The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the Asia Cup in 2022, and there was a strong trend in favor of teams chasing, making the final toss an important one to win. When Babar Azam made the right decision and chose to field, the odds were already stacked in Pakistan’s favor. When Sri Lanka was reduced to 58/5 in the ninth over, things took a turn for the worst. But after that, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Pramod Madushan, and a masterful fielding performance helped them defeat Pakistan with relative ease to earn their sixth Asia Cup championship.
Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 23 runs after bowling them out for 147. Prior to the tournament’s championship game, the team batting first had triumphed just three times in 11 games. In two of those, India and Pakistan defeated Hong Kong, while in the third, Virat Kohli’s century helped India defeat an exhausted Afghanistan team that had just played two days in a row.
Dasun Shanaka, the captain of Sri Lanka, recognized before the toss that his team faced challenges because they were given the opportunity to bat, but he still believed they could prevail. After the game, he claimed that the team was inspired by the IPL 2021 championship game, in which the winning Chennai Super Kings batted first. “In IPL 2021, Chennai won the match batting first and that is what was in my mind, we talked about it,” Shanaka said in the post-match press conference. Even in that year’s IPL, India’s flagship T20 event, teams batting second did win more games. IPL 2021 was also played in the UAE. However, CSK won the top match by batting first and defeating Kolkata Knight Riders.