Sri Lanka’s sweet revenge against Afghanistan
Dubai, September 3, 2022 (BASS): Sri Lanka took sweet revenge for their 8-wicket defeat by Afghanistan in the group stage in the Super Four. Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 4 wickets in the first match of Super Four today.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Afghanistan got off to a great start with the batting of opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz. They scored 46 runs in the opening pair in 4.5 overs. Hazratullah Zazai returned with 13 runs.
After a great start, Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran formed a big partnership for the second wicket. Afghanistan reached the hundred in the 12th over with two men batting. In the meantime, Gurbaz scored the fifth half-century of his T20 career in 22 balls. In the 16th over, Gurbaz, who was in terrible form, was stopped by Sri Lankan pacer Asitha Fernando. Gurbaz scored 84 runs off 45 balls with 4 fours and 6 sixes.
Ibrahim, who scored 40 runs off 38 balls, got out after Gurbaz returned to the team’s 139 runs.
After Zadran’s return, Afghanistan’s next batsmen could not score runs quickly. 24 runs in the last 16 balls. As a result, Afghans got a big score of 175 runs for 6 wickets in 20 overs. Najibullah Zadran scored 17 runs off 10 balls and Rashid Khan scored 9 runs off 7 balls. Dilshan Madhushanaka of Sri Lanka took 2 wickets.
Sri Lanka started with a target of 176 runs to win. Two openers Pathum Nishanka and Kushal Mendis scored 57 runs in the power play. However, in the third ball of the seventh over, pacer Naveen Ul Haq broke the opening pair of Lankans with 62 runs. Kushal got out with 36 runs off 19 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes.
Nishanka, who was the victim of spinner Mujib ur Rahman in the ninth over, scored 35 runs off 28 balls. Nishanka finished the innings with 3 fours and 1 six.
Charith Asalanka could not take advantage of falling to number three. He scored 8 runs.
Then Danuska Gunathilaka picked up runs at a fast pace in the middle-order. Gunathilaka scored 25 off 16 balls with captain Dasun Shanaka and 32 off 15 balls with Vanuka Rajapaksa. Gunathilaka hit 2 four-sixes in a stormy innings of 33 runs from 20 balls. Shanaka returns for 10 runs.
Despite Gunathilaka-Shanaka’s return, Rajapakse ensured Sri Lanka’s victory. The Lankans need 8 runs in the last 2 overs. Rajapaksa got out in the third ball of the 19th over. He scored 31 runs off 14 balls. Rajapakse hit 4 fours and 1 six in a stormy innings.
But in the end, Hasaranga de Silva scored 16 runs off 9 balls and Chamika Karunarate scored 5 runs off 2 balls to ensure Sri Lanka’s victory. Mujeeb-Naveen of Afghanistan took 2 wickets each.
Sri Lanka will play against India on September 6 and Afghanistan will play against Pakistan on September 7.