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What went wrong in the Asia Cup finals?

Reflecting back on the finals of the Asia Cup, one could sense a pattern in which a tournament final in Sri Lanka (be it in Colombo or elsewhere) would unfold or has unfolded. Chasing 269 in a final was never going to be easy. If you look at the finals played in Sri Lanka over the last 10-15 years, you will find that almost every time, somehow the side batting first wins the final. So we need luck, that is: "Win the toss, and win the match".

What if your call at the toss went wrong? Unless you bowl out a side batting first for a low score, say less than 230, you are always going to feel the heat. And you cant always do that with just economical bowling, you need to pick up wickets at regular intervals, something which our bowlers could not do that night. Because practically, its not often we are going to have all 5 or 6 bowlers with an economy rate of less than 5, someone will always go past 5 or even 6 runs per over. So bowlers need to get the breakthrough at crucial moments.

As for the batsmen, I do not find any major fault with them. I think only Dilshan could have done it. Because there was something in the pitch for the bowlers that night and Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar were literally creating magic. The ball was just swinging and bouncing, and it was all too much for even technically sound batsmen like Sangakkara and Jayawardene. So unless someone like Dilshan goes berserk with the bat and hammers the bowlers for more than six runs an over, it was always going to be difficult. Only then could the bowlers have been subdued. The moment Dilshan perished for zero, the Indians were sensing blood early and they went for the kill. As I said earlier, if SL had to chase anything less than 230 or 220, then it might have been different. As we saw in the dress-rehearsal, how the same Indian bowlers were submissive when they had to defend a paltry 209.

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