Find out whether Afghanistan thrashed Sri Lanka or if Sri Lanka survived this attack and managed to progress in the tournament. The highlights video is right here.
Sri Lanka and Afghanistan both need to win this match. Both teams are one slip away from a disappointing end of Asia Cup 2023. Afghanistan must chase the target within 35 overs or win the match by a huge margin of 68 runs.
Were they able to do it? Who qualified for the super-4 stage? Whatever happens today will end with one team going home and another progressing to the next tournament stage.
Check: Asia Cup 2023 Schedule PDF
|Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
|Sri Lanka, elected to bat first
|Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan
|5 September 2023
|Dhananjaya de Silva
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman
First innings – Sri Lanka 291-8
The top order does the job for Sri Lanka here. The initial partnership of 63 runs gives the Lankans a great start. However, the wickets fell with no resistance against Gulbadin Naib.
Mendis and Asalanka gave Sri Lanka the real push to reach this score. But it would be an injustice to M Theekshana and Wellalage, who had a stand of 64 runs later, which pushed Sri Lanka to 291. Can Afghanistan chase this target?
Here are the details of what happened in the first innings.
- SL had a strong start, hitting 62 runs in the first powerplay without losing a wicket.
- Gulbadin Naib made the breakthrough by dismissing both openers.
- Nissanka clipped a hit-me ball straight to backward point while a slower ball fooled Karunaratne.
- He also dismissed Samarawickrama in the same period in which Sri Lanka dropped from 63/0 to 86/3. Mendis and Asalanka joined forces to keep the ship afloat.
- They put up a 102-run partnership for the fourth wicket, with the former looking particularly sharp. Mendis was outstanding against spin.
- Rashid Khan, who came in only in the 21st over, let up 31 runs in his first four overs. But he returned to break the century mark.
- The Lankans slid once again. Mendis was unlucky not to get a ton, as Shanaka was eliminated in the same over.
- They were awkward at 227/7, but Theekshana and Wellalage batted efficiently and scored 64 runs to bring their team’s total close to 300.
|SRI LANKA 291-8
|Kusal Mendis 92 (84)
|Gulbadin Naib 4-60
|Pathum Nissanka 41 (40)
|Rashid Khan 2-63
|Charith Asalanka 36 (43)
|Mujeeb Ur Rahman 1-60
2nd Innings – Afghanistan 289-10
WHAT A FIGHT IT WAS BY THE AFGHAN WARRIORS
The intent of the Afghanistan team was clear: They were out for a win. And they were aiming for the super-4 qualification. Their batters had a very clumsy start. However, the middle order came to the rescue and scored those crucial runs at the right run rate.
They were slowly pushing towards chasing this massive target in 35 overs. But lady luck was on Sri Lanka’s side this time. Let’s see how things played out in the end.
- Get out of jail, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan! Afghanistan required a Herculean undertaking to go forward, and they were so close.
- They never gave up, but they had no idea they still had a chance after 37.1 overs.
- They needed one six out of the following three balls, but Fazalhaq Farooqi came out and stopped three of them.
- Rashid refused a couple of singles in the 36th over and could only watch it from the non-striker’s end.
- Afghanistan deserves a lot of respect for how they played this game.
|Mohammad Nabi 65 (32)
|Kasun Rajitha 4-79
|Hashmatullah Shahidi 59 (66)
|Dunith Wellalage 2-36
|Rahmat Shah 45 (40)
|Dhananjaya de Silva 2-12
|Sri Lanka won by 2 runs
Man of the match
Kusal Mendis has always been the man of the match when Sri Lanka has performed in a couple of games before. Sri Lanka’s record in the previous 12 ODI matches has been stainless. And Kusal has played a role in most of them. His 92 runs have to be the runs that steered the Lankas to a comfortable spot.