Home > News >

Asia Cup 2014 final: Kumar Sangakkara vs Shahid Afridi set stage for a rousing contest

Asia Cup 2014 final: Kumar Sangakkara vs Shahid Afridi set stage for a rousing contest
Kumar Sangakkara three match-winning innings in the Asia Cup are — 67 vs Pakistan, 103 vs India and 76 vs Afghanistan © AFP

Dhaka: Mar 7, 2014

Rampaging Shahid Afridi and prolific Kumar Sangakkara have set the stage for a rousing contest when Pakistan face Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2014 final in Dhaka on Saturday.

Angelo Mathews‘ Sri Lanka have been the dominant team in the five-nation event with four straight victories in the league, including a 12-run win over Pakistan in the tournament opener on February 25.

The charge was led by Sangakkara, the 36-year-old left-hander who has been in prime form during his team’s current tour of Bangladesh which began with a bilateral series in January.

Sangakkara scored 75, 319 and 105 in two Test matches and 128 in the second One-Day International (ODI) to steer Sri Lanka to series wins in all three formats against the hosts.

The veteran has also played three match-winning innings in the Asia Cup, making 67 against Pakistan, 103 versus World Cup champions India and 76 against minnows Afghanistan.

He remains the leading scorer in the tournament with 248 runs despite falling cheaply for two in Thursday’s last league match against Bangladesh.

“It is great to have Sangakkara in such good form, but the others will also need to step up and rally around him if we are to win,” Mathews said.

“Pakistan have shown how tough a side they are to beat. But we have our plans and are confident of doing well if we execute them well.”

Pakistan, the defending champions, bounced back after the loss against Sri Lanka to qualify for the final with three successive victories against Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh.

The mercurial Afridi fashioned two tense last-over wins, slamming an 18-ball 34 against India before making an astonishing 59 off 25 balls against Bangladesh.

Short boundaries at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium where even mis-hits land over the fence appear tailor-made for Afridi, and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq hoped for another power-packed display in the final.

“Afridi is our main player,” a grateful Misbah said. “The kind of form he is in and the kind of confidence he shows, it’s good for the Pakistan team.

“We just tell him to make sure he bats for at least 25-30 balls. If he does that he can score a 50. I’m really happy with the way he’s playing.”

Pakistan will also look for another good innings from opener Ahmed Shehzad, who followed his 50 against Afghanistan and 42 against India with a polished 103 versus Bangladesh.

Both teams boast of destructive bowling attacks with Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis the tournament’s joint leader with nine wickets and Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal in second place with eight.

Sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has taken six wickets, said Afridi’s explosive game-changing form did not worry him.

“I am more concerned about how I bowl,” Malinga said. “Afridi does not worry me and I don’t think they (Pakistan) are thinking too much about me either.”

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

Phil Hughes smashes List A double-ton: List of batsmen who have achieved same feat

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Moeen Ali wears ‘Save Gaza’ band: Instances where cricketers made political statements on the field

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler’s blitz, Ian Bell’s century and other highlights from Day 2

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Phil Hughes smashes List A double-ton: List of batsmen who have achieved same feat

India A need 235 to beat National Performance Squad

Phil Hughes becomes first Australian and 15th overall to score double ton in a List A game

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Kevin Pietersen says boos from Australian crowd will spur him during BBL

Phil Hughes smashes List A double-ton: List of batsmen who have achieved same feat

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014: Key highlights from Test series

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 2

Moeen Ali wears ‘Save Gaza’ band: Instances where cricketers made political statements on the field

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler’s blitz, Ian Bell’s century and other highlights from Day 2

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Four coaches of Lalkuan Express derail in Lucknow

Keith Harris lost $12 million fortune due to severe dyslexia

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Eid Mubarak, tweet Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan!

Manipal ties up with Google India for digital marketing course

Sonam Kapoor looks chic in a River Island dress- View pic!

BJP launches ‘Constituency Connect app’ to connect Delhi MPs with voters

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here