Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz got life after only 4 runs. Then he played the best innings of his career. The innings in which Afghanistan gave Sri Lanka a big target in the first match of the Super Four phase of the Asia Cup. 175 runs lost by six wickets.
After winning the toss at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday night, the two Afghan openers attacked the Lankan bowlers right from the start. In the second over of the match, Mahesh Thikshana’s fifth ball hit Gurbaz’s shot to longon. Gunathilaka ran and took the catch.
Gurbaz was leaving the field after receiving a soft signal from the umpire, but appealed for a review without crossing the boundary line. Later in the review, after taking the catch, Gunathilaka’s leg got on the boundary line.
Gurbaz, who came back to life, stormed the Lankan bowlers. He completed the second fastest fifty for the country in just 22 balls. Earlier in 2016, Najibullah Zadran scored a 22-ball fifty against the UAE.
Opener Hazratullah Zazai returned with only 13 runs, but Gurbaz played a career-best innings of 84 runs. The Afghan right-handed opener hit 4 fours and 6 sixes on the way to playing this 45-ball innings.
Ibrahim Zadran took the team forward after Asitha Fernando returned. However, after playing an innings of 40 runs from 38 balls, he also returned to the head of the team’s 151 runs. However, Afghanistan could not score runs in the last five overs. He lost 5 wickets while scoring only 37 runs.
Mohammad Nabi came in and scored just 1 run off 4 balls and soon after Najibullah Zadran was run out, Afghanistan got a big target with Rashid Khan’s cameo. 175 runs lost 6 wickets in scheduled overs. Najibullah scored 17 runs off 10 balls and Rashid Khan scored 9 runs off 7 balls.
For Sri Lanka, Dilshan Madhushanka took 2 wickets and Fernando and Thiksana took 1 wicket each. 3 runs out.