Kusal Mendis‘ fiery begin and a key lower-order knock by Bhanuka Rajapaksa powered Sri Lanka to a four-wicket win over Afghanistan of their Asia Cup Super 4 contest on Saturday. Set 176 for victory, Sri Lanka leaned on an attacking 62-run opening stand between Pathum Nissanka (35) and Mendis (36) to realize their goal with 5 balls to spare at Sharjah. Afghanistan’s bowlers bought common wickets to dent Sri Lanka’s middle-order however Rajapaksa’s 31 off 14 balls and a quickfire 16 not out from Wanindu Hasaranga helped them obtain the best chase on the desert venue.
Earlier, Rahmanullah Gurbaz smashed 84 to information Afghanistan to 175-6, a complete that would have been larger had Sri Lankan bowlers not harm the Afghans with late strikes.
Gurbaz’s effort got here in useless after he placed on a key second-wicket stand of 93 with Ibrahim Zadran, who made 40, after Afghanistan have been made to bat first.
Afghanistan, who had crushed Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to maneuver into the Super Four stage, managed simply 37 runs within the final 5 overs and misplaced 5 wickets.
Dilshan Madushanka, a left-arm fast, took two wickets whereas fellow quick bowler Asitha Fernando and spinner Maheesh Theekshana claimed one every.
In reply, Sri Lankan openers Nissanka and Mendis began strongly within the powerplay.
Nissanka attacked the bowlers with a couple of boundaries after which Mendis took over, smashing leg-spinner Rashid Khan for 2 sixes to carry up his staff’s fifty.
Fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq broke by take away Mendis after the batsman’s 19-ball blitz.
Nissanka tried to maintain up the cost however fell to spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman with Gurbaz taking a pointy catch.
Danushka Gunathilaka made 33 to maintain the chase on observe regardless of the lack of Charith Asalanka and skipper Dasun Shanaka on the different finish.
He discovered firm within the type of Rajapaksa, who smashed Naveen for 2 fours and one six in an 18-run sixteenth over to carry down the asking fee.
Rashid bowled Gunathilaka however new man Hasaranga hit three boundaries to take Sri Lanka close to their goal.
Rajapaksa was out within the nineteenth over earlier than Chamika Karunaratne hit the profitable boundary.
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