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3 reasons why Sri Lanka won the 2022 Asia Cup

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Last Updated on 2 years by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: 3 reasons why Sri Lanka won the 2022 Asia Cup | A look at how Sri Lanka defied the odds and won the 2022 Asia Cup

When predictions for Asia Cup 2022 were made, nobody thought that Sri Lanka would emerge as champions. India were most people’s clear favourites, followed by Pakistan. But a gritty and determined young Sri Lankan team proved everyone wrong.

Sri Lanka remained unbeaten throughout the Super 4 stage and carried the form into the Final to win the Asia Cup title. It was a dream run for the Chris Silverwood-coached side as they were not considered to be contenders, especially after their horror display first up against Afghanistan. Also, the team has not even sealed automatic qualification for the T20 World Cup, starting October 10 in Australia.

Written off by many cricket pundits prior to the tournament, Sri Lanka emerged as a force to reckoned with and outplayed their rivals in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. In this article, we look at the three major reasons why Sri Lanka won their sixth Asia Cup title.

Why Sri Lanka won Asia Cup 2022

The emergence of Dilshan Madushanka

Sri Lanka suffered a huge blow when Dushmantha Chameera was ruled out of the tournament due to injury. It was one of the reasons many counted Sri Lanka out as Chameera has been leading the pace battery for a few years.

Chameera’s absence opened up a spot in the team. Dilshan Madushanka filled that void in brilliant fashion. The left-arm pacer was the biggest positive for the islanders from the tournament. With six dismissals, he was Sri Lanka’s highest wicket-taker alongside player of the tournament Wanindu Hasaranga.

Madushanka was a great asset for the Lankan Lions with the new ball and in the slog overs as well. He is quick and can move the ball either way. To his credit, he got the wicket of Virat Kohli, troubled Babar Azam in both the Super Four and the Final, and won the admiration of Wasim Akram, who likened him to a Sri Lankan legend Chaminda Vaas.

Batsmen delivered under pressure

After struggling in the group stage, Sri Lanka’s newly formed opening pair of Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis proved their mettle in the all-important Super Four stage of the tournament. Both openers provided solidity at the top and were the main reasons behind Sri Lanka’s big run chases against Afghanistan and India.

Then, it was the lower order which came into force to help the side recover from tricky positions. Captain Dasun Shanaka and hard-hitting batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa in particular were the stars of Sri Lanka’s successful campaign. While both had a strike rate around 140s, the pair brought fearlessness to the fore and belted some valuable runs for their side.

In the last game, their lower-order showed fight as Hasaranga and Karunaratne supported Rajapaksa to recover from a tricky position and post a challenging total on the board.

The exemplary leadership of Dasun Shanaka

It took some time but the Lankan Lions finally look like a side that can win major multinational tournaments. A huge share of credit for that goes to Dasun Shanaka for understanding the ability of a player and back the strength of each and every individual.

Since taking over as captain in white ball cricket, Shanaka has shown traits of an inspiring leader and has already won series against Pakistan, India, and Australia.

In the recently concluded Asia Cup, Sri Lanka made a terrible start to their campaign when they lost the tournament opener to Afghanistan. In a must-win encounter against Bangladesh, they came back pretty strongly to qualify for the Super Four stage. After this win, Sri Lanka remained unbeaten for the remainder of the continental event.

The decisions Shanaka made on the field were more or less accurate which reflects on his team’s performance. One example is that despite being a vice-captain, dropping Charith Asalanka was a brave call and Shanaka took that at the right time and that’s what makes him a good leader.

One can only feel happy for Sri Lanka winning the Asia Cup, especially after what they have been going through back home in terms of the economic crisis. Now, they will embark on the Qualifying campaign next month ahead of the T20 World Cup main round. If they continue to perform the way they have, they should have no trouble in reaching the Super 12s stage, and could go on another run towards the Semi Finals.

Vaibhav Tripathi
Vaibhav Tripathihttps://twitter.com/V_Trips7781
Vaibhav is a passionate cricket fan and writer from India. He specialises in match previews, news and opinion. You can follow him on Twitter (x) at: https://twitter.com/VTrips_7781

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