From Underdogs to Champions of Asia

September 16, 2022 | Rahul Shriwastav

Srilanka had the worst possible start to their Asia cup campaign and suffered a huge loss against Afghanistan in the tournament opener. Following the huge defeat, many analysts wrote the team off. Neither they were considered the favourite.

Regardless of the criticism, the group was confident in its potential, so much so that it went on to win its sixth title in the Asia Cup by defeating teams like India and Pakistan on its road to victory.

Asia cup which was initially scheduled in Sri Lanka shifted to UAE because of the crisis Sri Lanka was facing. Sri Lanka's big defeat against Afghanistan was like adding salt to the injury. Frustration was at its peak for the then-five-time Asia Cup winners, but their conviction changed the tide.

Their comeback and rise to glory

Srilanka thrashed Bangladesh in a nail-biting finish to advance to the Asia cup super four. A dramatic win that seemed to happen only once in a blue moon for the Lankans soon become their trademark in this tournament.

Srilanka avenged their setback to have revenge over Afghanistan with a four-wicket win triumph in super four before handing a shocking 6 wickets loss to tournament favourite India. In the next game, they defeated Pakistan just before the final.

A great comeback tale was in the cards, yet they need a company to overcome the final hurdle to rewriting history.

The Day Of Glory

With their compatriots still struggling at home as a consequence of the economic crisis, the Sri Lankan team arrived at the Dubai International Stadium, poised for the showdown with Pakistan. A victory would have given their country something to celebrate during this hard time, as well as lifted the spirits of the team, which has faltered in previous years with its performances.

Winning the toss, Babar Azam asked Sri Lanka to bat first and Sri Lanka'sbatting collapsed leading them 58/5 when everyone considered it might be a cakewalk for Pakistan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa played a gem of a knock (71 of 55) while the man of the tournament, Hasaranga played a blinder cameo of 36 and powers SL to respectable total and Sri Lankan bowler did the rest to bag their 6th title.

Their belief paid them off

Sri Lankan captain after their defeat against Afghanistan stated, "I think in T20 cricket anything can happen, we can bounce back in next game". Sri Lankan bowler Theeksana after the harsh comment from BCB director of claiming Sri Lanka didn't have even a single word class bowler replied, we don't have world class player but we have 11 brothers". Sri Lankan team this belief, dedication help them to bag their 6th Asia cup tittle and made them the champions of Asia from the underdogs.

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