Sri Lanka beat India by three runs to win the 2018 Emerging Teams Asia Cup. Chasing a target of 271, India were restricted to 267/9. The tournament was hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Karachi, Pakistan. India had reached the final after beating Pakistan in the semis while Sri Lanka saw off Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. They lost a wicket in the very first over with Ankit Rajpoot blowing off the stumps behind Sandun Weerakoddy. But Hasitha Boyagoda and Avishka Fernando resurrected the innings with a strong second wicket stand. Boyagoda scored 54 runs before falling to Mayank Markande.
But Sri Lanka managed to get partnerships all the way down the order and in the end, set up a competitive target of 268. India had to depend on their tail to bring out the goods after Sri Lanka blew away their top order before the score reached three figures. Nitish Rana and captain Jayant Yadav led the attemped rescue effort, anchoring the lower order batsmen but it was too much an ask for them in the end. Yadav was the highest scorer for India with 70 runs.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka hosted the group matches with six matches awarded to Colombo and Karachi. India played all their group matches in Colombo. Conditions in Karachi came under the scanner when UAE players said that a rain-enforced exit wiped out their chances of progressing in the tournamebt
Their group match against Hong Kong was interrupted by rain and the game could not continue for two hours after that because the players had to wait for the ground to dry. UAE coach Dougie Brown was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo that the experience was “incredibly frustrating”.
“We were in a fantastic position, then it rained heavily for half an hour. When they took the covers off, the water had leaked all over the square. It was incredibly disappointing. To know the whole outcome of this, having played really good cricket to beat Bangladesh convincingly a few days ago, beating them by [nearly] 100 runs, and had chances against Pakistan, is frustrating. The most annoying thing is we spent the whole day watching the pitch drying in magnificent sunshine,” he said.