Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: “Sri Lanka Clinches Thriller in Asia Cup 2023, Breaking Afghan Hearts”

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: "Sri Lanka Triumphs in Nail-Biting Encounter"

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: "Afghanistan's Determined Fight Falls Just Short"

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: : "A Last-Minute Twist: How Sri Lanka Survived the Tense Showdown"

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Sri Lanka Cricket Twitter

     Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

  Current ODI Forms:

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

  Key Players:

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy ACC Twitter

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: 

Head to Head:

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy ACC Twitter
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

Warm up for Afghanistan:

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: 

Match Summary:

     “Sri Lanka Survives Thriller, Afghanistan’s Heartbreak in Asia Cup 2023”

     A Valiant Effort: Afghanistan faced a monumental task for qualification but came agonizingly close, needing a six from the next three deliveries.

     Sri Lanka’s Batting: Sri Lanka started strong but wobbled, with Mendis and Asalanka’s century partnership rescuing them.

     Afghanistan’s Fightback: Afghanistan fought back, reducing Sri Lanka from 188/3 to 227/7. Sri Lanka set a target of 292.

     Afghanistan’s Chase: Afghanistan lost both openers quickly, but Gulbadin, Rahmat Shah, and Nabi kept them in the game.

     Sri Lanka’s Nerve: Sri Lanka’s bowlers held their nerve, with Wellalage’s brilliant 32nd over turning the tide.

     Dramatic Finish: Afghanistan needed one hit, but DDS removed Mujeeb, sealing a dramatic 2-run victory for Sri Lanka.

     Afghanistan’s Unawareness: Afghanistan didn’t realize they still had a chance after 37.1 overs, which ended with Fazalhaq Farooqi blocking three balls.

     Credit to Afghanistan: Despite the heartbreak, credit goes to Afghanistan for their remarkable performance in this match.

     Asia Cup 2023: Sri Lanka advances to the Super Fours, while Afghanistan is eliminated.

     World Cup Preparation: Afghanistan will use this experience to prepare for the upcoming World Cup, where they won’t be taken lightly.

     Sri Lanka Escapes Thrilling Encounter, Afghanistan’s Heartbreak in Asia Cup 2023

     In a nail-biting match on September 5, 2023, during the Asia Cup 2023, Sri Lanka narrowly secured victory, leaving Afghanistan heartbroken in a contest that had spectators on the edge of their seats. Afghanistan faced a daunting task to qualify, and their unwavering determination was evident throughout the game.

     Sri Lanka, opting to bat first, initially seemed to be in control, but Afghanistan fought back admirably, taking three key wickets for just 23 runs. However, a remarkable century partnership between Kusal Mendis and Bhanuka Asalanka revived Sri Lanka’s innings, setting a challenging target of 292.

     Chasing this formidable total within 37.1 overs, Afghanistan’s openers fell quickly, putting them in a precarious position. Nevertheless, Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah played pivotal roles, with Mohammad Nabi’s explosive fifty keeping their hopes alive.

     As the match approached its climax, Sri Lanka’s bowlers maintained their composure, with Dunith Wellalage’s exceptional 32nd over shifting momentum in their favor. Afghanistan needed just one big hit to secure qualification, but Dhananjaya de Silva removed Mujeeb Ur Rahman, sealing a dramatic victory for Sri Lanka by a mere 2 runs. This heartbreaking loss eliminated Afghanistan from the Asia Cup.

     What made the match even more agonizing for Afghanistan was their unawareness that they still had a chance to qualify after the 37.1 over mark. Fazalhaq Farooqi’s decision to block three balls in the final over ultimately dashed their hopes. Rashid Khan, who had denied singles in the 36th over, could only watch as their qualification dreams slipped away.

     Despite the heartbreak, Afghanistan’s remarkable performance throughout the game deserved credit. Sri Lanka’s win secured their place in the Super Fours, while Afghanistan left the tournament with their heads held high, knowing they had come excruciatingly close to achieving an incredible comeback.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

Asia Cup 2023 : Points Table:

A tough task for Afghanistan:

     In the Asia Cup 2023, Afghanistan faces a crucial match against Sri Lanka, with a Super Four berth at stake. Afghanistan must win with a significant margin, either by 70 runs or by chasing the target within 36 overs, to improve their net run rate and secure a top-two finish in Group B. Despite Sri Lanka’s strong form, Afghanistan aims for redemption after a recent series loss to them. The performance of key bowlers, including Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan, will be critical in their quest for victory. The battle for Super Four qualification promises to be intense, with both teams striving to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Sri Lanka eyeing on a new World Record:

     Sri Lanka is on the verge of setting a new world record in One Day International (ODI) cricket. Having already won 11 successive matches, they are now aiming for their 12th consecutive victory as they face Afghanistan in their second Group B match in Lahore.

 Kusal Mendis just 50 short to his 3000 milestone:

     Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Mendis is closing in on a significant milestone in One Day Internationals (ODIs). With just 50 runs needed, he aims to reach the 3,000-run mark in ODIs. The opportunity to achieve this milestone awaits him as Sri Lanka takes on Afghanistan in their Asia Cup 2023 match in Lahore today.

Mohammad Nabi just 1 short to his 250 International wickets:

     Afghanistan’s versatile all-rounder and former captain, Mohammad Nabi, is on the brink of a significant milestone in international cricket. With 249 wickets to his name, he is just one scalp away from achieving the 250-wicket mark. The question on everyone’s mind is whether Nabi can reach this milestone in the Asia Cup 2023 match against Sri Lanka in Lahore today.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: Weather Update:

     The weather in Lahore is currently sunny, and there is minimal to no likelihood of rain interfering with today’s game.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter

Toss Time:

      Sri Lanka has won the toss and chosen to bat in the match. Both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have decided to stick with their existing playing XI, making no changes to their teams.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Sri Lanka Cricket
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter

     Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Sri Lanka’s captain, Dasun Shanaka, has decided that his team will bat first. He emphasized the importance of putting runs on the board and executing their plans effectively in this crucial game. Shanaka also confirmed that they are sticking with the same team for the match.

     Hashmatullah Shahidi, the captain of Afghanistan, mentioned that they would have preferred to bowl first regardless. He pointed out that net run rate (NRR) is a significant factor for them, and chasing can be advantageous in this context. Shahidi stressed the importance of their focus in this game, emphasizing that every ball will be crucial. He also confirmed that Afghanistan is going into the match with an unchanged lineup.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: Playing X1s:

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Sri Lanka Cricket Twitter
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023

     Group Photo of Sri Lanka Full Squad:

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Sri Lanka Cricket Twitter

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: Pitch Report:

     Deep Dasgupta, providing the pitch report, noted that the pitch has remained consistent and still appears favorable for batting. Despite some visible cracks, he believes they won’t significantly impact the game, and Sri Lanka should find it enjoyable to bat on this surface. Dasgupta pointed out that seamers might find some assistance under the evening lights, making it a beneficial toss for Sri Lanka. He predicts that this pitch has the potential for teams to score in excess of 300 runs.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: Time for National Anthems:

     Both teams are currently lined up for the playing of their respective national anthems. Afghanistan’s national anthem will be played first, followed by the national anthem of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023: Play Start:

     The national anthems have concluded, and both teams are ready to begin the match. Sri Lanka’s openers, Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne, have made their way onto the field, while the Afghanistan team is in a huddle.

     For Afghanistan, this is not just a must-win game but also requires a significant victory to secure qualification for the next stage. On the other hand, Sri Lanka only needs to avoid a substantial defeat to progress further in the tournament.

     Runs: 9 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 1

     In the first over of Sri Lanka’s innings, they have made a strong start, scoring 9 runs without losing any wickets. Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled the over for Afghanistan. The over included a boundary punched by Dimuth Karunaratne towards covers and another boundary flicked towards midwicket. Sri Lanka has begun their innings positively.

     Runs: 15 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 2

     Sri Lanka has advanced to 15 runs without losing any wickets after the completion of 2 overs. Afghanistan opted for an early introduction of spin, bringing Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman into the attack during the second over. Dimuth Karunaratne capitalized on a delivery with flat trajectory and width, slashing it for a boundary. The over yielded six runs in total for Sri Lanka.

     Runs: 15 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 3

     In the third over of Sri Lanka’s innings, bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi, there were no runs scored, and it was a maiden over. Farooqi displayed a commendable performance with his left-arm pace. Although there was a hint of seam movement, it wasn’t substantial. Sri Lanka’s score remains at 15 without any wickets lost.

     Runs: 24 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 4

     In the 4th over, bowled by Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, Sri Lanka has accumulated 24 runs without losing any wickets. During this over, Pathum Nissanka managed to secure two runs due to a slight misfield, and Dimuth Karunaratne ended the over with a four by executing a cover drive. Sri Lanka’s batting appears stable.

     Runs: 36 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 5

     After 5 overs of Sri Lanka’s innings, they have reached a score of 36 runs without losing any wickets. In the fifth over, bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi, Pathum Nissanka showcased excellent batting, starting with a cover drive for four off a half-volley delivery. Farooqi then came round the wicket and delivered a half-tracker on the pads, allowing Nissanka to pull it for another boundary towards fine leg. With width on offer, Nissanka secured his third boundary of the over, this time smashing it away towards covers. Sri Lanka’s batting is in a commanding position.

     Runs: 38 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 6

     After 6 overs, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 38 runs without losing any wickets. In the sixth over, bowled by Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, the off-spinner maintained a disciplined line, sticking to wicket-to-wicket deliveries. This resulted in a quiet over for Sri Lanka, with just two runs scored off it.

     Runs: 43 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 7

     Sri Lanka’s score stands at 43 runs without any wickets lost after the completion of 7 overs. Gulbadin Naib has come into the attack as the bowler. During this over, Pathum Nissanka managed to punch a delivery towards extra covers, benefiting from a bit of width on the length. Despite a slight misfield, the batsmen secured only a single run. Then, Naib bowled a length ball on the hips, and Dimuth Karunaratne guided it for a four towards square leg to conclude the over. Sri Lanka continues to accumulate runs steadily.

     Runs: 49 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 8

     After 8 overs of their innings, Sri Lanka has reached a score of 49 runs without losing any wickets. Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, delivering his off-spin, conceded six runs in this over. Pathum Nissanka managed to find a drivable length and placed the ball towards covers for a boundary, earning four runs for Sri Lanka. Their batting remains steady and productive.

     Runs: 56 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 9

     Sri Lanka’s score has reached 56 runs without losing any wickets after 9 overs. Gulbadin Naib, bowling his gentle medium pace, conceded seven runs in this over. Dimuth Karunaratne took advantage of a length ball, opening his arms to place the ball towards point for a boundary, which also brought up fifty runs for Sri Lanka. The batsmen continue to accumulate runs effectively.

     Runs: 62 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 10

     After 10 overs of their innings, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 62 runs without losing any wickets. Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, in his fifth over, conceded six runs during this over. Pathum Nissanka guided, almost sweeping, a length ball towards backward square leg for a boundary, adding four runs to the score. This marks the end of the first PowerPlay, and Sri Lanka’s opening partnership has been productive.

     Runs: 65 | Wickets: 1 | Overs: 11

     Sri Lanka has had a solid start to their innings, accumulating 65 runs for the loss of one wicket after 11 overs. Gulbadin Naib continued his bowling spell. However, in this over, Sri Lanka lost their first wicket as Dimuth Karunaratne played an early shot to a slow ball, sending the ball straight into the hands of the cover fielder. This brought an end to the impressive opening partnership between Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka. Karunaratne departed after scoring 32 runs from 35 deliveries. Kusal Mendis came in as the new batsman and began with a double towards fine leg, getting off the mark. The over yielded three runs and a wicket for Afghanistan.

     Karunaratne c Nabi b Gulbadin 32(35)

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 68 | Wickets: 1 | Overs: 12

     After 12 overs, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 68 runs for the loss of one wicket. Mohammad Nabi, with his off-spin, entered the attack. The pitch hasn’t provided much assistance to spinners or bowlers in general. In this over, Sri Lanka managed to score three runs. The batting side is looking to build a steady partnership after losing their first wicket.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 71 | Wickets: 1 | Overs: 13

     After 13 overs, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 71 runs for the loss of one wicket. Gulbadin Naib continued his bowling spell. The boundaries have become scarce in the last two overs, with Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka opting for singles and doubles. This over yielded three runs for Sri Lanka, as they focus on consolidating their innings.

     Runs: 75 | Wickets: 1 | Overs: 14

     After 14 overs, Sri Lanka has accumulated a total of 75 runs for the loss of one wicket. Mohammad Nabi continued his off-spin bowling. Over the last four overs, the bowlers have maintained a disciplined approach by delivering wicket-to-wicket lines. The field being spread has also contributed to their control over the game. Sri Lanka added four runs in this over, as they aim to build a solid partnership.

     Runs: 82 | Wickets: 2 | Overs: 15

     After 15 overs, Sri Lanka’s total stands at 82 runs for the loss of two wickets. Gulbadin Naib, in his fifth over, conceded a boundary after four overs of boundaries drying up. Pathum Nissanka played a shot towards fine leg, and although the fielder at the boundary made an effort to save it, his leg touched the ropes, resulting in a boundary.

     However, in the same over, Nissanka smashed the ball straight to the point fielder, leading to his dismissal. This marked the second wicket for Naib, and both Sri Lankan openers are now out. Nissanka departed after scoring 41 runs from 40 deliveries. Sadeera Samarawickrama joined Kusal Mendis at the crease. The over produced seven runs and a wicket for Afghanistan.

     Nissanka c Najibullah b Gulbadin 41(40)

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 85 | Wickets: 2 | Overs: 16

     After 16 overs, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 85 runs for the loss of two wickets. Mohammad Nabi continued his off-spin bowling, consistently delivering dot balls. He showcased very tight and experienced bowling, offering nothing to the batsmen. Only three runs were scored in this over, as Afghanistan maintains pressure on Sri Lanka.

     Runs: 86 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 17

     After 17 overs, Sri Lanka has accumulated a total of 86 runs for the loss of three wickets. Gulbadin Naib, bowling his sixth consecutive over, achieved his third wicket. Sadeera Samarawickrama edged the ball to the keeper. It was a length ball, and Samarawickrama attempted to guide it but ended up with a faint edge. Sri Lanka has now lost three wickets in quick succession, which signifies a terrific spell and turnaround by Afghanistan after the PowerPlay.

     Samarawickrama departed after scoring 3 runs from 8 deliveries. Charith Asalanka arrived at the crease. The over produced just one run and a wicket for Afghanistan, maintaining their strong presence in the game.

     Samarawickrama c Gurbaz b Gulbadin 3(8)

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy ACC Twitter

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 88 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 18

     After 18 overs, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 88 runs for the loss of three wickets. Mohammad Nabi, in his fourth over, kept the scoring rate in check. Charith Asalanka got off the mark with a single. Only two runs were scored in this over, as Afghanistan’s bowlers continue to maintain pressure on Sri Lanka.

     Runs: 96 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 19

     After 19 overs, Sri Lanka has accumulated a total of 96 runs for the loss of three wickets. Gulbadin Naib, who is in his seventh over, allowed Mendis to push the ball towards covers. Although the fielder at deep made a good effort to save a boundary, the batsmen managed to run three runs. Naib also induced an edge off Charith Asalanka’s bat, but the ball found the gap between the first slip and the deep third fielder, resulting in a boundary. This over produced eight runs for Sri Lanka.

     Runs: 111 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 21

     After 21 overs, Sri Lanka has accumulated a total of 111 runs for the loss of three wickets. Rashid Khan, the new bowler into the attack, started with a half-tracker, and Kusal Mendis took full advantage, placing it towards midwicket for a well-timed boundary. This over produced eight runs for Sri Lanka as they look to build their innings against Afghanistan’s bowling attack.

     Runs: 113 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 22

     After 22 overs, Sri Lanka’s total stands at 113 runs for the loss of three wickets. Mohammad Nabi continued his bowling spell. It was another tight over, with just two runs scored by Sri Lanka. Afghanistan’s bowlers are maintaining pressure, making it challenging for the Sri Lankan batsmen to accelerate their scoring.

     Runs: 117 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 23

     After 23 overs, Sri Lanka has accumulated a total of 117 runs for the loss of three wickets. Rashid Khan continued with his leg spin bowling. The Sri Lankan batters focused on running around for singles, resulting in just four runs from the over. Afghanistan’s bowlers are maintaining a disciplined approach to keep the scoring rate in check.

     Runs: 121 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 24

     After 24 overs, Sri Lanka’s total stands at 121 runs for the loss of three wickets. Mohammad Nabi, in his seventh over, continued to deliver wicket-to-wicket lines, keeping it simple. Sri Lanka managed to score four runs in this over. Afghanistan’s bowlers are maintaining control over the game as Sri Lanka aims to build a competitive total.

     Runs: 125 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 25

     After 25 overs, Sri Lanka has reached a total of 125 runs for the loss of three wickets. Rashid Khan continued his leg spin bowling. Despite being in the 25th over, there hasn’t been much assistance for spinners on the pitch. However, the Afghan bowlers have performed tremendously well, keeping the scoring rate in control. Sri Lanka managed to score four runs in this over as they aim to set a competitive total against Afghanistan.

     Runs: 129 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 26

     After 26 overs, Sri Lanka has accumulated a total of 129 runs for the loss of three wickets. Mohammad Nabi continued his bowling spell. Charith Asalanka managed to score a single with an inside edge to square leg. Kusal Mendis defended a good length delivery on the next ball and pushed the following one to long on for a single. Asalanka drove to long off on the fifth delivery, while Mendis clipped the final delivery to deep mid-wicket, adding four runs to the over. Sri Lanka is looking to steadily build their innings against Afghanistan’s disciplined bowling.

     Runs: 144 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 27

     After 27 overs, Sri Lanka has reached 144 runs for the loss of three wickets. Kusal Mendis played some aggressive shots in the over, hitting two boundaries. He stepped out and chipped the ball over the infield for a four and then clipped a delivery on the pads for another boundary. Mendis is now on 45 runs.

     Runs: 153 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 28

    In the 28th over, Sri Lanka reached a total of 153 runs for the loss of three wickets. Kusal Mendis scored two runs, reached his fifty with a four past covers, and Sri Lanka crossed 150 runs. A risky second run was narrowly saved at the striker’s end.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 157 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 29

     In the 29th over, Sri Lanka’s total has reached 157 runs for the loss of three wickets. Karim Janat is into the attack for the first time in this match.

     Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka managed to score runs through quick running, singles, and a wide from Janat. Mendis cut a delivery outside off stump to collect the fourth run of the over.

     Runs: 167 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 30

     In the 30th over, Sri Lanka scored 167 runs for the loss of three wickets. Kusal Mendis hit a six with a top-edge on a short delivery over the fine leg fence. Two singles were also taken in the over.

     Runs: 170 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 31

     In the 31st over, Sri Lanka’s total stands at 170 runs for the loss of three wickets. Karim Janat bowled his second over, maintaining a stump-to-stump line. Charith Asalanka was beaten on the fifth delivery as the ball shaped away slightly after pitching. The over produced just three runs for Sri Lanka.

     Runs: 174 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 32

     In the 32nd over, Sri Lanka’s total stands at 174 runs for the loss of three wickets. Mujeeb Ur Rahman returned to bowl. Charith Asalanka collected a single with a tap to mid-on, and Kusal Mendis worked the third delivery to the square leg region for two runs. A single was added by Mendis as he guided the fifth delivery to fine leg. Asalanka was beaten by a googly on the final delivery of the over.

     Runs: 187 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 33

     100 run Partnership

     In the 33rd over, Sri Lanka scored 187 runs for the loss of three wickets. Kusal Mendis hit a boundary by cutting a short and wide delivery to the point fence. He also guided a delivery on the pads for a couple of runs, drove to deep cover for a single, and Charith Asalanka added a six over long off. The partnership between Mendis and Asalanka reached 100 runs.

     Runs: 189 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 34

     In the 34th over, Rashid Khan dismissed Charith Asalanka, who gave a simple return catch. Dhananjaya de Silva joined and defended the next two deliveries. The over produced one run, and there was a third umpire check due to a direct hit, but Mendis was safe.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 200 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 35

     In the 35th over, Sri Lanka reached 200 runs for the loss of four wickets. Dhananjaya de Silva clipped a delivery on his pads with soft hands and took two runs, with an overthrow adding a third. Kusal Mendis hit a six over cow corner and added singles with a pull to deep backward square and a drive to deep cover.

     Runs: 209 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 36

     In the 36th over, Sri Lanka reached 209 runs for the loss of four wickets. Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis added runs with a single and a poke through point for another run. Mendis hit a six over long on, moving to 89. The over produced nine runs.

     Runs: 214 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 37

     In the 37th over, Sri Lanka’s score was 214 runs for the loss of four wickets. Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Mendis added runs with singles and a wide from Mujeeb. The over produced three runs in total.

     Runs: 221 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 38

     In the 38th over, Sri Lanka’s score was 221 runs for the loss of four wickets. Rashid Khan bowled his seventh over, with an unsuccessful LBW appeal against Dhananjaya de Silva. An overthrow and poor fielding contributed to the over’s runs, which included a boundary. Kusal Mendis faced challenges but remained at the crease.

     Runs: 226 | Wickets: 5 | Overs: 39

     In the 39th over, Sri Lanka scored 226 runs for the loss of five wickets. Dhananjaya de Silva was dismissed by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Dasun Shanaka came in to bat and had a close call with a run-out chance. He managed to get a boundary and a single in the over. Kusal Mendis continued his strong presence at the crease.

     Dhananjaya de Silva b Mujeeb Ur Rahman 14(19)

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 232 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 40

     In the 40th over, Sri Lanka scored 232 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Kusal Mendis was unfortunately run out for 92 runs, just short of a century. Dasun Shanaka was bowled by Rashid Khan for 5 runs. Maheesh Theekshana Dunith Wellalage joined the middle and managed to get off the mark with a single. He also hit a boundary in the over.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 238 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 41

     In the 41st over, Sri Lanka added 6 runs to their total, reaching 238 for the loss of 7 wickets. Theekshana and Wellalage contributed to the score with some singles and boundaries, including a well-executed paddle sweep by Wellalage.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 243 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 42

     In the 42nd over, Sri Lanka added 5 runs to their total, reaching 243 for the loss of 7 wickets. Theekshana capitalized on a delivery on the pads to collect four valuable runs.

     Runs: 245 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 43

     Sri Lanka managed to score just 2 runs in the 43rd over bowled by Mohammad Nabi.

     Runs: 248 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 44

     In the 44th over bowled by Rashid Khan, Sri Lanka added 3 runs to their total, taking them to 248/7.

     Runs: 252 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 45

     In the 45th over bowled by Mohammad Nabi, Sri Lanka added 4 runs to their total, taking them to 252/7.

     Runs: 257 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 46

     In the 46th over bowled by Gulbadin Naib, Sri Lanka scored 5 runs, taking their total to 257/7.

     Runs: 259 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 47

     In the 47th over bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi, Sri Lanka scored 2 runs, taking their total to 259/7.

     Runs: 267 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 48

     In the 48th over bowled by Gulbadin Naib, Sri Lanka scored 8 runs, including a boundary by Wellalage, taking their total to 267/7.

     SL 277/9 in 49 overs

     In the 49th over, Sri Lanka scored 15 runs. Theekshana was the star, hitting a crucial six and collecting a couple of runs. The over featured some good fielding efforts from Afghanistan, with a diving stop at third man preventing a boundary.

     SL 291/8 in 50 overs

     Sri Lanka finishes their innings with a total of 291/8. Theekshana was bowled off the final delivery, and Wellalage’s late onslaught included a six and a four.

     Sri Lanka finishes with 291/8, and it’s a decent total considering the circumstances. Kusal Mendis played a brilliant innings of 92 runs, and contributions from other players, including Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Maheesh Theekshana, and Dunith Wellalage, helped them reach this competitive score. The partnership between Karunaratne and Theekshana was crucial in steering Sri Lanka towards 300. Despite a few hiccups, they managed to post a total that their bowlers should be confident of defending.

     Afghanistan had some standout performers with Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan making significant contributions. Naib’s early wickets were crucial in getting them back into the game, and Rashid Khan, despite being expensive, managed to take important wickets. Afghanistan kept coming back into the game, but their performance in the final overs left room for improvement. They now face the challenge of chasing down a big target of 292 in 37.1 overs to qualify. It will be interesting to see their approach, while Sri Lanka will back themselves to defend this total. The chase promises to be an exciting one. Stay tuned for more updates.

     Afghanistan’s path to qualification is challenging.

     They need to chase down Sri Lanka’s total of 292 in just 37.1 overs to secure a spot in the Super 4 stage of the tournament alongside Bangladesh. It’s a demanding target, and Afghanistan will have to score at a high run rate to achieve this goal.

     Kusal Mendis:   Expressed his satisfaction with the performance of his teammates Dimuth and Pathum in the initial overs, which allowed him to play his natural game. He mentioned the importance of the first ten overs with the ball and emphasized the need for their main bowlers to deliver for 40 overs to chase down the target quickly and improve their net run rate (NRR). Mendis also considered a total of 280-300 as competitive on the pitch.

     Here are the highest partnerships for the 8th wicket or below in Asia Cup ODIs:

  1. 100 – Fawad Alam and Sohail Tanvir (PAK) vs Hong Kong, Karachi, 2008.
  2. 95* – Gulbadin Naib and Rashid Khan (AFG) vs BAN, Abu Dhabi, 2018.
  3. 66 – Mashrafe Mortaza and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (BAN) vs IND, Dubai, 2018.
  4. 64 – Maheesh Theekshana and Dunith Wellalage (SL) vs AFG, Lahore, 2023 (as of the latest available data).

     This partnership between Maheesh Theekshana and Dunith Wellalage in the 2023 Asia Cup is among the top partnerships for the 8th wicket or below in the tournament’s history.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Afghanistan requires a challenging run chase to advance in the tournament. They need to chase down the total within 37.1 overs to progress to the next round. If they manage to hit a six from 291, they can extend their chase to 38.1 overs. However, if they fail to meet these requirements, Sri Lanka will secure their spot in the next round. The match is about to begin, with Rajitha opening the bowling for Sri Lanka. Let’s see what unfolds in this crucial contest.

     Afghanistan’s Innings – 4/0 in 1 over:
     Afghanistan makes a cautious start, scoring 4 runs for no loss after the first over. Kasun Rajitha bowled tightly, showing some hint of swing on the first three deliveries. Gurbaz managed to find the gap in the backward point region for a boundary, getting Afghanistan off the mark. A promising effort from Sri Lanka’s fielder in an attempt to stop the boundary but couldn’t make the catch.

     Runs: 10 | Wickets: 0 | Overs: 2

     Afg 10/0 in 2 overs Maheesh Theekshana is introduced in the second over. Huge appeal on the first ball but the umpires are not interested. The ball clipped the pads. Theekshana getting the ball to drift in. Width on offer on a length ball and Zadran smacks it towards extra covers for four. Misfielder by the fielder in the circle. Good way to end the over. Six runs off it

     Runs: 18 | Wickets: 1 | Overs: 3

     Rajitha strikes for Sri Lanka, dismissing Gurbaz (4 off 8) with an outswinger caught by the keeper. Gulbadin Naib enters and immediately smashes a four and a four off Rajitha. 8 runs and a wicket in the over.

     Gurbaz c Kusal Mendis b Rajitha 4(8)

     Runs: 21 | Wickets: 1 | Overs: 4

     Theekshana bowls a tight over, conceding just three runs. Afghanistan is at 21/1 after 4 overs.

     Runs: 27 | Wickets: 2 | Overs: 5

     A crucial wicket for Sri Lanka as Ibrahim Zadran is bowled by Rajitha. Afghanistan is at 27/2 after 5 overs.

     Zadran b Rajitha 7(14)

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 29 | Wickets: 2 | Overs: 6

     Afghanistan is struggling at 29/2 after 6 overs. Theekshana bowled a tight over, conceding only two runs.

     Runs: 38 | Wickets: 2 | Overs: 7

     Afghanistan reaches 38/2 after 7 overs. Rajitha concedes two boundaries in this over.

     Runs: 50 | Wickets: 2 | Overs: 8

     Afghanistan reaches 50/2 after 8 overs. Dunith Wellalage is hit for two boundaries in the over.

     Runs: 52 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 9

     Matheesha Pathirana Strikes Early: Afghanistan 52/3 in 9 overs Matheesha Pathirana took the crucial wicket of Gulbadin Naib, who scored 22 runs, with a successful LBW appeal. Hashmatullah Shahidi is now at the crease, and Afghanistan is struggling at 52/3 after 9 overs.

     Gulbadin lbw b Pathirana 22(16)

     Runs: 58 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 10

     Theekshana, in his fourth over, has been economical, denying the batters any freedom. Rahmat capitalizes on a half-tracker, punching the ball towards covers for a boundary to conclude the PowerPlay.

 

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 65 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 11

     Pathirana continues. He isn’t giving away much to the batters to hit. Afghanistan gets a lucky boundary as Rahmat tries to pull, but the ball hits his thigh pads and goes for four towards backward point.

     Runs: 78 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 12

     Dasun Shanaka is brought into the attack, and Shahidi greets him with a six over long-on. Rahmat then guides one down to fine leg, narrowly missing a boundary despite a diving effort from Wellalage. The over yields 13 runs.

     Runs: 80 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 13

     Pathirana, coming around the wicket to the left-handed Shahidi, keeps the Afghan batters guessing with his variations. He maintains a tight line and length, allowing just two runs in the over.

     Runs: 92 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 14

     Dhananjaya de Silva is introduced into the attack. Rahmat plays a good length ball on his back foot for a single. Shahidi attempts to attack but Silva adjusts his length well. Rahmat gets two runs with a reverse sweep and follows it with a six over long on, ending the over on a high note.

     Runs: 93 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 15

     Matheesha Pathirana continues with his fourth over. He begins with a slower full toss, but Shahidi misses it. An overthrow gifts Shahidi a single. The following delivery stays low, troubling Rahmat. The over concludes with a bouncer. Just one run comes from it.

     Afghanistan requires 200 runs from 139 deliveries to advance to the Super 4 stage.

     Runs: 101 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 16

     Maheesh Theekshana continues, and Shahidi sweeps for four, the ball taking a top edge and clearing the keeper. Shahidi then executes a late cut for a single, and Rahmat punches one to long off. Shahidi sweeps again, this time behind square for a couple, bringing up Afghanistan’s 100.

     Runs: 111 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 17

     Kasun Rajitha comes back into the attack. Rahmat pushes one off his pads for a single. Shahidi gets one to third man for a run. A lofted shot from Rahmat takes an outside edge and runs away for four. Rahmat pushes one wide of mid-on for a single, and Shahidi slaps a wide, slower ball to deep extra cover for a double, followed by a single on the last delivery.

     Runs: 120 | Wickets: 3 | Overs: 18

     Maheesh Theekshana continues. Shahidi gets a couple with an overthrow after tapping the ball to covers. He then plays a delicate late cut to the third man boundary for four. Rahmat drives the penultimate delivery to long off for one, and Shahidi adds another single to long off from the last ball.

     Runs: 121 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 19

     Kasun Rajitha continues. Shahidi gets a single after being deceived by a slower one. Then, Rahmat Shah attempts to loft the ball over mid-on but offers a simple catch, departing for 45 runs. Mohammad Nabi is the new batsman in.

     Rahmat Shah c Pathirana b Rajitha 45(40)

     Runs: 129 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 20

     Dunith Wellalage returns for his second over. Hashmatullah Shahidi tries to flick but gets an inside edge onto his pads. Shahidi attempts a slog but can only manage a single to long on. Mohammad Nabi hits a six by presenting the full face of his bat to an overpitched delivery, clearing the long-on boundary. Nabi takes a single with a push to long off.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 132 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 21

     Kasun Rajitha continues. Mohammad Nabi guides the ball to third man for a single. Hashmatullah Shahidi is fortunate as a delivery keeps low and narrowly misses the leg stump. Shahidi attempts a pull shot but finds a fielder at deep mid-wicket, earning just a single. Nabi adds another run by working the ball to mid-wicket, resulting in three runs from the over.

     Runs: 141 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 22

      Maheesh Theekshana bowls to Mohammad Nabi, who misses a pull shot. However, Nabi gets a lucky boundary with an outside edge that flies over third man and point. He follows it up with another four, going inside out over covers. The over ends with a single, keeping Nabi on strike.

     Runs: 161 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 23

     Maheesh Pathirana returns to the attack. Mohammad Nabi goes all-out with his attacking shots, hitting a six and two fours in the over. He capitalizes on Pathirana’s wayward bowling, even though there are three wides in the over.

     Runs: 180 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 24

     Shanaka starts with a wide and follows with a slower wider delivery. Nabi capitalizes with a massive SIX over cow corner. He then chips the second delivery for a single towards long-off. Two runs are added by Shahidi, but he struggles to clear the fence with a short and wide delivery as the deep point fielder cuts it off. However, Shahidi manages a FOUR with a full toss through the point region. The over ends with just a single as Nabi closes the face of his bat too early, and the outside edge flies past backward point, narrowly eluding a diving Theekshana.

     Runs: 186 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 25

      Pathirana continues with a single from Shahidi on the second delivery. Nabi, on the other hand, misses connecting with a full toss, resulting in the second dot of the over. He, however, finds the boundary with a powerful shot over the infield, sending the ball to the cover boundary, and also reaches his half-century. Nabi manages a single on the next delivery, and Pathirana concludes the over with a slower one.

     The qualification scenario indicates that Afghanistan requires 112 runs off 79 deliveries to advance to the Super 4 stage.

     Runs: 200 | Wickets: 4 | Overs: 26

     Mohammad Nabi is displaying his experience in this match, keeping Afghanistan’s hopes alive.

     Rajitha takes charge of the next over, beginning with deliveries right on Nabi’s stumps, which he defends. The over features a couple of dot balls. However, Nabi capitalizes on a half-tracker by hitting it for a powerful six. He manages a couple of runs to deep point, with a fielding fumble allowing the second run after some umpire review. Nabi follows this up with another six, this time chasing a wider delivery, resulting in a sliced shot that clears the deep cover fielder.

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 203 | Wickets: 5 | Overs: 27

     Theekshana continues his spell, starting with a dot ball to Shahidi. Shahidi manages a single with a sweep on the next delivery, as there’s fielder coverage in the deep. However, there’s a significant breakthrough as Mohammad Nabi departs. Nabi attempts to dispatch a good length delivery over the on-side boundary, but Dhananjaya de Silva positions himself well and takes the catch just inside the ropes.

     Mohammad Nabi c Dhananjaya b Theekshana 65(32)

     Mohammad Nabi’s remarkable achievement in this innings is his fastest ODI fifty for Afghanistan, accomplished in just 24 deliveries.

     Karim Janat joins Shahidi at the crease, and they accumulate three runs from the over.

     Runs: 208 | Wickets: 5 | Overs: 28

     Pathirana continues, and Shahidi manages to grab a single with a gentle push to short cover. This brings up Shahidi’s fifty, a crucial milestone for Afghanistan. Karim Janat is finding it challenging to connect with a full and wide delivery, but he eventually gets a single. Shahidi, on the other hand, guides a delivery on the pads to deep square leg, collecting two runs. The final ball of the over is directed to third man by Shahidi, earning a single. Sri Lanka’s bowlers are starting to regain control, with just five runs conceded in the over.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023
Courtesy Afghanistan Cricket Board Twitter

    Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 221 | Wickets: 5 | Overs: 29

     Rajitha continues, and Shahidi manages to grab a leg bye on the on side. The bowler adjusted his line after Shahidi charged down the pitch. Karim Janat attempts a drive, but it goes straight to the short cover fielder. However, he redeems himself by connecting well with the next delivery, lofting it over the infield for a boundary, bouncing once before reaching the ropes. Karim cleverly picks up a single by nudging the ball to mid-off, where the fielder is stationed deep. Then, he showcases brute force, clearing his foot to slog a delivery right in the slot for a massive six, sending it out of the park. The over yields 13 runs for Afghanistan.

     Runs: 225 | Wickets: 5 | Overs: 30

     Maheesh Theekshana takes charge of the over, delivering the first ball into the pads of Hashmatullah Shahidi, resulting in a dot ball. Shahidi attempts a sweep on the second ball, but there’s a fielder at deep square leg, limiting him to just one run. A quick delivery on the leg side keeps Karim Janat from scoring on the third delivery. However, Karim manages to pick up a single on the fourth delivery. Shahidi then attempts a reverse sweep but misses, leading to an appeal by Theekshana. Dasun Shanaka decides to review the call, but the UltraEdge shows there was bat before pad, and Sri Lanka loses their review. The over yields four runs for Afghanistan.

     Runs: 234 | Wickets: 5 | Overs: 31

     Maheesh Pathirana continues, and Karim Janat takes on the first ball with a massive six. The delivery lands right in his hitting zone, and he clears his leg to send it sailing over the covers. The second ball is a slower delivery, and Karim clips it to deep square leg for a single. Hashmatullah Shahidi’s slice on the third ball finds the fielder at point, resulting in no run. Shahidi swings hard at the next delivery, miscuing it, but the ball lands in the gap between long on and mid-wicket, allowing him to take two runs.

      Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Runs: 238 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 32

     Dunith Wellalage comes into the attack for Sri Lanka. Karim Janat is caught at backward point, losing his wicket as the bat turns in his hands.

     Karim Janat c Karunaratne b Wellalage 22(13)

     Najibullah Zadran gets off the mark with a single. Hashmatullah Shahidi, who was well set, falls to a short delivery down the leg side, caught by the fine leg fielder.

     Hashmatullah Shahidi c Rajitha b Wellalage 59(66)

     Rashid Khan takes a single on the final delivery. Afghanistan has lost two wickets in the over.

     Runs: 247 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 33

     Maheesh Pathirana continues to keep the pressure on Afghanistan. Rashid Khan manages to hit a six off a well-placed delivery, but otherwise, Pathirana keeps the batsmen in check, allowing only singles and dot balls in the over. Afghanistan’s quest for victory remains challenging.

     Runs: 259 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 34

     Despite a close call and a few wides, Maheesh Theekshana manages to restrict Afghanistan to singles and a six.

     Afghanistan needs 45 runs to win from 25 deliveries to secure their spot in the Super 4 stage

     Runs: 265 | Wickets: 7 | Overs: 35

     Afghanistan is making a strong push in their chase, requiring 33 runs off 19 deliveries to secure their spot in the Super 4 stage. A brilliantly disguised slower bouncer from Pathirana on the final delivery, along with a well-placed boundary by Zadran, were key moments in the over.

     Runs: 277 | Wickets: 8 | Overs: 36

     In this crucial stage of the match, Afghanistan needs 27 runs off 13 deliveries to advance to the Super 4.

     The over saw a boundary from Rashid Khan, who cleared the cover boundary with a well-timed shot. Najibullah Zadran, who had been playing aggressively, was caught at deep square leg.

     Najibullah Zadran c Nissanka b Rajitha 23(15)

     Mujeeb Ur Rahman had a close call with a potential run-out. Afghanistan’s chase remains intense.

     Runs: 289 | Wickets: 8 | Overs: 37

     With 15 runs required off the last 7 deliveries to advance to the Super 4.

     Rashid Khan faced a thrilling over from Wellalage. It began with a dot ball yorker, followed by a swing and a miss. Rashid kept the excitement alive by pulling a back-of-a-length delivery to deep square for a crucial FOUR. He then powered another FOUR, this time over the covers.

     Now, the equation stands at 7 runs needed from the final 2 deliveries as Rashid managed to get an inside edge, sending the ball to the fine leg fence for a FOUR. The outcome of this match hangs in the balance with a nail-biting finish in sight.

  • Afghanistan needs three runs off the last ball to advance to the Super 4, a challenging task.

     AFG 289 ALL OUT in 37.4 overs

  • Dhananjaya de Silva takes a wicket as Mujeeb Ur Rahman is caught at long on.
  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman c Samarawickrama b Dhananjaya 0(3)
  • Fazalhaq Farooqi is caught leg before wicket, and Afghanistan reviews the decision unsuccessfully.
  • Fazalhaq Farooqi lbw b Dhananjaya 0(3)
  • Sri Lanka advances to the Super 4.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2923
Courtesy Sri Lanka Cricket Twitter

      Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023:

     Final Over Drama in Afghanistan’s Run Chase

     In the 38th over of Afghanistan’s run chase, here is what transpired:

  • Afghanistan needed three runs off the last ball to win.
  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman attempted a big shot but was caught at long on.
  • A six could have secured a place for Afghanistan, but it seems the players in the middle were unaware of this possibility.

     Sri Lanka Wins by 2 Runs

     Sri Lanka emerged victorious in a memorable game that swung back and forth throughout its duration. Afghanistan had a chance to win with three runs needed off the final delivery, but Mujeeb’s dismissal at long on sealed Sri Lanka’s victory. Despite notable performances from Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi’s record-breaking ODI fifty, and late fireworks from Rashid Khan and Najibullah Zadran, it wasn’t enough for Afghanistan to secure a win.

     SL Into The Super 4s

     Sri Lanka narrowly secured a place in the Super 4s, while Afghanistan’s valiant effort ended in heartbreak. Afghanistan faced an uphill battle to advance and came agonizingly close to a remarkable comeback. Their unwavering determination was evident even after 37.1 overs when they needed just one six from the next three deliveries. However, Fazalhaq Farooqi’s decision to block all three balls dashed their hopes. Rashid Khan, who had earlier denied a couple of singles in the 36th over, could only watch the excruciating turn of events from the non-striker’s end. Credit is due to Afghanistan for their remarkable performance in this match.

     Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi reflects on the loss and elimination:

     “We are very disappointed about the loss and elimination. We fought well, giving our 100%. I’m proud of the team for the way we played and batted. Over the last couple of years, we’ve shown good cricket in the ODI format. We are still learning a lot. There were many positives in this tournament. Although we fell short here, we will learn from our mistakes and strive to perform better in the World Cup. Our fans have always been supportive, and we are thankful to them. We did our best to give something back to them today, and we feel sorry for not meeting their expectations.”

     Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka reflects on the match:

     “It was a tough one, very hard to defend such a total. The wickets of DDS and my own were crucial moments in the game. Kusal Mendis and Asalanka built the innings really well. We had to fight hard, and credit to Theekshana and Wellalage for their brilliant performance to help us finish on 291. Kasun opened the door for us with his early wickets. Mohammad Nabi played an outstanding innings that nearly took the game away from us. In the end, we found a way to win.”

     Kusal Mendis, Player of the Match, on his performance:

     “We batted well in the first ten overs and then in the middle overs. I did my best today for my team. We were under pressure, but the bowlers did a great job. With four fielders outside the circle, it’s very hard to bowl. We did well in all three departments, and that’s why we won. Wellalage bowled really well; he got two wickets in an over. Matheesha also bowled well; he’s improving.”

FINAL SCORE:

SL 291/8 (50)

AFG 289 (37.4)

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