Bhanuka had the confidence and the form he needed. He had scored an unbeaten 25 against India and a crucial 24 in a low chase against Pakistan. However, the circumstances were different now. He had to build the Sri Lankan innings and ensure he stayed there until the end. And boy, did he! He found able support from Wanindu Hasaranga, and the Sri Lankan duo added a valuable partnership of 58 off 36 until Hasaranga fell prey to Haris Rauf.
With a bit of luck on his side, Bhanuka ended the innings on a scintillating unbeaten 71 off 45 balls, with a strike rate of 157.78. He had more than done what was asked of him. Against all the odds, he took Sri Lanka to a more-than-competitive score, and the Sri Lankan bowlers did the rest.
Bhanuka showed that having momentum on your side can completely change the outcome of the game. “I had to change my game today since Pakistan were on top at that moment. Had to spend some time at the crease. When Chris came to talk to us at the drinks break, I told him that it looks like a 140 pitch. And eventually we stayed till the end and the eventual target was much different. This is a game of momentum, and we set the momentum in the last over of the first innings," he later revealed during the post-match presentation.
Bhanuka was awarded Player of The Match for his heroics. He’ll aim to carry this terrific form onto the T20I World Cup next month. It will be exciting to see how this Sri Lankan team fares in the World Cup and what role Bhanuka will play in the pivotal tournament.