Asia Cup 2018, Third Match, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan – Afghanistan won by 91 runs
Monday, September 17, 2018, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Sri Lanka lost their do-or-die match to Afghanistan on Monday (Sep 17) by a big margin of 91 runs. With this result they are now knocked out of the Asia Cup while Bangladesh and Afghanistan advance to ‘Super Four’ stage. Another Sri Lankan batting collapse that helped Afghanistan register their maiden ODI victory against Sri Lanka (in 3 attempts!).
Fifty-run partnership each for the first two wickets and a fifty-plus score for Rahmat Shah helped Afghanistan post 249 runs in their 50 overs. Lasith Malinga created opportunities but they are all spilled down! Thisara Perera picked up 3 wickets in the 50th over to register his fourth five-wicket haul in ODIs.
In reply, Sri Lanka looked comfortable only during their second wicket partnership! Another Duck for their opener Kusal Mendis while both Dananjaya de Silva and Shehan Jayasuriya ran themselves out due to poor communication! Mujeeb, Rashid, Naib and Nabi picked up 2 wickets apiece. Aftab Alam bowled well but he went wicket less.
Afghanistan will play their next game against Bangladesh on Thursday (Sep 20) while Sri Lanka will prepare for the ODI series at home against England (starts from Oct 10). After this Asia Cup heartbreak, it would be interesting to see the kind of pitches Sri Lanka going to prepare for the England series!
Losing Dinesh Chandimal and Danushka Gunathilaka to injuries did not help the Lankans at all! They have to address whatever concerns they have very soon before it’s too late! Sri Lanka played most number of ODIs since January 2016 and they have not much to show in the ‘wins’ column – just 16 wins in 60 ODIs since Jan 2016!
Afghanistan– 249 all out in 50 overs (Rahmat Shah – 72, Ihsanullah Janat – 45, Thisara Perera – 5/55, Akila Dananjaya – 2/39) beat Sri Lanka – 158 all out in 41.2 overs (Upul Tharanga – 36, Thisara Perera – 28, Rashid Khan – 2/26, Gulbadin Naib – 2/29) by 91 runs
Player of the Match:
Rahmat Shah (Afg) – 72 runs
Playing XI: Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews (c), Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera
Bench:Niroshan Dickwella, Kasun Rajitha, Amila Aponso, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal
Playing XI: Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Gulbadin Naib, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Bench:Javed Ahmadi, Samiullah Shenwari, Munir Ahmad, Sayed Shirzad, Sharafuddin Ashraf
** Image credits to ESPN Cricinfo