Danyal Rasool, in ESPNcricinfo, 11 September 2022, where the title runs thus: “Rajapaksa, Hasaranga, Madushan win the Asia Cup crown for Sri Lanka” ….. In the final, Pakistan were outclassed with the bat, outsmarted with the ball and outdone in the field
Sri Lanka 170 for 6 (Rajapaksa 71*, Rauf 3-29) beat Pakistan 147 all out (Rizwan 55, Madushan 4-34, Hasaranga 3-27) by 23 runs
Whatever gift Shaheen Afridi possessed that got batters out in his first over seems to have been bestowed on Naseem in his absence. In a mesmeric start where the 19-year old found high pace almost right from the off, Kusal Mendis was done in for a golden duck by a near unplayable delivery. It made a beeline for the stumps, at searing speed, and the hapless Mendis could do little about it. The inswinger went through the gap between bat and pad, and uprooted off stump after clipping the thigh. It was Pakistani fast bowling at its scintillating best.
First, there was a slice of luck, and then the glorious skill. Off the fifth ball of his innings in Rauf’s scintillating sixth over, the bowler sent down a near unplayable leg-stump yorker at the in-form Rajapaksa. The batter played all around it, with the ball crunching into his foot. The umpire deemed it not out, only to have his decision upheld by the barest of margins, with Hawkeye deeming it to be umpire’s call on impact. To the naked eye, it looked out from just about every angle.
There might never have been a game that saw such a contrast at the start of each bowling performance. While Naseem was unplayable to begin Pakistan’s work, Dilshan Madushanka was anything but. It wasn’t until the sixth ball that the innings even began with the left-arm seamer starting off with a no-ball and following it up with four wides, one of which went down to the boundary for an extra four. Pakistan had nine to their name without a legal ball being bowled and a free hit to follow. But Madushanka would come back smartly to allow just three more through the over, and Sri Lanka ensured it was a blip rather than a harbinger of what was to follow.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000
A THUPPAHI NOTE, 12 September 2022
Check the bowling figures for Sri Lsanka below: both newcomers for the island nation are from Hambantota District in the south-east corner of the island. Dilshan Madushanka is nearly 22 years old and bowls left-aarm medium fast. He was educated at Hungama Vijayabahu Central in Hungama and his present bowling stats read
Pramod Madushan Liyanagama is older and was educated at the Theraputta Central School in the town of Hambantota: he bowls right-arm medium fast.
Given that Suranga Lakmal, one of Sri Lanka’s leading pacemne in the enar past –recently retired but playing county cricket in England, also hails from the same District, one finds an unusual ‘cluster’ from a region that has not generated cricketers in the past (though Dhananjaya De Silva was initially educated at Deberawea Central in Hambantota before moving to Richmond College in Galle & Mahanma in Colombo). That this cluster is a set of medium-pace bowlers underlines the clustering still further.
PRAMOD MADUSHANKA LIYNAGAMAGE