India are on the verge of exiting the Asia Cup Super 4 stage after suffering two straight losses in two games. They are no longer in control of their own destiny. Pakistan would be eliminated from the championship game if they defeated Afghanistan on Wednesday. Rohit Sharma, the captain of India, smashed a brilliant 72 off 41 balls on Wednesday, but it was in vain because India couldn’t hold on to a 174-run target. Sri Lanka scored 14 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, nearly winning it for them when they needed 21 runs in 12 balls. Wasim Akram, a former star for Pakistan, examined what went wrong for Bhuvneshwar in the 19th over after the game.
“Bhuvi is a very good bowler. Don’t get me wrong but there is no pace. In T20, when you don’t have pace, especially on this kind of pitch, he’s a medium pacer, just maybe over medium pacer…135 (kmph). You need 140 (kmph) plus bowler like Jasprit Bumrah in the side. When he comes into the squad, you will have two of the best bowlers to bowl the last overs. And you need regular bowlers, who can bowl at the death. You can’t pick up someone out of the hand. It’s impossible to bowl, if you are not used to the pressure,” Wasim Akram said. The Sri Lankans got off to a fast start as they chased what appeared to be a par total at the innings break, with openers Kusal Mendis (57 off 37 balls) and Pathum Nissanka (52 off 37 balls) putting on 91 runs at a quick clip.
The fifty was reached in the sixth over thanks to both batsmen’ consistent and effortless hitting of the gaps and boundaries, which put a lot of pressure on the Indian bowling attack, which struggled to adjust to the two Lankan hitters’ optimistic batting style. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who struck twice in the 12th over to halt Sri Lanka’s advance, had other ideas. Danushka Gunathilaka (1) was returned by Ravichandran Ashwin, leaving Sri Lanka in trouble at 110 for three in the 14th over. When Mendis was caught lbw in front of the wicket with the first delivery of the following over, Chahal took a major scalp for Sri Lanka. However, Sri Lanka’s captain Dasun Shanaka (33 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) persevered until the end, winning the match with a 64-run fifth-wicket stand.