All rounder Shadab Khan’s return to Pakistan’s playing XI in theAsia Cup Final turned out to be a nightmare.
Winning the toss and bowling first worked in Pakistan’s favour as Naseem Shah bowled Kusal Mendis (0) with a zinger in the first over. Haris Rauf inflicted further damage with two wickets in the powerplay.
Rauf almost had his third wicket as the ball struck Bhanuka Rajapaksa on the pads. Pakistan reviewed the LBW decision, but it stood the umpire’s call of not out due to the impact.
Television cameras captured Shadab who was trying to raise the umpire’s finger as the two shared a laugh.
Shadab then got hit on the head twice during the Sri Lanka innings. Was likely concussion the reason he dropped two crucial catches?
It started early in the day when Shadab slipped while trying to stop an overthrow. After the mandatory check by the Pakistan physio, Shadab seemed fine and bowled his full quota of overs.
Just when things looked to go well for Pakistan, Shadab dropped Bhanuka Rajapaksa at long on off Haris. Shadab misjudged the catch while back-peddling.
Then in the 19th over Shadab collided with Asif Ali and dropped Bhanuka again. Shadab dived and went straight into Asif’s shoulder. The ball parried through to the boundary as Shadab fell flat.
Dropping Bhanuka cost Pakistan the Asia Cup.
Sri Lanka pulled off a remarkable comeback from 58/5 to score 170/6 thanks to Punjab Kings batter Rajapaksa’s 71 not out and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Wanindu Hasaranga’s 36.
Pramod Madushan (4/34) and Hasaranga (3/27) then bowled Sri Lanka to a deserving victory by 23 runs.
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