Asia Cup 2018: Afghanistan Beat Sri Lanka By 91-Runs, Qualify For The Top-4

| September 18 , 2018 , 12:54 IST

Afghanistan cricket team stunned Sri Lanka by registering a comfortable 91-runs victory in Asia Cup 2018 held at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.  

After winning the toss and electing to bat the Afghans showed great maturity by piling on 249 runs before knocking out the Sri Lankans for a merely 158 runs in 41.2 overs. With this win, Afghanistan joined Bangladesh from Group B in the Super Fours.

For Afghanistan, this was their first win over the Islanders in One-day Internationals, as the Lankans were already stuck in a must-win situation after facing a 137-run loss to Bangladesh in their tournament opener on Saturday.

Riding on a high by a well-played half century from Rahmat Shah (72), and valuable contributions from the opening duo of Mohammad Shahzad (34) and Ihsanullah Janat (45), the Afghans batted confidently to deny the Sri Lankans any early inroads in their innings.

The departure of the opening duo, however, did not deter the minnows from taking the attack to the opposition as Shah forged together an 80-run 4th-wicket stand with Hashmatullah Shahidi (37) to take the side to a comfortable position.

Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera (5/55) managed to break the partnership before triggering a mini-collapse of a sort but by then the Afghans had neared the 250-run mark towards the end of their innings.

In reply, the Islanders once again faltered with their batting and lost their first wicket in the opening over itself with teenaged off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2/32) packing back Kusal Mendis for a duck.

Upul Tharanga (36) and Dhananjaya de Silva (23) put on a brave show to weather the storm with a 54-run second wicket stand before being separated, courtesy a silly run-out of the latter.

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Thereafter, wickets began to tumble one after the other as the Sri Lankans slipped from a comfortable 86/2 eventually lost half of their side with just a score of 108 runs from 27 overs.

Skipper Angelo Matthews (22) and Thisara Perera (28) managed to get decent starts but the loss of partners at regular intervals dented their hopes, even as the Afghan spinners led by leggie Rashid Khan (2/26) kept dominating the proceedings

Besides Rashid and Mujeeb, veteran off-spinner Mohammed Nabi and seamer Gulbadin Naib also scalped two wickets apiece.

Brief Scores: Afghanistan 249 (Rahmat Shah 72, Ihsanullah Janat 45, Hashmatullah Shahidi 37; Thisara Perera 5/55) beat Sri Lanka 158 (Upul Tharanga 36, Thisara Perera 28; Rashid Khan 2/26, Gulbadin Naib 2/29) by 91 runs.