Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan to qualify for Asia Cup 2023 Super 4

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Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi (right) plays a shot during the Asia Cup 2023 one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on September 5, 2023. — AFP
Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi (right) plays a shot during the Asia Cup 2023 one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on September 5, 2023. — AFP

Sri Lanka on Tuesday defeated Afghanistan by two runs in the Asia Cup 2023 Group B clash on Tuesday at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and entered the Super 4 stage.

Afghanistan were dismissed for 289 runs in 37.4 overs while chasing a target of 291 runs.

Afghanistan needed to chase down the target in 37.1 overs or less in order to qualify for Super 4, which they couldn’t achieve.

However, if Afghanistan had got to 295 in 37.4 overs, they could have still qualified but it seemed that last man Fazalhaq Farooqi didn’t know that as he defended three balls in the 38th over, while also getting dismissed on the third one, rather than giving the strike to Rashid Khan, who had scored 27 off 16, on the other end.

The Afghan onslaught started with all-rounder Mohammad Nabi playing a brilliant knock of 65 runs in 32 balls, with the help of six fours and five sixes.

Nabi found able support from his captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, who scored 59 runs in 66 balls.

Earlier, Sri Lanka set a target of 292 runs after winning the toss and deciding to bat first against Afghanistan in the crucial Group B clash.

Sri Lanka finished on 291-8 in 50 overs.

Kusal Mendis was the top run-scorer for Sri Lanka with 92 runs in 84 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes. He was unfortunate to miss out on a well-deserved hundred after he was run-out at the bowler’s end.

Sri Lanka got off to a solid start with Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne scoring 63 runs in 10.2 overs. However, both failed to kick on after getting a start and were dismissed for 41 and 32 runs, respectively.

Charith Asalanka scored 36 runs in 43 balls.

Dunith Wellalage (33 not out) and Maheesh Theekshana (28) added 64 runs in 63 balls for the eighth wicket to provide impetus at the backend of the innings.

Seamer Gulbadin Naib claimed 4-60 in 10 overs, meanwhile Rashid Khan bagged figures of 2-63.

Both teams didn’t make any changes to their playing XI for this contest.

Lineups:

Afghanistan: 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), 5 Najibullah Zadran, 6 Mohammad Nabi, 7 Karim Janat, 8 Gulbadin Naib, 9 Rashid Khan, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi

Sri Lanka: 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 8 Dunith Wellalage, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Matheesha Pathirana



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