@ovshake42 5 minute read
Sri Lanka had a horror start to their 2022 Asia Cup campaign, where Afghanistan blew them away for 105 and chased down the target in 10.1 overs. In a fantastic turnaround, Sri Lanka then went on to beat Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and India before beating Pakistan twice to lift the Asia Cup. Here is how the Sri Lankans performed in the tournament.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa: 9/10
Six matches, 191 runs @ 47.75, SR: 149
Sri Lanka had several batting heroes in the tournament, but Rajapaksa was their finest. His ability to play the big shots without being set has worked in the past – as it did here. In the final, he assumed a different role as Sri Lanka collapsed to 58-5, allowing Wanindu Hasaranga to take charge. Despite the early caution, he finished with an unbeaten 45-ball 71.
Pathum Nissanka: 6/10
Six matches, 173 runs @ 34.60, SR: 115, five catches
More cautious than aggressive, Nissanka played two key innings at the top, in consecutive matches against India and Pakistan. While he got stuck more than once, that might have to do with his predefined role. Held five catches.
Kusal Mendis: 8.5/10
Six matches, 155 runs @ 25.83, SR: 157, three catches
Mendis led the charge in Sri Lanka’s first three wins, against Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and India, all at rapid pace. That should have got him a nine, but he finished the tournament with two ducks against Pakistan. Gets half a point for sound wicketkeeping.
Dasun Shanaka: 8/10
Six matches, 111 runs @ 22, SR: 139 | 2 wickets @ 24, ER: 12
Barring the final, Shanaka found a way to contribute in every Sri Lankan win with his batting (he got two wickets against India as well). But more importantly, the bowling changes, the field placements – everything – inevitably seemed to work. When they did not, Shanaka found ways. In the final, the field placements in the middle overs were essential as Sri Lanka tightened their stranglehold.
Wanindu Hasaranga: 9.5/10
Six matches, 66 runs @ 22, SR: 150 | 9 wickets @ 18.88, ER: 7.39
An outstanding tournament for Hasaranga, who will make it to Sri Lanka’s all-time Twenty20 XI. He went for wickets, which explains the occasional hit he took, against Bangladesh and India. And he often rose to the challenge with bat. His all-round performance in the final is one of the greatest in the history of the tournament.
Dhananjaya de Silva: 5/10
Two matches, 37 wickets @ 18.50, SR: 112 | 1 wicket @ 22, ER: 4.40
Just two matches for Dhananjaya. Gets points for the cameo and a forgotten over in the final, but his real contribution came in the match before that, where he choked the Pakistan middle-order with 4-0-18-1.
Danushka Gunathilaka: 2/10
Six matches, 63 runs @ 10.50, SR: 109
A forgettable tournament for Gunathilaka, the sole highlight of which was the 33 that was crucial in their win against Afghanistan. To be fair, he had batted outside an opening slot only once before the tournament in a career that is almost seven years old now.
Matheesha Pathirana: 1/10
One match, 1-0-16-0
Pathirana played only in the tournament opener, where Sri Lanka had to defend 106. Rahmanullah Gurbaz went after Pathirana in his only over, and he did not bowl another after conceding 16.
Chamika Karunaratne: 7/10
Six matches, 66 runs @ 33, SR: 103 | 7 wickets @ 20.71, ER: 9.06
Karunaratne played cameos with the bat, but more importantly, picked up wickets at key moments while going for runs. Was not among Sri Lanka’s three best bowlers – which indicates how incredible they were in the tournament.
Charith Asalanka: 0.5/10
Four matches, 9 wickets @ 2.25, SR: 43
Asalanka never got going in the tournament. After four failures, he was rightfully replaced with Dhananjaya.
Maheesh Theekshana: 8.5/10
Six matches, 6 wickets @ 27, ER: 6.75
Despite bowling in the Powerplay overs, Theekshana did not concede 30 in any of Sri Lanka’s five wins. He got the key wickets, often with the new ball, and did well when he returned for a second spell.
Asitha Fernando: 1.5/10
Three matches, 2 wickets @ 56.50, ER: 11.30
One decent and two poor spells for Asitha, who was left out of the XI towards the end. Gets half a point for those two fours against Bangladesh.
Dilshan Madushanka: 8/10
Six matches, 7 wickets @ 20.71, ER 9.06
Madushanka bowled first up and at the death, which explains that economy rate, but he picked up some extremely important wickets, most significantly against India. The left-arm angle is going to trouble batters in the future.
Pramod Madushan: 6/10
Two matches, 6 wickets @ 9.17, ER 8.91
Two matches against Pakistan, six wickets including three inside the Powerplay for Madushan. That should be enough to ignore that economy rate.