Sri Lanka's Asia Cup champions receive heroes' welcome in Colombo - in pictures

Dasun Shanaka's team defeated Pakistan in the final to lift T20 title in Dubai on Sunday

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Sri Lanka's players received a grand welcome on Monday after they landed in Colombo following their Asia Cup triumph.

Dasun Shanaka's team put in a heroic effort to defeat favourites Pakistan in the final of the T20 tournament in Dubai on Sunday.

The title seemed a long way away when Sri Lanka lost badly to Afghanistan in their opening match. But they continued to play an attacking brand of cricket, which took them all the way to the final.

There, they overcame the apparent disadvantage of bowling second — because of dew in the evening — and a horror start — 58 for five — to post a target of 171 before defending it brilliantly through good bowling and exceptional fielding.

Batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who scored an unbeaten 71 in the final, said it was a "great win" for the country amid a severe economic crisis that has engulfed the nation for the best part of 2022.

"A couple of decades back, we had some sort of aggression in our side. And we wanted to create those moments again. I think, as a unit, we are doing that fantastically well at the moment," he said.

"We want to look forward to the World Cup as well and to keep up this momentum. As a nation, I think it's a great win ... with all the crisis happening back home, these are tough times for Sri Lankans. We are glad and hope that we brought some smiles to their faces."

Captain Shanaka said winning the Asia Cup will help the team's preparation for next month's Twenty20 World Cup, for which the team still has to qualify for.

"We played last year's qualifiers as well ... it's the set-up that has come through from three or four years back," Shanaka told reporters.

"The last two years were really good for us and winning Asia Cup will really help for the World Cup. The World Cup qualifiers will help as well because we will play in those conditions before the main tournament happens so it'll be really good for us."

Asia Cup 2022 team of the tournament

Updated: September 13, 2022, 9:06 AM