India’s nervy yet convincing victory over Sri Lanka in their second Super 4 match of the Asia Cup 2023 on Wednesday earned them the ticket to the final. After a complete performance against Pakistan, that lasted over two days, India had to dig deep in order to beat Sri Lanka and become the first team to qualify for the title decider. The second spot in the final will be decided from the contest between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with Bangladesh already out of the reckoning having lost two Super 4 games.
Sri Lanka, who had won the Asia Cup last year, have one win and one loss under their belt. If their performance against India is to be considered, it wouldn’t be easy for Pakistan to beat them and set up an Indo-Pak clash in the final, especially if Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah remain unavailable.
The Pakistani pace duo had sustained injuries in the match against India that saw them fail to even come out to bat. Though Pakistan have called up backups for them, they would be hoping to have both Haris and Naseem available for the must-win match against Sri Lanka.
Asia Cup 2023 Final Qualification Scenario:
As things stand in the points table, India are top of the Super 4 standings with 2 wins in 2 matches and a net run rate of +2.690. There’s no way India would not finish among the top 2 sides in this stage of the Asia Cup.
Following India are Sri Lanka who have 1 win in 2 matches and a Net Run Rate of -0.200. Pakistan are placed third with 1 win in 2 games too. But, their net run rate is quite low at -1.892.
For Pakistan to qualify for the final, they have to come out on top against Sri Lanka, who will be playing their final Super 4 match in home conditions.
In a case where rain washes out play, Pakistan’s hope of setting up the first-ever Indo-Pak final in the Asia Cup will be in danger.
For the record, India have won the most number of Asia Cup titles in the ODI format, having lifted the title 6 times over the years. Pakistan, on the other hand, have only tasted success twice in the tournament. Sri Lanka, in comparison, have won the ODI Asia Cup 5 times.