With the victory against Afghanistan in the 6th match of the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka qualifies for the Super Fours in the continental event.
Sri Lanka advances to the Super Fours with a thrilling victory
Sri Lanka cleared group-stage matches in Asia Cup 2023 with a thrilling victory whereas Afghanistan nearly pulled off a victory with their spirited run-chase.
Winning the toss, Pathum Nissanka and Karunaratne opened for Sri Lanka while Fazalhaq Farooqi opened the bowling attack. Pathum Nissanka had scored 41 and Karunaratne had scored 32 runs and was sent out by Gulbadin. Kusal Mendis was impressive as he scored 92 runs on 84 deliveries with 6 boundaries and three sixes. He deserved a hundred but was sent out by run out in an unfortunate with Rashid Khan’s throw crashed the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
The dismissal of Dhananjaya de Silva and skipper Dasun Shanaka one after another with small intervals, slowed down the scoring rate.
Asalanka scored 36 runs and was sent out by Rashid Khan. Gulbadin had scalped four wickets while Rashid Khan scored 2 wickets. With Dunith Wellalage’s unbeaten 33 runs and Theekshana’s 38 runs, Sri Lanka had scored 291 runs losing 8 wickets on 50 overs.
The Afghan openers Rahmantullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran failed to create an impression as they were sent out with 4 and 7 runs respectively by Kasun Rajitha. The Afghans struggled against Sri Lankan pacers as they were down to 50/3 before the end of the powerplay.
Gulbadin and Rahmat Shah scored 22 and 45 runs respectively. With Rahmat Shah and Hasmatulla Shaidi’s efforts, Afghans got back into competition putting up pressure on Sri Lankan bowlers.
Hasmatullah Shahidi scored 59 runs including 3 boundaries and 1 six. Mohammad Nabi stormed Sri Lanka bowlers scoring 65 runs with 6 boundaries and 5 sixes. He had reached a milestone of reaching Afghanistan’s fastest victory in ODI.
But Afghanistan batters were sent out at regular intervals. However, Rashid Khan’s 27 runs on 16 deliveries and Najibullah Zadran’s 23 runs on 15 deliveries shifted the pressure against Sri Lanka bowlers. Kasun Rajitha scalped four wickets while Dunith Wellalage and Dhananjaya de Silva dismissed two wickets each. By the end, Afghanistan scored 289 runs losing all wickets in the 38th over of their innings.
With this victory, Sri Lanka joined Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in the Super Fours. These teams will be facing the other three teams in the Super Four. The top two teams will be facing each other in the finals on September 17 at R. Premadasa Stadium.