19-year-quick old’s bowling allowed him to take seven wickets in five games, and his two last-over sixes in the exciting victory over Afghanistan allowed his team to go to the championship.

Following Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Shah ended the Asia Cup in typical fashion by claiming a wicket in the first over of the Sunday final, brilliantly uprooting Kusal Mendis’s off stump.

Sri Lanka surprise, Virat Kohli comeback: Five Asia Cup talking points
Sri Lanka surprise, Virat Kohli comeback: Five Asia Cup talking points
WAIT FOR KOHLI TON ENDS

The second ball Virat Kohli faced at the Asia Cup was dropped on nought by Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman, and the former India skipper made the most of the opportunity.

Against Afghanistan, Kohli went on to hit 122 runs without being out, recording his first century for India in any format since November 2019. He finished the tournament with 276 runs at an average of 92. Additionally, it was his first Twenty20 international three-figure score.

An important topic of conversation had been Kohli’s protracted batting slump, but after taking a month off before the Asia Cup, he returned rejuvenated and put an end to the rumours.

In his five tournament innings, Kohil also hit two fifties, and his Asia Cup total was only topped by Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan, whose 55 in the championship game moved him ahead with 281 runs from six games.

THE AFGHAN SPIRIT

In the first game, which Afghanistan won by eight wickets with almost 10 overs remaining. Mohammad Nabi’s squad demonstrated their white-ball prowess by bowling out eventual champions Sri Lanka for 105.

After that, Afghanistan destroyed Bangladesh and gave Pakistan a serious scare in the Super Four. Before losing by one wicket in a heated match’s penultimate over.

The majority of the team learned to play cricket in Pakistani refugee camps. And they have advanced significantly since his Test status in 2017.

For the T20 World Cup, where Afghanistan will be attempting to upset the established cricket powers. Nabi predicted they would “come back stronger.”

WOEFUL BANGLADESH

After bowing to a Bangladesh Cricket Board ultimatum to renegotiate a contract with a betting website. All-arounder Shakib Al Hasan took over as captain once more.

However, his presence had little impact on Bangladesh’s dismal T20 record. As they were unable to advance past the group stage after losing to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

It was Bangladesh’s 15th T20 loss in their most recent games. When left-arm spinner Shakib produced figures of 1-13 against Afghanistan. And then scored 24 against Sri Lanka, but he believed that his squad had a “strategy in place” to do better.