Women’s Asia Cup 2022: Sri Lanka stun Pakistan to secure final berth after 14-years

The last-over heroic from 32-year-old right-arm medium pacer Achini Kulasuriya and dramatic run-out on the very last ball of the 2nd semi-final clinched a thriller for Sri Lankan Women as they snatched victory from the guts of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team to book the second spot in the finals of the Women Asia Cup T20 2022.

With 9-runs to defend in the final over, and set batter Nida Dar (26 off 26) on the crease, Kulasuriya had a daunting task ahead of her, but she held her nerve to guide Sri Lanka to the final of the elite competition after 14 years. While batting first, Sri Lanka posted 122/6 on the back of impressive knocks from Harshitha Madavi (35 off 41) and a decent contribution by wicketkeeper Anushka Sanjeewani (26 off 21). Nashra Sandhu clinched three wickets for Pakistan in the first innings, while Sadia Iqbal, Nida Dar and Aiman Anwer pocked one wicket each.

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In response, Pakistan got a flying start as opener Muneeba Ali (18 off 10) smashed a couple of boundaries in the powerplay and accelrated the run-chase in no-time. However, Ali was dismissed in the fourth over of the second innings reducing the team’s total to 31-1 in 3.2 overs.

While Pakistan Women’s cricket team lost wickets at regular intervals, Bismah Maroof (42 off 41) held the fort from one end as she closed the gap with her instrumental innings. After Maroof got dismissed in the 18th over of the run-chase, the onus was on Nida Dar (26 off 26) to lead from the front and take Pakistan over the winning margin.

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But Achini Kulasuriya’s brilliant bowling in the final over and dramatic run-out on the last ball when Pakistan needed three runs to win and two to win brought a happy face to the Sri Lankan camp. Inoka Ranaweera was adjudged Player of the Match for her brilliant spell picking up two wickets and conceding just 17-runs in her four overs. Now, Sri Lanka will meet mighty India in the summit clash of the T20 Women’s Asia Cup 2022 on October 15 (Saturday) at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

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