- Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 4 wickets
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 84 after Afghanistan were put in to bat first
- Earlier in Group B, Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets
Sri Lanka, on Saturday, September 3, defeated Afghanistan by four wickets in the Asia Cup Four match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Earlier, in a Group B match, Sri Lanka lost to the Afghans by eight wickets, but the Islanders managed to make amends.
After being put in to bat first, Afghanistan rode on Rahmanullah’Gurbaz’s brilliant knock and posted 175 for the loss of six wickets in their 20 overs.
Hazratullah Zazai scored 13 off 16, but he was involved in a crucial 46-run stand with Gurbaz in 4.5 overs. Dilshan Madushanka drew first blood after getting rid of Zazai. After Zazai perished, Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran joined hands in the middle.
Gurbaz was in no mood to go into his shell as he raced away to the joint second-fastest fifty by an Afghan batter in T20Is off 22 balls. Ibrahim, at the other end, put his head down and lent Gurbaz the required support.
The duo put on 93 runs for the second wicket and put the Afghans in a position of command. Gurbaz went on to score 84 runs off 45 balls with four fours and six sixes. However, after he got out, the Afghans were unable to step on the gas and give the innings a finishing kick.
Ibrahim got out on 40 and gave Madushanka his second wicket. Najibullah Zadran played a handy 10-ball knock of 17 before getting run out at the non-striker’s end.
Sri Lanka never looked like falling behind the 8-ball. Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka put on 62 runs for the opening wicket off 6.3 overs to take the Sri Lankans off to a flying start.
Once both were dismissed in the mid-30s, it seemed that the Afghans were clawing their way back into the game. However, Danushka Gunathilaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 33 and 31 respectively to make Sri Lanka firm favourites.
In the end, Chamika Karunaratne played the winning shot and took his team over the line with five balls to spare.