'Our bowling and fielding weren't up to par, which contributed to our loss'
Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, acknowledged that Sri Lanka outperformed his team, narrowly denying them a spot in the Asia Cup final.
Pakistan's star fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, delivered a thrilling final over by claiming two crucial wickets and conceding just four runs. Unfortunately, Zaman Khan couldn't defend the nine runs needed in the last over, allowing Charith Asalanka to secure victory for Sri Lanka.
Reflecting on the game, Babar Azam discussed the decision to exclude the in-form bowler Iftikhar Ahmed from the attack and identified the areas where Pakistan fell short, ultimately leading to their defeat.
"In the end, we opted to rely on our best bowlers, which is why I chose Shaheen for the final over. We had faith in Zaman Khan to handle the pressure in that crucial moment. Sri Lanka displayed exceptional cricket and deserved the win. Our bowling and fielding weren't up to par, which contributed to our loss. We struggled to take wickets in the middle overs, and that partnership between Mendis and Samarawickrama proved costly. While we began and ended well, our performance in the middle overs let us down," Babar Azam commented following the match.