Collective performances help Sri Lanka punch above their weight and win Asia Cup 2022: Player Ratings for the Champions￼
Coming into the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup, not many would have expected Sri Lanka to make the final instead of both India and Pakistan. However, the Lankan Lions did not only do that, but they also went on to win their sixth Asia Cup title by beating Pakistan in the final.
Let us check out the report card of the Sri Lanka players:
Pathum Nissanka (8/10): Upcoming star Pathum Nissanka is an orthodox, old-fashioned batter who prefers the proper cricketing shots over unorthodox glamourous hits. However, he proved yet again why an orthodox cricketer can be successful in this format.
The opening batter was his team’s second-highest run-scorer, accumulating 173 runs at 3.60 and a strike rate of 115.33. He scored a couple of half-centuries in this competition – against India and Pakistan.
Kusal Mendis (8/10): Kusal Mendis not only adapted to his new role as an opener pretty quickly, but he also did a fantastic job in terms of playing the role of an aggressor, with Nissanka being the anchor of the team. Mendis scored 155 runs at an average of 25.83 and a strike rate of 156.56.
His best knock was in the do-or-die Group B match against Bangladesh, where he scored 60 runs. Besides that, he also scored an important half-century against India and accumulated 36 runs against Afghanistan.
Danushka Gunathilaka (2/10): While the likes of Mendis and Nissanka exceeded expectations, one of the most experienced and reliable batters of Sri Lanka, Danushka Gunathilaka had a tournament to forget. He scored only 63 runs in six matches at an average of 10.50 and a strike rate of 108.62.
Gunathilaka looked in good touch only in the second match against Afghanistan, where he accumulated 33 runs. Besides that, the 31-year-old could not reach the 20-run mark in any of the other five matches.
Charith Asalanka (1/10): Expectations were high from Charith Asalanka, not for his experience but for his current form. In the home series against Australia, he was the leading run-scorer in the T20I series and also did well in the ODI series.
However, he was completely off-colour in the Asia Cup 2022. He scored only 9 runs in the four matches that he played, at an abysmal average of 2.25 and a strike rate of 42.85. It is time for him to work on his form, as his place in the playing XI has seemingly slipped away.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (9/10): Much has been discussed about Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s fitness, but the left-handed power-hitter proved that as long his bat is doing the talking, his body structure should not be a topic of discussion. He was Sri Lanka’s leading run-scorer in this competition, scoring 191 runs at an average of 47.75 and an equally impressive strike rate of 149.21.
Rajapaksa played two crucial cameos of 30+ runs in the two matches against Afghanistan, and also contributed 25 important runs in the win against India. However, his best knock came in the final, where he scored unbeaten 71 runs.
Dasun Shanaka (8/10): Skipper Dasun Shanaka was not too impressive in any particular department, but was the epitome of the term ‘utility cricketer,’ chipping in with crucial contributions every now and then. With the bat, Shanaka scored 111 runs at an average of 22.20 and a strike rate of 138.75.
His best performance with the bat was the 45-run knock against Bangladesh. As for his bowling, he picked up 2 wickets at an average of 24. Interestingly, both of his wickets came against India, where he also scored 33 runs.
Dhananjaya de Silva (7/10): Dhananjaya de Silva was initially not a part of the playing XI, but he was included in the side when a few others started underperforming. The all-rounder, like a true opportunist, grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
In the two matches that he played, de Silva might have picked up only 1 wicket, but his economy rate of only 4.40 runs per over is exemplary. Besides that, he also scored 37 runs in those two matches at a strike rate of 112.12.
Chamika Karunaratne (8/10): Chamika Karunaratne had a big role to play in this competition, being both the fifth bowler and the finisher of the team. He did a decent job, especially with the ball as he scalped 7 wickets in six matches at an average of 20.71.
Barring the two matches against Afghanistan, Karunaratne was among the wickets in all of the other matches. He also scored 66 runs with the bat at an average of 33 and a strike rate of 103.12.
Wanindu Hasaranga (9/10): Wanindu Hasaranga is Sri Lanka’s trump card with the ball, and he further cemented his reputation as a world-class spinner with his performances in this competition. He was his team’s leading wicket-taker, picking up 9 wickets at an average of 18.88 and an economy rate of 7.39 runs per over.
Hasaranga was particularly impressive against Pakistan, as he picked up three-wicket hauls in both of the matches. As for his batting performance, he scored 66 runs at an average of 22.00 and a strike rate of 150.00.
Maheesh Theekshana (8/10): Maheesh Theekshana was often used as a powerplay bowler by Shanaka, despite being a spinner, and he repaid the faith his captain showed in him more often than not. In 6 matches, Theekshana picked up as many wickets at an average of 27.00 and an economy rate of only 6.75 runs per over.
The off-spinner was also the epitome of consistency. Besides only the first match against Afghanistan, he picked up at least one wicket in all of his next five matches while conceding less than 30 runs in every game.
Dilshan Madushanka (7/10): Dilshan Madushanka was among the breakout stars in this competition. He did not play a single T20I match before this competition, but it did not seem like it from the maturity and temperament he showed during his spells.
The left-arm speedster picked up 6 wickets in as many matches, at an average of just over 25 and an economy rate of 7.75 runs per over. His best performance was against India, where he picked up a three-wicket haul by conceding only 24 runs.
Pramod Madushan (8/10): Pramod Madushan’s story is similar to that of Madushanka’s. He too was handed his debut in this competition, but way later into the tournament – in the last Super Four match against Pakistan.
The 28-year-old was excellent in both matches he played, picking up 6 wickets. The pacer of Hambantota had a fantastic final against Pakistan, where he might have conceded 34 runs, but picked up 34 wickets.
Asitha Fernando (2/10): There was a flood of debuts in the Sri Lankan bowling contingent, and like Madushanka and Madushan, Asitha Fernando was also handed his debut in this tournament. However, unlike the other two, Fernando looked pretty ordinary.
In the three matches that he played, the pacer picked up only 2 wickets. Besides that, an average of 56.50 and an economy rate of 11.30 runs per over will certainly deplete the 25-year-old’s chances of making a comeback in the playing XI.
Matheesha Pathirana (3/10): 19-year-old pacer Matheesha Pathirana is one of the hottest prospects in Sri Lanka, as he is famously called the ‘Baby Lasith Malinga.’ However, we did not see any glimpse of his prowess in Asia Cup 2022, and the player could consider himself unlucky for that.
He was selected in the first match against Afghanistan, but in his first over of international cricket, the youngster was smashed for 16 runs. Since then, Pathirana was nowhere to be seen in the Sri Lankan team.