The Sri Lankan team managed to win by 2 runs against Afghanistan today (05) to qualify for the Super 4 round in the Asian Cup 2023 tournament.
Afghanistan had the opportunity to go to the Super 4 round if they won this match held in Lahore, Pakistan, and the Afghan team, which was close to that goal, lost to Sri Lanka by two runs in the last minute.
The Sri Lankan team, who batted first, scored 291 runs for the loss of 8 wickets at the end of the 50 overs, and Afghanistan had to score 292 runs in 37.1 overs to advance to the Super 4 round.
Kusal Mendis scored 92 runs off 84 balls and was the highest scorer in the Sri Lankan innings. Pathum Nishanka scored 41 runs, Dunith Wellalage scored 33 runs unbeaten, and Dimuth Karunaratne scored 32 runs to strengthen Sri Lanka’s innings.
Mohammad Nabi scored 65 runs in 32 balls, captain Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 59 runs in 66 balls and Rahmat Shah scored 45 runs in 40 balls. Rashid Khan did not give up the fight until the last moment and scored 27 runs in 16 balls.
At the end of the thirty-seventh over, Afghanistan was 3 runs away with two wickets, and the number of runs that should have been scored in one ball to go to the Super 4 round was 3. But Dhananjaya de Silva took the ball like a hunter and took Afghanistan’s 9th wicket, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, in the very first ball of the over.
However, Afghanistan had another chance to go to the Super 4 round and the goal is to score 295 runs at 37.4 overs. Had one six been hit in next three balls, Afghanistan would have gone into Super 4 with a win.
According to the international commentators, the Afghanistan batsmen were unaware of another such opportunity. Accordingly, in the 37th over, Fazalhaq Farooqi, who failed to score a run on the second and third balls, was caught in a an LBW in the fourth ball and was dismissed as the last wicket of the Afghan innings.
With more than 12 overs left to win the match, it is special that Afghanistan finished this match by limiting themselves to the goal of going to the Super 4 round.
Kasun Rajitha took 4 wickets while Dunith Vellalage and Dhananjaya de Silva took 2 wickets each.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka, who were champions last time, qualified for the Super 4 round along with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh today. Accordingly, Nepal and Afghanistan had to withdraw from the tournament in the first round.
Kusal Mendis won the Man of the Match award.
Sri Lanka 291/8 (50)
Afghanistan 289/10 (37.4)