Virat Kohli to Wanindu Hasaranga: Royal Challengers leave their stamp on Asia Cup 2022
Last night witnessed the conclusion of the continental extravaganza as Sri Lanka emerged as the champions of the Asia Cup 2022, thanks to a miraculous turnaround of affairs thanks to some relentless tight bowling coupled with the regular pursuit of scalps.
This was a tournament that stayed witness to unexpected developments where unheralded monikers put the best to the torch and romped over in unparalleled passion and exultation. Cricket was at its finest where three Royal Challengers were also a part of the tournament and despite one of them not getting enough game time or opportunity, the other two were significant forces that exploded in the Asian fabric like none other. Here’s a quick look at their performances in Asia Cup 2022.
1. Virat Kohli
The former Indian captain returned to form in scintillating fashion as he rained heavily upon his counterparts, also quelling the endless wait for his 71st international century. He started the tournament on a pedestrian note that had a promise of good times ahead. He took it up by a notch against Hong Kong before manifesting himself as an impregnable rock against Pakistan in the Super 4 fixture. If there were still any doubts over his form, Kohli buried them all with an unbeaten century that took three years in the making where the former RCB skipper seemed like poetry in motion, prancing, smiling, and pumping one signature stroke after the other as the Afghan bowlers stayed witness in awe and despair. He finished the tournament with 276 runs at an average of 92 and a strike rate of 147.59.
2. Wanindu Hasaranga
The RCB talisman Wanindu Hasaranga left Pakistan short of the grand finish line, bagging three crucial wickets in his final over, removing a set Mohammad Rizwan, a dangerous Asif Ali, and a threat in Khusdil Shah. Pakistan’s woes in the middle order mounted and Hasaranga simply added to them. Not only was he impressive with the cherry in his hand, but while Sri Lanka was teetering at 58 for 5, he played a crucial knock of 36 runs that helped the Lions to stay in the hunt. He finished the tournament with 9 wickets which made him the second-highest wicket-taker, 3 adrift of Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the ace. He was also adjudged the Player of the tournament for his exploits that helped the Lankan Lions bag their sixth Asia Cup title.
Despite not finding enough opportunities, Dinesh Karthik was the third Challenger who grabbed three important catches in the tournament opener for India against Pakistan, making him the man with the highest catches alongside Dhoni in a single T20I innings in the Asia Cup.