R Ashwin explains Pramod Madushan's clever act to save Charith Asalanka in final over vs Pakistan
After returning on strike, Charith Asalanka scored six needed to win off the last two balls to win the match for Sri Lanka.
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The Super 4 fixture between Pakistan and Sri Lanka turned out to be an entertaining affair for the fans as Sri Lanka won the match by two wickets on the last ball of the game. After opting to bat first, Pakistan posted a good score of 252/7 in the rain-curtailed 42-over game riding on a magnificent knock by Mohammad Rizwan (86* off 73). In reply, Sri Lanka managed to chase down the DLS revised target of 252 as Charith Asalanka (49* off 47) guided his team home on the last ball of the match.
However, Asalanka wouldn’t have been able to finish the game for his side if Pramod Madushan hadn’t used his presence of mind on the fourth ball of the final over bowled by Zaman Khan. Madushan missed a full delivery outside off stump with Sri Lanka needing six to win off the last three balls having three wickets in hand.
Asalanka, who was desperate to come back on strike, left his crease immediately and went for the run. However, Madushan remained in his crease and let the throw from the wicketkeeper pass the striker’s end and then only left his crease. The tailender was criticised by commentators who were left baffled by his act. However, the Sri Lankan seamer was clever to not leave his crease early to save a run out at the striker’s end and ensure Asalanka got in safely.
Madushan’s sacrifice led to Asalanka returning back on strike and finishing the game successfully for Sri Lanka helping them reach the final. Madushan was also applauded by former India cricketer Venkatesh Prasad and India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his game awareness.
Absolutely! Just 🔥— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 15, 2023
He missed the ball, Asalanka was charging down the pitch ( high octane pressure ) and yet this guy stood his ground until the keeper missed his attempt and then started running.
All I can say is that these sort of reactions come from practice and this happens… https://t.co/elfwihpBSG
India and Sri Lanka to face off in final on September 17
Apart from Asalanka, Kusal Mendis (91 off 87) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (48 off 51) also made valuable contributions to help Sri Lanka pull off a memorable chase. They will next face India in the final of the tournament on Sunday, September 17 at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.