Players in good form an advantage ahead of WC – Bhanuka

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Man of the match in the final of the Asia Cup 2022, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, believes himself and his teammates finding their good form will be a huge advantage when they head into the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.

 “Actually, very pleased to end the tournament on high. As players, when we always play a tournament, we are expecting to do our best. I think – including me – our players were able to find their good form and it is a positive sign when we head into the T20 World Cup,” said Bhanuka upon arrival.

Bhanuka hit an unbeaten 71 off 45 balls in the final and led Sri Lanka’s recovery from 58-5 to reach 170-6 after Pakistan won the toss and elected to field.

Rajapaksa provided Sri Lanka with a late flourish when he smashed Naseem Shah for a boundary off the penultimate ball and then a six-over extra cover to give Sri Lanka a strong total to defend.

 It was a fairytale ending for Sri Lanka at the 2022 Asia Cup, who were crowned champions for the sixth time in the tournament’s history. 

The timing of the triumph couldn’t have come at a better time – not just the team heading into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but also the nation and the fans who have been going through a tough time back home.

Sri Lanka started the tournament on a terrible note, losing pretty badly to Afghanistan. But since then, they have been absolutely unstoppable, playing some breathtaking cricket. They defeated Bangladesh in the group stage, then Afghanistan, India and Pakistan in the Super Four en route to the final.

Meanwhile, the winning skipper Dasun Shanaka hinted at future preparations ahead of the World Cup.

 “After about a week of rest we will head to Kandy for a training camp ahead of the T20 World Cup. Kandy conditions are helpful for fast bowlers, and training in those conditions will help us to prepare ahead of the World Cup in Australia.

“As a team we are mentally fit and looking forward to put up a good show in Australia too,” Dasun went onto say.  

The national cricket and netball teams (who emerged Asian champions) were paraded along the streets from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to Colombo last morning.

By Mustaq Sydeen