Asia Cup T20 2022, SL vs AFG: Elegant Afghanistan outclasses Sri Lanka; netizens dazed
On Saturday, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan faced off in the 2022 Asia Cup T20 openers in Dubai. The latter put on an extravagant show to outclass the former by nine wickets, while the netizens were left dazed.
It was a relatively one-sided performance in the Asia Cup T20 2022 opening game between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday. The latter put on a grand show to outclass the former by nine wickets. In a low-scoring tie, the Lankans were skittled for 105 by the 20th over. On the other hand, the Afghans got the job done by the tenth. For Afghanistan, pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi's three-for make Lanka toil, while Afghan openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz allowed their side to get the job done efficiently. As a result, Afghanistan has gone atop the table in Group B with a vast net run rate.
Winning the toss, the Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi opted to bow, which was the right decision. Lanka was down to five for three by the second over. At the same time, Danushka Gunathilaka (17) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (38) put on a 44-run partnership for the fourth wicket to give the side a glimmer of hope of recovery.
However, off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Gunathilaka in the 18th, while wickets kept tumbling almost regularly, as Lanka was down to 75/9 by the 15th. While Chamika Karunaratne (31) and Dilshan Madushanka (1*) added 30 more for the final wicket, the former was cleaned up by Farooqi to end the Lankan innings at 105.
In reply, the Afghan openers took the attack to the Lankan bowlers right from the start, proving that Lanka misread the wicket. Zazai (37) and Gurbaz (40) put on an 83-run opening stand before the latter was knocked over by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga in the eighth. Also, it was Afghanistan's highest Powerplay score in the format. However, it was already too late. The target was attained by the 11th over, with the Afghans winning by eight wickets.
Brief scores: SL 105 in 19.4 overs (Rajapaksa- 38, Karunaratne- 31; Farooqi- 3/11) lost to AFG 106/2 (Zazai- 37*, Gurbaz- 40; Hasaranga- 1/19) by eight wickets.