The 8th edition of the Women’s T20 Asia Cup now only has its Final to be played which will be an India – Sri Lanka face-off at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Bangladesh on the 15th of October at 1:00 PM IST. India with a comfortable win against Thailand sealed a spot in the final, whereas Sri Lanka handed Pakistan an upset while defending 122 in a final-ball finish to seal a spot in the finals.
The 2nd Semi-Final game that was played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka witnessed the latter batting first post a below-par total that they then went on to restrict Pakistan from getting to with ease and in the final minutes of the play, Achini Kulasuriya was assigned the final over duty to close the game out.
Pakistan required 9 off 6 and Achini with brilliance got the required down to 3 off the last ball, having only conceded singles. A set Nida Dar was sent down a full toss that she hit to the cover region and as it fell out of the outstretched hand of the fielder, Kavisha Dilhari aimed at the stumps, Nida Dar running back for the 2nd in wanting to draw the game, fell a few steps short of the crease.
Achini avoids mankading Aliya Riaz at the non-striker’s end in the final over of the Women’s Asia Cup 2022. #CricketTwitter | #AsiaCup2022 | Source: Bdcrictime pic.twitter.com/bKCVewHClP
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Interestingly, before the 2nd ball of the last over was bowled, the non-striker was well out of her crease and a potential scenario for a Mankad was built, but 32-year-old, Achini Kulasuriya, opted otherwise to uphold the spirit of the game. bdcrictime got in conversation with Achini Kulasuriya and her quote on her opting against Mankad is below.
“I didn’t try to mankading because I just wanted to maintain the spirit of this great game of cricket. Yes, it was a crucial moment and the match could have gone either way. But I just keep faith in my ability. I kept focusing on the striker. As a fast bowler, it’s not that easy to do that (Mankad). And also it’s something that makes me tired.”
Pakistan in reply chasing Sri Lanka’s score of 122 were off to a flyer as Muneeba Ali got going aggressively, but her run out was another moment that grabbed eyeballs and is a contrasting one to Achini Kulasuriya’s as Sri Lanka didn’t opt against running out Muneeba Ali when she’d twisted her ankle and failed to make it to her crease on the score of 18(10) with 31/0 on board in 3 overs.
Pakistan had an ongoing win streak against Sri Lanka in the format that’d started back in 2018 and Sri Lanka with a win in the crucial game didn’t only seal a spot in the Final but went on to end their drought of defeats to Pakistan in the T20I format.
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