Sri Lanka has burst into spontaneous celebrations as it won the Asia Cup tournament for the sixth time in the shortest form of cricket in Dubai.
Skipper Dasun Shanaka called Sunday’s Asia Cup triumph a real turnaround for Sri Lankan cricket ahead of the T20 World Cup, and dedicated the win to the crisis-hit nation.
Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 23 runs in the final with Bhanuka Rajapaksa hitting an unbeaten 71 and Wanindu Hasaranga starring with bat and ball.
Firecrackers burst, cars honked and fans danced at Galle Face promenade in the capital, where the tournament was televised live on a giant screen.
The country is enduring hyperinflation, and lengthy power blackouts and is facing acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines after running out of foreign exchange to pay for imports since late last year.
The Sunday’s cricket win came hours after Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup in women’s netball at a tournament in Singapore.
A stream of messages from the cricket world in other countries poured on social media to congratulate the Sri Lankan team on its victory: