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Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Ball by Ball Commentary

03 Sep, 2022 19:30 (IST)

Result

Asia Cup, 2022- Match

Afghanistan

175/6

20.0 overs
vs

Sri Lanka

179/6

19.1 overs
Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 4 wickets

Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

That's a wrap to this game. Get ready for Super Sunday now as the mother of all battles - India versus Pakistan is coming your way again. The match will start at 7.30 pm IST (2 pm GMT) but you can join us in advance for the build-up. You can now switch tabs and enjoy all the action from the Men's Hundred final. Cheers!
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (84 off 45 balls) is declared the Player of the Match despite ending on the losing side. Says that he is disappointed with the result and feels that they were 25 runs short. Shares that he was trying to stay positive and play his natural game. Admits that they didn't finish their batting innings well and they can do better. Tells that in his busy schedule, he just tries to follow the process and adds that Jonathan Trott, the head coach, works very hard with them. Hopes to do well and take that momentum to the T20 World Cup.
Dasun Shanaka, the victorious skipper of Sri Lanka, says that there is belief in the dressing room and they believe that they can chase anything on these kinds of pitches. Adds that having a target in front is helpful and they also get a chance to look at the pitch behaviour. Mentions that his bowlers executed the plans very well. Feels that partnerships are important and they are now approaching it better as that's the key to winning matches.
Mohammad Nabi, the captain of Afghanistan, says that they were a few runs short and rues the missed chances on the field. Feels that they were not up to the mark with the ball as well. Mentions that it's a better pitch and that's why they feel they were 20-25 runs short. Adds that their bowling was not brilliant but it was decent and again talks about the dropped catches.
Stay tuned for the presentation...
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (31 off 14 balls) comes up for a quick word. Says that the wicket looked quite good when Afghanistan were batting and they just needed to be a bit cautious when the spinners bowled. Talks about his batting position and tells that in the Indian T20 League, he can bat at three, but to strengthen the middle order of Sri Lanka, he has been given the number five spot. Further says that his job is as a floater and he likes that. Tells that it's redemption for them and they have shown to the world that they are a good team.
Afghanistan weren't the same team on the field that outclassed Sri Lanka last time. They dropped two crucial catches, one of Danushka Gunathilaka and the other of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and also the likes of Rashid Khan and Fazalhaq Farooqi proved to be too expensive. Earlier also, with the bat, they were in a good position to get close to 200 but wasted the platform set by Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran. Only 43 runs in the last 6 overs in a way can be counted as one of the reasons for this defeat.
A well-planned chase from Sri Lanka. The start from their openers was perfect with Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka going on the attack in the Powerplay. Mendis, in particular, was very impressive with his stroke-making yet again. There was a moment when Afghanistan tried to stage a comeback by dismissing both the openers and grabbing a couple of more wickets in the middle phase. Danushka Gunathilaka's knock might get lost here but it was an important one to keep the scoring rate afloat and when the chase appeared to get tough, in walked Bhanuka Rajapaksa with a lot of intent and daredevilry. Sri Lanka required 57 off 35 balls at the time of his arrival and his cameo put the chase to bed. Wanindu Hasaranga also contributed towards the end as the 'virtual hosts' crossed the victory line with ease in the end.
A thumping win for Sri Lanka, and the Lions are back roaring! Revenge complete with this record chase at this ground, and the Lankans will be immensely pleased and relieved at the same time with the outcome of this game.
19.1 4

FOUR! Chamika Karunaratne hits the winning runs. A low full toss, outside off. Chamika Karunaratne lofts it over mid off for a boundary. Sri Lanka win by 4 wickets.

Score after 19 overs : 175/6

Runs Scored

7 Runs

W Hasaranga

16 (9)

C Karunaratne

1 (1)

Naveen

4-0-40-2

18.6 0

Another dot! One run needed off the last over! A slower ball, full and outside off, Wanindu Hasaranga drives it to covers and looks for a single but is sent back. The fielder has a shy at the bowler's end but misses. Wanindu Hasaranga would have been a goner.

18.5 0

Length ball, outside off. Wanindu Hasaranga cuts it straight to point.

18.4 1

A single! Full and outside off. Chamika Karunaratne drives it to extra cover. Rashid Khan makes a misfield and the batters decide to cross. Khan recovers and has a shy at the bowler's end but misses. That would have been touch and go.

Chamika Karunaratne walks in next. 2 needed more.
18.3 W 0

OUT! BOWLED! Bhanuka Rajapaksa goes but he has done the job! On a length, around off and it's the slower one. Bhanuka Rajapaksa tries to heave but is early into the shot and misses. The ball hits the stumps. Is it too little too late though?

18.2 2

Two runs! Too full and on middle. Bhanuka Rajapaksa drills it to wide long on and takes a couple of runs now.

18.1 4

FOUR! JUST FOUR RUNS NEEDED NOW! Sri Lanka are nearing the victory line! Pitched up, outside off. A bit of width and Bhanuka Rajapaksa smashes it through covers for a boundary.

Naveen-ul-Haq to bowl the 19th over.

Score after 18 overs : 168/5

Runs Scored

12 Runs

W Hasaranga

16 (7)

B Rajapaksa

25 (11)

F Farooqi

3-0-30-0

17.6 2

TWO MORE! Fuller ball, way outside off. Wanindu Hasaranga drives it in the gap, through point and gets an easy couple. 8 runs needed now.

17.5 4

FOUR! Just 10 needed now! Shorter and outside off. Wanindu Hasaranga swings his bat wildly and manages a top edge behind the keeper and to third man for a boundary. All the Sri Lankan players have made an impact!

17.4 0

Good delivery! A slower bouncer on middle. Wanindu Hasaranga gets on his knees as he tries to ramp it away but misses.

17.3 4

FOUR! 14 needed more! That is played really well! A widish yorker, outside off. Wanindu Hasaranga does well to open the face of the bat and guides it through point for four.

17.2 1

Slower short ball, outside off. Bhanuka Rajapaksa dabs it to short third man for a quick single.

17.1 1

On a length and on off, stays low. Wanindu Hasaranga works it through point for one.

Fazalhaq Farooqi to bowl his third over.

Score after 17 overs : 156/5

Runs Scored

11 Runs

W Hasaranga

5 (2)

B Rajapaksa

24 (10)

R Khan

4-0-39-1

16.6 1

A single as this is hit to mid-wicket. 11 from Rashid's last over. 20 needed off 3 overs.

16.5 4

FOUR! Shorter, around off, turning in. Wanindu Hasaranga uses the depth of the crease and cuts it through backward point for a boundary.

In walks Wanindu Hasaranga. 25 needed off 20 balls.
16.4 W 0

OUT! TIMBER! Rashid Khan gets the better of Danushka Gunathilaka! He wins the small battle! A huge moment in the game! Khan serves it slow, shorter and around off, it skids through. Danushka Gunathilaka looks to swing across the line but misses and the stumps are disturbed.

16.3 1

Shorter and on the pads, Bhanuka Rajapaksa mistimes his pull to short fine leg for a single.

16.2 1

Shorter and outside off, cut off the outside edge to short third man for a run.

16.1 4

FOUR! Innovative! Tossed up on middle, was the googly. Danushka Gunathilaka reverse-sweeps it well through backward point for a boundary. Things getting heated up there. Something is said by Danushka Gunathilaka to Rashid and the leggie reacts. Emotions running high. Bhanuka Rajapaksa acts as the peacemaker there.

Rashid Khan to bowl out.

Score after 16 overs : 145/4

Runs Scored

18 Runs

B Rajapaksa

23 (9)

D Gunathilaka

28 (17)

Naveen

3-0-33-1

15.6 2

DROPPED! Is that the match for Sri Lanka? You cannot drop Bhanuka Rajapaksa! This is full and outside off, slower one. Bhanuka Rajapaksa looks to loft but slices it straight to deep cover where the fielder, Samiullah Shinwari, drops a dolly. Two runs.

15.5 1

Smart from Danushka Gunathilaka! Just gives the strike to Bhanuka Rajapaksa! Slower ball, on middle, it is flicked to deep square leg for one.

15.4 1

Too full, outside off. Bhanuka Rajapaksa guides it to deep point for one.

15.3 6

SIX! Bhanuka Rajapaksa, you beauty! What an innings this is turning out to be! Fuller ball, on middle. Bhanuka Rajapaksa uses his feet as he comes down the track and launches it over long off for a biggie. 14 already off the over.

15.2 4

FOUR! Two in a row! Pitched up, outside off. Bhanuka Rajapaksa drives this time. He hits it hard through covers for four more.

15.1 4

FOUR! Bhanuka Rajapaksa is playing with intent! Length ball, outside off. Bhanuka Rajapaksa cuts it hard through point for a boundary. Perfect start to the over for Sri Lanka.

Naveen-ul-Haq (2-0-15-1) is back on.

Score after 15 overs : 127/4

Runs Scored

8 Runs

B Rajapaksa

6 (4)

D Gunathilaka

27 (16)

Ur Rahman

4-0-30-2

14.6 1

Full again, around leg, clipped to deep square leg for one. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is also done with his spell. 2 for 30 in his 4 overs.

14.5 4

FOUR! Shot! One thing you will always get with Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the middle is intensity. Quicker one, full and outside off at 110 kph, Bhanuka Rajapaksa drills it through extra cover and finds the gap for a boundary.

14.4 0

Fullish and on off, Bhanuka Rajapaksa pushes it to extra cover.

14.3 1

A low full toss on off, it's knocked down to long on for a run.

14.3 wd 1

Wide! Fires it down the leg side, Danushka Gunathilaka tries to slog but misses. A good stop by the keeper.

14.2 1

No hat-trick. Bhanuka steps down the track to a full ball and chips it over mid-wicket for a single.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa is the new man in.
14.1 W 0

OUT! IT'S A CLEAN CATCH! Mujeeb serves a full toss around middle, Shanaka stays back and tries to pump it over long on. He doesn't get enough distance behind his shot and Najibullah Zadran jumps near the fence to take the catch over his head. He then releases the ball as he steps out and then returns to claim the catch again. The third umpire is referred and after watching numerous replays, Dasun is given the marching orders. 57 needed off 35 balls and this game is going right down to the wire. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is on a hat-trick...

A catch is taken near the boundary line. Is it clean? The on-field umpires take it upstairs. The soft signal is out.
Change. Mujeeb Ur Rahman to bowl his final over.

Score after 14 overs : 119/3

Runs Scored

11 Runs

D Shanaka

10 (8)

D Gunathilaka

26 (15)

M Nabi

4-0-34-1

13.6 1

Fuller and around off, driven through covers for one. 11 from the over, Mohammad Nabi is done with his 4 overs - 1 for 34.

13.5 1

Fullish and on off, knocked down to long off for a run.

13.4 6

SIX! That's a towering biggie! Nabi darts it in short, around middle, Gunathilaka has enough time to get under it and towers it over square leg for a maximum. 59 needed off 38 balls.

13.3 1

Skidding in from a fuller length around off, Shanaka tucks it in front of square on the leg side for a single.

13.2 1

Nabi bowls it short and around middle, Danushka goes back and forces it to wide long off for one.

13.1 1

Fuller and around off, it's eased past the right side of the mid-wicket fielder for a single. 67 needed off 41 balls.

Score after 13 overs : 108/3

Runs Scored

7 Runs

D Gunathilaka

18 (12)

D Shanaka

7 (5)

R Khan

3-0-28-0

12.6 0

Flatter and on middle, Gunathilaka taps it down to short third man and looks for a run. He is sent back.

12.5 1

Shortish and on off, Shanaka works it through mid-wicket and picks up a single.

12.4 1

Quicker and around off, Danushka Gunathilaka steps back to slog over the leg side but inside-edges it towards short fine leg. They cross.

12.3 1

Fuller and on off, tickled behind square leg for one.

12.2 4

FOUR! This is a good reply from Dasun Shanaka. Loopy and full, around off, Shanaka goes down and across before nailing his sweep shot down to fine leg for a boundary.

12.1 0

Given lbw! A well-disguised googly from the magician. He lands it full and around off, turning in, Dasun Shanaka leans forward and across as he attempts to flick. He misses and is rapped on the front pad. They appeal and the finger goes up. The Lankan skipper takes the DRS and the Ball Tracking shows that the impact was outside off. DECISION OVERTURNED!

Score after 12 overs : 101/3

Runs Scored

14 Runs

D Gunathilaka

17 (10)

D Shanaka

1 (1)

M Nabi

3-0-23-1

11.6 4

DROPPED AND FOUR! Will this cost Afghanistan? Mohammad Nabi fires in yet another delivery, a touch short around off and skidding in, Danushka Gunathilaka tries to slog but gets a top edge towards fine leg where Karim Janat fails to grab it and gets hit on his chest. It ricochets and finds the fence.

11.5 2

Shortish and on off, punched to sweeper cover for a couple.

11.4 1

Risky single. Flighted and around off, Shanaka taps it down to the off side and sets off. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the keeper, rushes across to his right, collects the ball, turns but misses his shy at the striker's end. Direct hit and Danushka Gunathilaka would have been a goner.

Dasun Shanaka walks in at number 5.
11.3 W 0

OUT! Drags it on! Charith Asalanka's poor run continues... Smart bowling from the Afghan skipper. It's a seam-up delivery, darted in around off, Charith Asalanka goes down for the slog sweep but only manages to drag it off the inner edge. The ball cannons onto the stumps and Sri Lanka lose their third over. 82 needed off 51 balls.

11.2 1

Skidding in around middle, Gunathilaka works it past mid-wicket for a run.

11.1 6

SIX! High and handsome! Fuller and around middle, Danushka Gunathilaka steps back to give himself room and rockets it over extra cover for a biggie.

Score after 11 overs : 87/2

Runs Scored

5 Runs

D Gunathilaka

4 (6)

C Asalanka

8 (13)

R Khan

2-0-21-0

10.6 lb 1

Shout for an lbw, not given. Perhaps pitching outside leg. Khan fires it flat and around leg, Danushka Gunathilaka tries to heave but misses. It goes off his pads to the off side and they cross for a leg bye. The replays, later on, show three reds. Afghanistan missed a trick.

10.5 0

Swing and a miss! Flighted and full, outside off, Danushka Gunathilaka tries to play the slog sweep but misses.

10.4 1

Skidding straight on after landing around leg, Asalanka is lucky to have his bat down in time as he keeps it out off the outer edge. The ball goes to backward point and they cross.

10.3 0

Quicker and around off, defended back to the bowler.

10.2 1

Flatter and on middle, skidding off the surface, Danushka goes back and helps it through mid-wicket for a run.

10.1 2

Starts with a short ball around off, Danushka Gunathilaka goes on the back foot and slaps it to deep point for a brace.

Drinks break. This match is tightly poised at the moment. Sri Lanka appeared to be running away with the show but the removal of both the batters has brought this match in the balance. To start on this slowish surface is not easy and the 'virtual hosts' will have to rebuild. Afghanistan have done well to stage a comeback but they can't afford to be loose in the field. We're heading to a close finish. Rashid Khan is back on. His first over went for 17 runs.

Score after 10 overs : 82/2

Runs Scored

2 Runs

C Asalanka

7 (11)

D Gunathilaka

1 (2)

M Nabi

2-0-9-0

9.6 0

Make it three dots in a row! The wicket has just calmed things down! A loopy ball, full and outside off, Asalanka pushes it to covers. Sri Lanka are 82/2 at the halfway stage. They need 94 runs now to win.

9.5 0

Another dot! Tossed up, on middle. Asalanka works it to mid-wicket..

9.4 0

Dot ball! Nabi drops it short, quicker and outside off. Asalanka plays it back to Nabi.

9.3 1

Slants a full ball on the pads. Danushka Gunathilaka wrists it to deep square leg for a single.

9.2 0

Full and on middle. Blocked out.

9.1 1

Nabi serves it full and on middle, it is flicked to mid-wicket for a run.

Danushka Gunathilaka walks in next. 96 needed off 66 balls.

Score after 9 overs : 80/2

Runs Scored

9 Runs

P Nissanka

35 (28)

C Asalanka

6 (7)

Ur Rahman

3-0-22-1

8.6 W 0

OUT! EDGED AND GONE! The set batter goes and Afghanistan get back in the game! A carrom ball, shorter and outside off, there is extra bounce as well. Pathum Nissanka looks to cut but gets a faint outside edge and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the keeper, pouches a sharp catch.

8.5 0

This one spins back in, shorter and outside off. Nissanka hits it straight to point.

8.4 1

Flighted full on leg. Asalanka forces it to square leg for a single.

8.3 1

Full and outside off, it is driven through covers for one.

8.2 6

SIX! A welcome biggie for the Lankans! Fuller ball, outside off. Nissanka slog-sweeps and hits it cleanly over deep mid-wicket for a biggie.

8.1 1

Tossed up on off. Asalanka bunts it to deep mid-wicket for one.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back on. 0 for 13 in his 2 overs so far.

Score after 8 overs : 71/1

Runs Scored

7 Runs

C Asalanka

4 (5)

P Nissanka

28 (24)

M Nabi

1-0-7-0

7.6 1

A quicker delivery at 98 clicks, full and on leg. Asalanka works it to deep mid-wicket for a single.

7.5 1

Touch short, outside off. Nissanka cuts it to deep point for a single.

7.4 1

Outside off, it is guided to sweeper cover for a single.

7.3 1

Flatter ball, on middle, turning in. Nissanka turns it to deep square leg for one.

7.2 2

Tossed up, outside off. Nissanka punches it to the left of the man at deep point and gets a couple of runs easily.

7.1 1

Slants a full ball on the pads, it's flicked behind square leg for one.

Mohammad Nabi brings himself into the attack now with a left-hander in the middle.

Score after 7 overs : 64/1

Runs Scored

7 Runs

P Nissanka

24 (21)

C Asalanka

1 (2)

Naveen

2-0-15-1

6.6 0

On a length and angling around middle and leg. Nissanka looks to defend but gets an inside edge onto the pads. Naveen-ul-Haq appeals instinctively and then realizes there was bat.

6.5 1

This is full and outside off, Charith Asalanka pushes it through covers for a single.

6.5 wd 1

Wide! This is full and angling way outside off. Asalanka leaves it alone.

6.4 0

On a length and outside off. Asalanka chops it down and keeps it out on the off side.

Charith Asalanka is the new batter.
6.3 W 0

OUT! FINDS THE FIELDER! Afghanistan break the opening stand! Short in length and outside off, Kusal Mendis stands tall and pulls it cleanly but hits it flat and Ibrahim Zadran at deep mid-wicket holds onto the catch safely. Kusal Mendis will be delighted with this knock but he would have loved to carry on. Sri Lanka need 114 runs in 81 balls.

6.2 4

FOUR! Mendis continues to deal in boundaries! This is full and wide of off, width given and Mendis drives it on the up over covers for four more.

6.1 1

On middle, nudged to mid-wicket for one.

Score after 6 overs : 57/0

Runs Scored

17 Runs

K Mendis

32 (17)

P Nissanka

23 (19)

R Khan

1-0-17-0

5.6 6

SIX! Back-to-back sixes! What a way to finish the Powerplay! 17 runs off the over. A loopy ball, full and on leg. Mendis again slog-sweeps it behind square on the leg side for a six. Sri Lanka are 57/0 at the end of the sixth over! They need 119 runs in 84 balls.

5.5 6

SIX! What a shot! Khan drops the ball a bit short, around off. Mendis gets low and slog-sweeps it over deep mid-wicket for a biggie. The fielder there thought he had a chance but it was connected cleanly.

5.4 1

Tossed up, around middle and leg. Nissanka forces it to long on for a single.

5.3 1

Another single! Angling on the pads. Mendis helps it straight to short fine leg and takes a quick single.

5.2 1

Tossed up on middle, sliding in. Nissanka nudges it to deep square leg for one.

5.1 2

Rashid starts with a full ball, flighted on middle. Nissanka flicks it to mid-wicket with gentle hands and comes back for two. Good running.

Rashid Khan to bowl the final over of the Powerplay.

Score after 5 overs : 40/0

Runs Scored

9 Runs

P Nissanka

19 (16)

K Mendis

19 (14)

Naveen

1-0-8-0

4.6 1

Shortish and on off, Nissanka wrists it through square leg and keeps strike with a single.

4.5 1

Fraction short and around off, Kusal steers it towards the gap at point and Shinwari there dives to take the pace off the ball. Only a run.

4.4 4

FOUR! Put away! Too straight from Naveen-ul-Haq, Mendis uses the angle of the bowler and whips it past the diving short fine leg fielder for a boundary.

4.3 0

Slower one, a bit short and on off, Mendis drags his pull shot towards mid-wicket. Dot.

4.2 2

Slightly short and wide outside off, Kusal stays back and guides it through the gap between backward point and short third man. Fazalhaq Farooqi chases it down near the fence and they get two runs.

4.1 lb 1

Starts the spell with a short ball. Angling into the batter, Pathum Nissanka tries to pull but misses. It goes off his thigh pad to square leg and they take a leg bye.

Change. Naveen-ul-Haq is into the attack now.

Score after 4 overs : 31/0

Runs Scored

8 Runs

P Nissanka

18 (14)

K Mendis

12 (10)

Ur Rahman

2-0-13-0

3.6 1

Straighter in line, Nissanka stays back and clips it through square leg for a single.

3.5 0

Quicker and on off, Nissanka goes on the back foot and helps it to mid-wicket.

3.4 1

Skidding off the surface, around off, Kusal plays very late and keeps it out towards short third man for a sharp single.

3.3 0

Loopy and full, around off, it's driven to covers.

3.2 6

SIX! Well played! Tossed up, a touch short and around off, Kusal Mendis kneels down and powers it over mid-wicket for a maximum.

3.1 0

Flatter and quicker on off, pushed to point.

Score after 3 overs : 23/0

Runs Scored

9 Runs

P Nissanka

17 (12)

K Mendis

5 (6)

F Farooqi

2-0-18-0

2.6 4

FOUR! No half measures on this shot. Fuller and around off, slower in pace at 109 kph, Nissanka picks it early and heaves it over mid-wicket for a boundary. It has been a positive start for Sri Lanka.

2.5 4

FOUR! Off the edge! Another fortunate boundary for Sri Lanka. A 131 kph short delivery, around middle, Pathum Nissanka tries to pull but it takes the top edge and flies behind the keeper for a boundary.

2.4 0

Pace up, 139 clicks, hitting the yorker mark, Nissanka digs it out back towards the bowler.

2.3 0

Slower one at 108 kph, landing on a length around off, Nissanka defends it back from the crease.

2.2 0

Misses out! A juicy half-volley outside off, Pathum Nissanka cracks his drive through the line but finds the fielder at cover-point.

2.1 1

Digs it in short, around leg, Mendis pulls it through backward square leg for a single.

Score after 2 overs : 14/0

Runs Scored

5 Runs

P Nissanka

9 (7)

K Mendis

4 (5)

Ur Rahman

1-0-5-0

1.6 2

Around leg, it's clipped down to fine leg for two runs.

1.5 0

A touch short and outside off, some extra bounce, Nissanka tries to cut but misses.

1.4 1

Sharp single. Tossed up outside off, Mendis plays it with gentle hands to short third man and they cross for a quick run. The throw comes and the keeper breaks the stumps but Pathum Nissanka is safely in.

1.3 0

Loopy and full, around off, Kusal slices his drive to backward point.

1.2 1

Flatter and quicker on middle, Pathum Nissanka goes back and helps it through square leg for a single.

1.1 1

'Catch it'... is the shout! Full and floated, around off, it's chipped over mid on for a run.

Who will bowl from the other end? It is Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Score after 1 overs : 9/0

Runs Scored

9 Runs

P Nissanka

6 (4)

K Mendis

2 (2)

F Farooqi

1-0-9-0

0.6 0

Fuller and on off, Nissanka drives it down the track but fails to beat the diving mid on fielder.

0.5 1

Back of a length, around middle, Mendis helps it towards mid on for a run.

0.4 1

Angling away from the batter, Pathum pushes inside the line and edges it down to third man for one.

0.4 wd 1

Wide! Loose delivery, down the leg side, Pathum Nissanka leaves.

0.3 1

On the pads, nudged down to fine leg for one.

0.2 1

Much better! This is on a length and around off. Nissanka guides it to point for a single.

0.1 4

FOUR! A fortunate boundary for Sri Lanka to get off the mark! Farooqi angles a full ball, across, outside off. Nissanka looks to drive but gets an inside edge. It goes past the stumps and to fine leg for a boundary.

Against all odds, Afghanistan have punched above their weight and showed the progress they have made in the recent past. They no longer are mere pushovers. One of the two unbeaten teams of this edition, Afghanistan, have made an impact, but they cannot rest on their laurels. Sri Lanka are like a wounded lion, and a backlash could be on the cards. That said, the Lankans have massive improvements to make in both departments of their game. The last win would have lifted the confidence of the team and they will be targeting a strong start to the Super 4 stage at Afghanistan's cost. Stay tuned for more...

Welcome back, folks! Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis are the openers for Sri Lanka. They will be looking to collect as many runs as possible in the Powerplay when the ball is hard. It's going to be Fazalhaq Farooqi to bowl the first over...
... CHASE BEGINS ...
Right then, Sri Lanka need a record chase on this ground to start the Super 4 stage on a positive note. Can they do it? We will find out shortly.
Jonathan Trott, the head coach of Afghanistan, comes up for a chat. The Englishman says that he just told the players to adjust to the conditions. Feels it is a competitive total but they need to bowl well. He hopes to learn from their last game against Bangladesh. Adds that Sri Lanka are a dangerous team and Afghanistan will have to bowl well.
This pitch is not easy for a new batter coming in and that's why the set batters will have to finish the job. Sri Lanka will be pleased with their work in the last few overs and will look to take that confidence into their batting innings. For them, Dilshan Madushanka was impressive with the ball but all in all, they weren't too convincing early on.
It was a show of strength with the bat from Afghanistan in the first 14 overs. The start was bright and breezy from their openers and then Rahmanullah Gurbaz hit top gear. He got a reprieve on 8 when Danushka Gunathilaka took his catch in the deep but made contact with the fence, and Gurbaz made full use of that opportunity. His 93-run stand with Ibrahim Zadran was the chief highlight of the Afghan innings but losing both of them soon after the last five overs started, stifled Afghanistan's charge.
Excellent from Sri Lanka in the last six overs to pull things back. Afghanistan were going great guns and the platform was set but the last six overs went for only 43 runs, resulting in them falling shy of the 200-run mark which at one stage looked possible.

Score after 20 overs : 175/6

Runs Scored

9 Runs

R Khan

9 (7)

K Janat

0 (1)

A Fernando

4-0-34-1

19.6 W 1

OUT! RUN OUT! A wicket off the final delivery! Too full and outside off. Khan swings his bat and hits it to deep backward point. Pathum Nissanka runs in from deep and throws it to the keeper who removes the bails off. Rashid Khan was always running for two but loses his bat in the process and fails to reach his ground despite a dive. Just a single. Afghanistan finish with 175/6 on the board.

19.5 6

SIX! OFF THE MIDDLE! Short of a length and around off. Khan stays back and swings across. He connects cleanly and it goes all the way over deep mid-wicket for a biggie. Can he hit another one?

19.4 2

Run out appeal! Bouncer again, this time Khan connects but not off the middle. It rolls to mid-wicket and the batters take two runs. There is a run-out appeal at the striker's end but Khan is in, as shown in the replays after the decision was referred upstairs.

19.3 0

SWING AND A MISS AGAIN! This is excellent from Asitha Fernando! Rashid Khan just can't connect! Sharp bouncer again, outside off. Khan swings across and misses.

19.2 0

Another good bouncer from Fernando, Khan tries to pull it but misses.

19.1 0

Fernando bangs a bouncer, around middle, it stays low. Khan tries to sit but gets hit on the body. The ball deflects behind, he comes out of the crease for a run but there is confusion. The keeper misses his shy otherwise Khan would have been a goner.

Asitha Fernando to bowl the final over.

Score after 19 overs : 166/5

Runs Scored

3 Runs

K Janat

0 (1)

R Khan

0 (1)

M Theekshana

4-0-29-1

18.6 0

Short and outside off, cut to point. End of an incredible over.

Karim Janat is in next.
18.5 W 0

OUT! RUN OUT! Two in two for Sri Lanka! The set batter goes! Maheesh Theekshana serves a full toss, quicker and outside off. Rashid Khan drives it to extra cover and tries to steal a single but Wanindu Hasaranga is quick to the ball. He throws it to the keeper, Kusal Mendis, who whips the bails off in a flash. The replay shows Najibullah Zadran is short and he has to walk back.

Rashid Khan arrives with 8 balls left in the innings. Immediately, there is an appeal for a run out against Najibullah Zadran. He is gone. Massive blow to Afghanistan.
18.4 W 0

OUT! CAUGHT AND BOWLED! Sri Lanka strike again! This is a carrom ball, full and outside off. Nabi opens his body and tries to go downtown but hits off the toe end of the bat. The ball lobs back nicely for Maheesh Theekshana who takes it with ease.

18.3 lb 1

A muted appeal for LBW but the finger stays down! Maheesh Theekshana angles a full ball, quicker and going down leg. Najibullah Zadran misses his sweep and gets hit on the pads. It rolls to square leg for a leg bye.

18.2 1

A low full toss, angling on leg. Nabi sweeps it straight to deep square leg. Just a single.

18.1 1

On middle, worked to long on for one more.

Score after 18 overs : 163/3

Runs Scored

13 Runs

M Nabi

0 (2)

N Zadran

16 (8)

D Madushanka

4-0-37-2

17.6 0

No run! Short of a length and on middle. Nabi looks to pull but gets a top edge to the keeper who takes it and then misses his shy at the striker's end.

17.6 nb 1

A dot to end but the over goes for 12 runs! Ohh no, it is a no ball as Dilshan Madushanka has overstepped! Shorter and around off. Nabi miscues his pull onto his body and it rolls back on the deck. Free Hit coming up.

17.5 1

On the hips, it is pulled behind square leg for one.

17.4 4

FOUR! Another excellent shot from Najibullah! A low full toss this time, outside off. Najibullah looks to drive but slices it through point and it races away to the fence.

17.3 6

SIX! BANG! A full toss, around the waist height! Najibullah Zadran goes back in his crease and thumps it in front of square on the leg side for a biggie. That was very close to being a no ball. Dilshan Madushanka gets away with it.

