Sri Lanka did well to pull back things by restricting Afghanistan to 249 all-out, but what unfolded after that was a forgettable innings for all Sri Lankans.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews lost another toss as Afghanistan decided to bat first in the 3rd match of the 2018 Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka made three changes from their previous match as Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera and Shehan Jayasuriya came into the XI at the expense of Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso and Suranga Lakmal.
The ever-entertaining Mohammad Shahzad got the Afghanistan innings off to a flying start – with a half century stand – along with his opening partner Ihsanullah, before the former fell for 34 looking to reverse sweep the returning Akila Dananjaya. There was another half century stand between Ihsanullah and Rahmat Shah before ‘daddy Dananjaya’ broke through in similar fashion trapping Ihsanullah in front for 45.
Shehan Jayasuriya also chipped in with the wicket of skipper Asghar Afghan as the Sri Lankan spinners seem to have a strangle hold on the Afghanistan batting. But a stunning partnership of 80 runs between Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi got their innings back on track and were set for one final flourish.
Shah went on to make 72 but he didn’t get much support towards the latter part of the innings as the Sri Lankan bowling unit continued to claw their way back into the match, with Thisara Perera producing a brilliant show at the death picking up 5/55, while Akila Dananjaya captured 2/39 in his quota of 10 overs as the Afghans were restricted to 249 all-out.
Kusal Mendis recorded his 2nd duck in as many games when he was trapped in front by Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the 1st over of the run chase. A half century stand between Upul Tharanga and Dhananjaya de Silva seemed to have got Sri Lanka back on track before a horrible mix up left De Silva(23) stranded.
Kusal Perera joined Tharanga as both batsmen seemed to be in control of the run chase before the former played a horrible cross bat stroke only to see his stumps shattered off Rashid Khan’s 1st over. Tharanga looked to clear mid-off only to hole out in the next over as a familiar Sri Lankan collapse was on the cards.
Mathews who was involved in a run-out with Dasun Shanaka during Saturday’s loss, accounted for the mix up with Shehan Jayasuriya who fell for 14. When Mathews looked to go big off Nabi and was held at long-on, the match was all but over for Sri Lanka.
Thisara tried to stretch the game by batting deep but his dismissal was the final nail in the coffin before Sri Lanka crumbled to 158 all-out with more than 8 overs remaining.
Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Gulbadin Naib all picked up two wickets apiece as Afghanistan recorded their 1st ever win over Sri Lanka while also securing their spot in the Super Four stage along with Bangladesh.
Afg won by 91 runs
|Mohammed Shahzad||lbw by A Dananjaya||34||47|
|Ihsanullah Janat||lbw by A Dananjaya||45||65|
|Rahmat Shah||c T Perera b D Chameera||72||90|
|Asghar Afghan||lbw by S Jayasuriya||1||5|
|Hashmatullah Shahidi||b T Perera||37||52|
|Mohammed Nabi||c T Perera b L Malinga||15||12|
|Najibullah Zadran||b T Perera||12||14|
|Gulbadin Naib||c A Dananjaya b T Perera||4||5|
|Rashid Khan||b T Perera||13||6|
|Aftab Alam||not out||7||2|
|Mujeeb Rahman||b T Perera||0||2|
|Dananjaya de Silva||5||0||22||0||4.40|
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|Kusal Mendis||lbw by Mujeeb||0||2|
|Upul Tharanga||c A Afghan b G Naib||36||64|
|Dananjaya de Silva||(runout) Shenwari||23||38|
|Kusal Janith||b R Khan||17||17|
|Angelo Mathews||c R Khan b M Nabi||22||39|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||(runout) R Khan||14||28|
|Thisara Perera||b G Naib||28||36|
|Dasun Shanaka||b Mujeeb||0||2|
|Akila Dananjaya||b M Nabi||2||10|
|Lasith Malinga||lbw by R Khan||1||7|
|Dushmantha Chameera||not out||2||5|