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Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup Final: Rattling stumps, umpiring howler ensures an action-packed powerplay – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf rattled the Sri Lanka top order as Dhananjaya tried to keep the scoreboard moving against the pace and swing of Pakistan bowling.

Pakistan rattled Sri Lanka in the powerplay with three early wickets. AP

The first innings of the Asia Cup final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka started with an action-packed powerplay at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday after Pakistan won the toss and chose to field.

Naseem Shah rattled Kusal Mendis – stumps sent down to sleep and the bails flying – on the third ball of the first over itself for a golden duck. Shah got the ball swinging too much into the batter at the start, and as a result, it was the third time in Asia Cup that Kusal Mendis was dismissed in the first over.

However, Sri Lanka tried to counter the wicket, with Dhananjaya De Silva hitting some crisp cover drives and scoring 12 runs off the over.

The umpire also made an error in the second over when the ball brushed Dhananjaya’s thigh pad to the wicketkeeper but was called a wide. The noise of the ball hitting the thigh pad was quite clear and Rizwan asked Babar Azam to appeal as well, but the skipper was not interested.

Sri Lanka also lost their second opener Pathum Nissanka in the fourth over as he tried to loft Haris Rauf’s full delivery down the ground but could only clear the 30-yard circle and was caught by Babar at mid-off.

Rauf returned in the last over and again created a sight to behold with a 151 kph delivery as Danuska Gunathilaka’s stumps were destroyed to start the final powerplay over.

The Pakistan bowlers bowled with sheer pace and decent movement and only Dhananjaya was able to cope with the pace as he scored at a strike rate of 160.

Just before the powerplay, Pakistan asked for a review as Bhanuka Rajapaksa missed Rauf’s brilliant Yorker and was appealed for LBW. However, the umpire’s call saved the batter.

Sri Lanka ended the power play on 42/3 as they hit six boundaries but lost three crucial wickets – Pakistan trying to avenge their previous match’s downfall.

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