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Asia Cup 2023, AFG vs SL: Sri Lanka Beat Afghanistan By 2 Runs to Qualify for Super 4

Last Updated: September 05, 2023, 22:49 IST

Asia Cup 2023: Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan (AP)

Asia Cup 2023: Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan (AP)

Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan by 2 runs to book their place in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup.

Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan by two runs in their crucial Asia Cup group B match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday, to book their place in the Super 4 stage of the continental competition.

Afghanistan, who needed to chase a target of 292 in 37.1 overs, fought hard but were bowled out for 289 in 37.4 overs.

Asia Cup 2023 Full Schedule | Asia Cup 2023 Complete Results | Asia Cup 2023 Full Coverage

Starting their steep chase, Afghanistan openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (4 off 8 balls) and Ibrahim Zadran (7 off 14 balls) fell cheaply, both dismissed by Kasun Rajitha.

Gulbadin Naib tried to fight back before Matheesha Pathirana removed him for a well-made 16-ball 22.

Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi had to dig deep and restore the Afghanistan innings and they did. The middle-order pair stitched a 71-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

Rajitha returned to end the stand, dismissing Rahmat for 45 runs from 40 balls, including five fours and one six, with Pathirana completing the catch.

Mohammad Nabi then joined Hashmatullah and the leaders in the side put up an 80-run stand with some lusty blow. Nabi was sent back to the dressing room by Maheesh Theekshana, with Dhananjaya de Silva taking the catch, for 32-ball 65 helped by six fours and five maximums.

Shahidi led the charge and looked determined to take his team home.

Dunith Wellalage, who had been taken the cleaners previously, came back with the ball in hand to send back Karim Janat (22 from 13 balls) and the set Shahidi (59 off 66 balls including three fours and one six).

Rashid Khan fought a losing battle as he ran out of deliveries as well as partners to concede the match to Sri Lanka.

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Earlier in the first innings, Kusal Mendis missed a century by just eight runs but still guided Sri Lanka to 291-8.

The 28-year-old hit an attractive 84-ball 92 that included three sixes and six boundaries to anchor the Sri Lankan innings after they won the toss and batted at Gaddafi Stadium.

Both teams need a win to qualify for the Super Four stage from Group B, from where Bangladesh have already progressed.

Afghanistan, who lost to Bangladesh by 89 runs in their first game, need to reach the target in 37.1 overs to qualify for the next round on net run-rate.

Pakistan and India have already qualified for the Super Four stage from Group A.

Sri Lanka were off to a solid start of 63 for the first wicket between Pathum Nissanka (41) and Dimuth Karunaratne (32).

Mendis took over and added 102 for the fourth wicket with Charith Asalanka, who made a 43-ball 36.

But from 186-3 Sri Lanka had a middle-order stutter that saw them lose four wickets in the space of 41 runs, including that of Mendis who was run out.

Rashid Khan deflected a drive from Dasun Shanaka onto the stumps with Mendis short of his ground at the non-striker’s end.

Dunith Wellalage, who scored an unbeaten 39-ball 33 with a six and three boundaries, added an invaluable 64 runs for the eighth wicket with Maheesh Theekshana (28).

Fast bowler Gulbadin Naib dismissed Theekshana off the final delivery to finish with Afghanistan’s best figures of the innings with 4-60.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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