Skipper Babar Azam admitted that Pakistan were not up to the mark across departments in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four match against Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka on Thursday, September 14 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The match was a virtual semi-final and Pakistan ended up losing by two wickets to crash out of the tournament. With Sri Lanka needing eight runs to win in the last over, Zaman Khan tried his heart out, but Charith Asalanka stayed not out on 49 to take his team home.
Prior to that, Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled brilliantly in the penultimate over, picking up two wickets of Dhananjaya de Silva and Dunith Wellalage and giving away only four runs.
“We just decided to bowl our best overs and asked Shaheen to bowl the second last over and believed in Zaman. Sri Lanka played very well, better cricket than us,” Babar was quoted as saying in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Babar said that Pakistan let the Sri Lankans off the hook when Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Mendis put on a partnership of 100 runs for third wicket.
“We have not been up to the mark in the bowling and fielding. That is why we lost the match. In the middle overs, we did not bowl well. That partnership cost us. We started well, ended well, but middle overs were not great. We have lacked that,” he added.
Mendis went on to score 91 before Iftikhar Ahmed dismissed him, but he departed only after putting Sri Lanka in a commanding position.
Sri Lanka, with the win, advanced to their 11th Asia Cup final and are scheduled to face India in the final on Sunday, September 17. In the meantime, after nearly 40 years in the history of the Asia Cup, India and Pakistan are yet to lock horns in the final.