Heroic knocks by Bhanuka Rajapaksa led Sri Lanka to lift the Asia Cup 2022 for the sixth time, with a clinical 23-win over Pakistan in the final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Once deemed unfit and dropped on fitness grounds, Rajapaksa gave a befitting reply with his bat and scored a humongous 71 not out off 45 balls.
Like actress Anuksha Sharma who stays solid and strong with her husband Virat Kohli during his rough phase, Rajapaksa’s wife Sandrine Perera does the same. Despite repeated controversies and bans, she stayed strong all throughout and encouraged him to be strong.
As per reports, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Sandrine Pereira had been dating right from his days at Royal College. After having dated each other for quite a long time, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Sandrine Pereira finally decided to take their relationship to the next level and tied the knot on 2 April 2021.
She has been his pillar of strength and stood by him no matter what. Now, the result has been finally shown.
When he went to bat in the middle, Sri Lanka were in a creek at 3/36. Soon, two more departed and they were 5/59. Panic
screamed on the spectators and dressing room, but Rajapaksa remained unaffected through all these travails and tension.
Pakistan pacers and spinners tried to intimidate him, but he remained un-trapped. Soon, he caught his rhythm and started hitting it out of the boundaries.
Sri Lanka were off to a terrible start, losing three wickets inside the power play against the quality pace bowling. With 58/5 in 8.5 overs, Sri Lanka were in danger of getting bowled but Rajapaksa showed a fighting spirit and counter-attacked.
He looked in control against spinners and slowly started hitting boundaries. After the wicket of Hasaranga, Rajapaksa had the responsibility of batting till the last over and he did that with perfection. He hit boundaries and sixes to complete his half-century in 35 balls.
He remained not out and took Sri Lanka to 170/6 in 20 overs.
Thanks to his decision for not to retire, the star batsman has proved again that he has a lot of cricket left in him and can do wonders for his country.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 170/6 in 20 overs (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 71 not out, Wanindu Hasaranga 36; Haris Rauf 3/29) beat Pakistan 147 all out in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 55, Iftikhar Ahmed 32; Pramod Madushan 4/34, Wanindu Hasaranga 3/27) by 23 overs