And it is all over for Sri Lanka! They have been knocked out of the Asia Cup as they lost their second group match against Afghanistan on Monday.
Afghanistan have stunned the five-time Asia Cup winners with their all-round performance and sent them out of the mega sporting event. Chasing a target of 250, Sri Lanka started their innings on a disappointing note and lost Kusal Mendis on the second ball of the first over.
They lost their first five wickets for just 108 runs. In the 34th over, the Lankans lost their sixth wicket when Mohammad Nabi picked up the wicket of Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews when he was on 22. The pressure was mounting on Mathews, he went for the glory shot and perished. He neither found the elevation nor the distance and ended up hitting the ball straight to Rashid Khan.
Dasun Shanaka was the next to follow. Mujeeb Ur Rahman bowled a googly to get rid of the batsman. The ball came in off the deck and Shanaka failed to read the delivery. The ball smashed his stumps.
The last three wickets of the Lankans fell just under five runs. The eighth wicket fell on 153 and the Islanders got all out on 158.
Aftab Alam was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan and took 4 wickets by giving away just 34 runs in his 7 overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Gulbadin Naib also chipped in with two wickets each.
While batting, Afghanistan scored 249 runs with the help of a brilliant knock played by Rahmat Shah. He scored 72 runs and took the Afghans to a respectable total of 249. Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera took a five-wicket haul and gave away 55 runs in his 9 overs.
Rahmat Shah was named the ‘Man of the Match’.
It was a heartbreak for the Angelo Mathews & Co as they could not win a single match in the tournament. The five-time winner now need to introspect as to how much time they would take to come out of the transition. The transition came after Kumara Sangakarra and Mahela Jayawardene left the team.
For Afghanistan, this is a dream come true. They were able to trounce the Lankans and knocked them out of the tournament. This will be such a confidence booster for the team and will give them the momentum they needed to continue in the series.
The other teams will now surely change their tactics to tackle the Afghanistan team.
AFGHANISTAN 249 (Rahmat Shah 72; Perera 5/55) beat SRI LANKA 158 (Upul Tharanga 36; Aftab Alam 4/34) by 91 runs.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar