Asia Cup 2022: Sri Lanka warm up for final with comfortable win over Pakistan

Spinner Hasaranga sets up five-wicket win in Dubai

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Sri Lanka geared up for the Asia Cup 2022 final in perfect fashion as spinner Wanindu Hasaranga set up a comfortable five-wicket victory over Pakistan on Friday.

Both teams had already booked their place in Sunday's final and faced each other in a dress rehearsal for the title clash.

Hasaranga returned figures of 3-21 with his leg-spin to help bowl out Pakistan for 121 in 19.1 overs after Sri Lanka elected to field first in Dubai.

Sri Lanka slipped to 29-3 in their chase before Pathum Nissanka (55 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (24) put on a stand of 51 as the island nation achieved their target with three overs to spare.

The left-handed Rajapaksa fell after his 19-ball knock but Nissanka stood firm and Hasaranga hit the winning runs as Sri Lanka registered their fourth straight victory.

"The confidence we have is massive after four consecutive wins, but we still don't take Pakistan lightly in the final," skipper Dasun Shanaka said.

"We know they are a very good side and enough good players in their side to come back strong and we should be ready for that."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who struggled with only 33 runs in the previous four games, top-scored with a scratchy 30 off 29 balls. Pakistan reached 49-1 after six overs but lost their last nine wickets for 58 runs.

“Our batting wasn’t up to the mark after the powerplay and we couldn’t build on from there,” Azam said. “We have made mistakes and will have a discussion before the final.”

Debutant fast bowler Pramod Madushan, one of the two changes Sri Lanka made in the last Super 4 game, got his first wicket off the third ball when in-form batsman Mohammad Rizwan tried to chase a wide delivery but was caught by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis.

Fakhar Zaman, who scored only one half-century in the Asia Cup, and Azam struggled to raise the scoring rate before Zaman hit Chamika Karunaratne straight to Hasaranga at point boundary.

Mohammad Nawaz (26) hit two late sixes before getting run out in the penultimate over, and Madushan returned and deceived Haris Rauf with a slower delivery to wrap up the innings.

Updated: September 10, 2022, 6:11 AM