March 2, 2017
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan March 1, 2017 – The world No. 52 Sri Lanka Men’s National Baseball Team surprised No. 24 Pakistan, 4-2, to win the West Asia Baseball Cup for the first time ever and advance to the BFA Asia Baseball Championship 2017. Played at the Pakistan Sports Complex, the championship game was tied 2-2 in the 8th inning before Sri Lanka scored the decisive runs.
“The tournament was a tough one for us, but we’ve been dreaming of this moment,” Sri Lanka captain Akalanka Ranasinghe told Pakistan major media outlet The Express Tribune. Pakistan had entered the international competition having dominated the last four West Asia Cups.
Sri Lanka went a perfect 3-0 in Islamabad, beating No. 54 Iran (22-0) in the opening round and No. 72 Nepal (11-0) in the semi-finals. In the battle for third-best in West Asia, Iran defeated Nepal, 10-6. No. 61 India was not able participate as a result of their visas not having been authorised.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan are now qualified to participate in the 28th Asian Championship in New Taipei City in Late September. East Asia, represented by Hong Kong and Philippines, will take on Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei and China jointly with two West Asian nations at the 8-team tournament of Baseball Federation of Asia.