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Who Will Win Asia Cup 2023?
It was a straight shootout between Sri Lanka and Pakistan for the spot in the finals. Both teams having lost to India were slated to play a virtual semifinal. Sri Lanka’s record streak of 13 ODIs came to a halt while Pakistan’s juggernaut too suffered a break with respective losses to India. It was about how the two teams would pick themselves up in the big game was on everyone’s mind.
The shortcomings ahead of the contest:
Sri Lanka walked into the tournament without four of their key bowlers. But they fought admirably even in the lost cause against India. Pakistan, on the other hand, suffered from injuries to two of their key pacers. The dip in form for their top-order was another worrying sign. Pakistan managed to squash aside teams like Nepal and Bangladesh but were found wanting against the big sides. These factors set up the game beautifully. It was a battle of cricketing smarts in this knockout game.
Who came out on top in this epic thriller?
The weather reduced the game to a 45-over per side initially and was later brought down to 42-over per side. Pakistan was in a spot of bother at 130-5 but managed their post through to post 252 as target. Sri Lanka kept up with the scoring rate right from the start. Their fourth and fifth-wicket partnership almost saw them through.
Pakistan managed to stay in the game picking up wickets against the run of play. In the end, it was the home team, Sri Lanka, that managed to hold their nerves. Sri Lanka booked a spot in the finals on the last ball where Charith Asalanka nonchalantly clipped a ball towards square leg. They have set up the finals date with India on September 17.
What about India’s form?
India will play their final league match against Bangladesh on September 15. It is an inconsequential game from the tournament standpoint. India having already qualified for the finals will look to give their bench a game. Bangladesh will look to play for pride as they are yet to post a win in the Super Four stage. India is unbeaten so far in the tournament and seem to be getting better with every passing game. If they manage to get the better of Bangladesh, they will walk into the finals in a confident state of mind.
The Asia Cup legacy:
It will be 13 years since when India and Sri Lanka contested in an Asia Cup final. India won the tournament that year (2010) and later went on to win the World Cup in 2011. Sri Lanka had the better of India in two consecutive finals (2004 and 2008). India on paper look a formidable side and have belied all concerns to stamp their authority in the tournament.
Sri Lanka, has played an admirable brand of cricket to move into the finals. India currently is the most successful team in the tournament with 7 titles while Sri Lanka is a close second with 6. There is history waiting to be made in the finals of this edition.
Who will win the Asia Cup 2023?
There is very little to choose between these two sides as they face off against each other in yet another tournament final. Sri Lanka, being the home team have the added advantage of both conditions and fans support. India is burdened with the history of not winning a major tournament in the last 5 years.
It was the 2018 Asia Cup where India last won a multination tournament. The odds are against India as they aim to win the trophy remaining unbeaten right throughout. Lanka look primed to equal India’s Asia Cup trophy count.