Sri Lanka got knocked out of the Asia Cup competition after two back to back defeats. Looking at their current form, the fans can only heave a sigh of relief that Sri Lanka did not have to play the World cup qualifiers. Group B has Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka incorporated in it. The latter was humbled by massive defeats by the other two teams in the recent turn of events.
September 15 vs Bangladesh, Dubai International Stadium- Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs.
September 17 vs Afghanistan, Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Afghnanistan beat Sri Lanka by 91 runs.
After Bangladesh enforced a huge defeat on Sri Lanka in the opening match of Asia Cup, it was Afghanistan who demolished them. Group B will have its last match on September 20 wherein Afghanistan and Bangladesh will play for the top spot.
Afghanistan 249 (Rahmat 72, Ihsanullah 45, Thisara 5-55) beat Sri Lanka158 (Tharanga 36, Rashid 2-26, Naib 2-29) by 91 runs.
Thisara Perera’s five-for was outdone by a collective and timely contribution by the Afghanistan bowlers. The spinner trio exploited all the turn the pitch had to offer as usual. Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi and also right-arm seamer Gulbadin Naib took two wickets each. All four of these bowlers conceded less than four an over. No wonder they could defend their 249 and how gracefully!
After Bangladesh’s comfortable victory with a margin of 137 runs over Sri Lanka, the probability of Afghanistan defeating the Lankans was not even considered as a potential upset.
Record- Last five ODI matches(Latest first)
Sri Lanka: L, W, W, L, L
Afghanistan: W, L, W, W, W
The above record shows the latest performances of both teams before the clash between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan took place on Monday. Sri Lanka’s ODI performance in the last two years discerns how it’s been their worst format. Three days into the Asia Cup, the Lankans were knocked out of the competition. Although none of the Lankan bowlers produced a match-winning performance it was the batsmen who failed miserably. Sri Lanka’s batting was so weak across both matches that it’s fair to say that there’s not much that the bowlers could’ve done. Even in Thisara Perera’s five-wicket haul, three wickets were obtained in the last over of the innings. So the impact of it was the least possible and Angelo Matthews’ team returned home empty-handed. Afghanistan’s right-handed batsman Rahmat Shah was awarded the Man of the match for his 90-ball 72. Quite evidently, this year’s Asia Cup has been witness to low scoring games turning out into absolute success. Perhaps, the balance in bat-ball can be maintained throughout the entire tournament.