Afghanistan knocked Sri Lanka out of the Asia Cup after a shock 91-run defeat in Abu Dhabi.
Afghanistan started off on the front foot after winning the toss and electing to bat first. They started strong, marching past the 100-run mark as Ihsanullah and Mohammad Shahzad contributed with 45 and 34 respectively before Akila Dananjaya struck twice. Three more runs were scored before Shehan Jayasuriya removed Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan for one.
Despite Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera’ 5-55, the Afghans managed to post a competitive 250-run total, leaving a chasable total. Rahmat Shat’s 72 off 90 balls (five fours) and Mohammad Nabi’s 37 off 52 balls (two fours) formed the bulk of the runs, as they were bowled out for 249.
Afghanistan’s bowling attack proved their lethality once again. Two run-outs and wickets from the usual suspects Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-32), Rashid Khan (2-26), Nabi (2-30) and Gulbadin Naib (2-29) saw Sri Lanka stranded at 144-7 halfway into the 36th over and then skittled for 158.
Upul Tharanga was Sri Lanka’s top scorer with 36 off 64 balls (three fours), followed by Perera with 28 off 36 balls (two fours) in a terrible batting performance for the hosts.
The win means Afghanistan are through to the Super Four stage along with Bangladesh.
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