The Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka result was covered with drama as Sri Lanka edged ahead by two runs in a close, nail-biting finish in the last league game of the 2023 Asia Cup.
It was a thrilling finish to the league stage of the Asia Cup 2023 with the Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka result going down the wire. Afghanistan put up a terrific batting effort but in the end, the lack of full details with regards to the Net Run Rate cost them dearly, taking away from them a Super Four qualification.
Sri Lanka, batting first, posted 291 on the board and Afghanistan needed to chase down 292 runs in 37.1 overs if they wanted to finish with a better NRR than Sri Lanka. Bangladesh had already qualified for the Super Four, and the battle for the last place was between Sri Lank and Afghanistan.
However, Afghanistan got bowled out for 289 runs in 37.4 overs despite a stunning batting display, falling painstakingly short by a short margin.
Kasun Rajitha took four wickets for Sri Lanka to break the back of Afghanistan’s batting.
Earlier, Sri Lanka opted to bat first after winning the toss and looked set to post a big total courtesy of a 92-run knock from Kusal Mendis. They collapsed from 188/3 to 227/7 in the space of seven overs but were rescued by the duo of Dunith Wellalage and Maheesh Theekshana, who took them to 291 runs in their 50 overs with a 64-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
Gulbadin Naib was the star for Afghanistan with the ball returning with figures of 4/60 in 10 overs.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka result: Sri Lanka win by 2 runs
This win has taken Sri Lanka to the Super Fours round in the Asia Cup 2023 while Afghanistan have been eliminated. Had Afghanistan reached 295 runs in 37.4 overs, they would’ve qualified to knock Sri Lanka out. But they didn’t seem to know the equation and seemed to have given up after not being able to chase 292 in 37.1 overs.
Afghanistan started off shakily and were 27-2 but a blinder by Mohammad Nabi, who made a quick 65 got them back. Afghanistan needed three in one ball to qualify, but Mujeeb ur Rahman was dismissed, and Afghanistan thought the match was over for them.
But, they seemed to be unaware of the complex NRR possibility which calculated that a six by 38.1 overs could still see them through. Fazalhaq Farooqi defended the next two balls that he faced instead of going for a big hit and was eventually out to end a spirited chase by Afghanistan, two runs short of the target.
- Kusal Mendis missed out on a century but he scored a valuable 92 off 84 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes.
- Sri Lanka recovered from collapse twice. Once they were 86/3 and then they collapsed from being 188/4 to 227/7.
- Wellalage and Theekshana added 64 runs for 8th wicket to take Sri Lanka to 291/8 in 50 overs.
- Afghanistan looked down and out at one stage reeling at 121/4 in the 19th over of the innings.
- Mohammad Nabi smashed a 24-ball fifty, the fastest for Afghanistan before getting out on 65 off 32 balls with 6 fours and five sixes to his name.
- After Rajitha, Dhananjaya de Silva played a crucial role with the ball picking 2/12 in 1.4 overs.
Man of the Match | Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka result
Kusal Mendis was the star of the match and eventually was the difference between the two teams.
Coming out to bat at three, he helped Sri Lanka recover from 86/3 and stitched a crucial partnership of 102 runs with Charith Asalanka. He also scored runs at a great pace keeping the opposition on the tenterhooks all the time.
On the contrary, none of Afghanistan’s top four batters could hang around despite Naib and Rahmat Shah getting starts. Mendis was clearly the match-winner for Sri Lanka that helped them qualify for Super Fours.