Mohammad Nabi is in next.
17.2 W 0

OUT! TAKEN! The slower ball does the trick! This one is at 93 clicks, the back of the hand delivery. Fuller and outside off. Ibrahim Zadran shuffles across and tries to paddle it away but miscues and Asitha Fernando at short fine leg takes it with ease. Both the set batters are dismissed in the end overs.

17.1 1

On a length and outside off. Najibullah forces it to long on for a single. The third umpire is checking for a no ball and Dilshan Madushanka is fine.

Dilshan Madushanka is back on. 1 for 24 in his 3 overs so far.

Score after 17 overs : 150/2

Runs Scored

5 Runs

N Zadran

4 (4)

I Zadran

40 (37)

M Theekshana

3-0-27-0

16.6 1

Slants a full ball on middle. Najibullah eases it to cover for one more. 150 up! Sri Lanka have done well in the last couple of overs to keep things under control.

16.5 1

This is full and on middle. Ibrahim makes room and drives it through covers for one more.

16.4 1

Flatter ball on middle. Najibullah bunts it to deep square leg for a single.

16.3 1

A single as this is hit to long on.

16.2 0

SAFE! Flatter ball, quicker and around middle, Ibrahim swings across but only manages a bottom edge to the keeper. It goes on a bounce. Mendis collects and whips the bails off as he sees Ibrahim dragging his back leg. The replay shows the batter was in. He dragged his back leg but never lifted it.

Appeal for a stumping... Ibrahim Zadran is safe in the replays!
16.1 1

Angling on the pads, it is flicked to deep square leg for a single.

Score after 16 overs : 145/2

Runs Scored

7 Runs

I Zadran

38 (34)

N Zadran

1 (1)

A Fernando

3-0-25-1

15.6 4

FOUR! A lucky boundary. This is full and outside off. Ibrahim tries to play it through covers but gets a thick inside edge, past the keeper and to the fine leg fence.

15.5 1

A full toss, around off, Najibullah pushes it to point. Sloppy fielding allows the batters to cross.

15.4 1

A length ball, outside off. Ibrahim cuts it to sweeper cover for one.

Najibullah Zadran walks in next. He is the best option to have at this stage for Afghanistan.
15.3 W 0

OUT! TAKEN! Gurbaz goes! End of an excellent knock from Rahmanullah Gurbaz! A timely wicket for Sri Lanka! This is full and outside off, probably a slower ball. Gurbaz tries to heave it across but toe-ends his shot to deep mid-wicket. Wanindu Hasaranga takes the skier there. The 93-run stand has been broken and Sri Lanka will look to capitalize from here and limit the damage in the end overs.

15.2 1

Full again, outside off, it is driven to deep cover for a single.

15.1 0

Zadran tries to be innovative! This is full and way outside off. Zadran goes way across as he tries to scoop it over but misses.

Asitha Fernando returns to bowl at the backend.

Score after 15 overs : 138/1

Runs Scored

6 Runs

R Gurbaz

84 (44)

I Zadran

32 (30)

W Hasaranga

4-0-23-0

14.6 2

Turning down the leg side, Gurbaz moves back and knocks it down to long on. They pick up two runs. Brilliant.

14.5 1

Flatter and shorter again, close to off, Ibrahim Zadran goes back and cuts it at the last moment through point for a run.

14.4 1

Goes on the back foot to a short ball and cuts it through point for a single.

14.3 0

Stifled appeal for an lbw! Flighted and full, outside off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz goes down and across to sweep but misses. The impact is outside off.

14.2 1

Loopy and full, around off, Ibrahim gets on the front foot and drives it to long off for a run.

14.1 1

Flatter and around off, it's forced down to long on for a single.

Change. Wanindu Hasaranga is back for his final over.

Score after 14 overs : 132/1

Runs Scored

21 Runs

R Gurbaz

80 (40)

I Zadran

30 (28)

C Karunaratne

2-0-29-0

13.6 1

21 from the over, 37 in the last two. Afghanistan are motoring. Slower one, on a length and outside off, Gurbaz bunts it down to long on and looks for two. Gets only a run.

13.5 6

SIX! This is massive! Short in length and outside off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz camps on the back foot and muscles it down the ground. Clears long on with ease.

13.5 wd 5

FIVE WIDES! Bonus runs for the Afghans! Chamika Karunaratne sees the batter stepping back to make room and tries to follow him down the leg side. Ends up delivering it way too wide of the batter and the keeper for a boundary at fine leg.

13.4 1

A leg cutter outside off, Zadran waits and pushes it to covers. