Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the Asia Cup 2023 final of the tournament were shattered as Sri Lanka emerged triumphant in the virtual semi-final match on Thursday.

The Green Army were hopeful of securing a date with India in the title-decider. However, Charith Asalanka kept his nerves under control in the last moments to guide Sri Lanka to victory.

Following Pakistan’s narrow defeat against Sri Lanka, former speedster Shoaib Akhtar was heartbroken.

The Rawalpindi Express termed the loss ‘embarrassing’ and asked skipper Babar’s men to pull up their socks for the ODI World Cup that starts next month.

“Pakistan deserved to win the Asia Cup final but they are out of the tournament. They can be criticised a lot as they were touted as the favourites, but they are out of the tournament now. Unfortunately, there can’t be a Pakistan vs India match in the final, it has never happened. This was the chance but Sri Lanka deserved to be the finalists. They were the far better team,” said Akhtar on his official YouTube channel.

“This is a very embarrassing loss. The fact that Pakistan are out of the tournament, doesn’t look nice. Pakistan have a lot to think about. The captaincy needs to sharpen up a bit. I am very disappointed. Can’t say more,” he added.