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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sri Lanka Walk Away With The Asia Cup Beating Pakistan! ICC World T20 Starts 16th March!



Lasith Malinga
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan quite easily in the final of the Asia Cup-2014 yesterday in Bangladesh and deservedly won the title for the fifth time now equaling India who crashed out this time. Sri Lanka overhauled Pakistan total of 260/5 by five wickets with 22 balls to spare. Mahela Jaywardene (75) played the first big knock of this tournament and helped a terrific Thirimanne to his century enabling Sri Lanka cruise over to victory. Man of the Match Lasith Malinga had an opening spell of fierce fast bowling mopping up top three Pakistan batsmen for just 18 runs on the board. Malinga maintained it in all his three spells taking up all the Pakistan wickets to fall with the figure 5 for 56. Put down from the start Pakistan fought bravely with two 100+ partnerships with a patient century from Fawad Alam (114 off 134 balls) and useful contributions from skipper Misbah (65 off 98) and a quicker 59 off 42 balls by keeper Umar Akmal. However, Pakistan failed to capitalize on these partnerships and fell short setting a target in excess of 275 runs. It was also inexplicable why Pakistan chose to bat first since their last two breathtaking victories  had been achieved while chasing. Their major weapon of these wins, Shahid Afridi, was not pushed up in the order and finally he could not get a single ball. Perhaps the doubt over Afridi’s fitness pushed things back for Pakistan. After some thrilling and incredible cricket in the tournament the final turned out to be a tame affair. Of course not undermining the consistent dominance of Sri Lanka.  The Scorecard:

Sri Lanka remained the only undefeated team in Asia Cup-2014 while hosts Bangladesh could not win even a single match despite giving running Pakistan and Sri Lanka close. India crashing out early did not have the satisfaction of at least defeating Pakistan as is expected in these parts and hardly had any plus from this tournament. Afghanistan had the supreme satisfaction of defeating a test-playing team for the first time in their cricketing history and Pakistan had only themselves to blame for not being able to take the Cup home.

The ICC World T20 Championship starts in Bangladesh from 16th March, 2014. With all the major competitive cricketing nations involved the shortest and the most commercial format of cricket is set to hot up. India start the tournament with a blockbuster against Pakistan on 21st March and with Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni coming back Team India would hope to put the bad memory of Asia Cup behind. ICC World T20 Schedule:
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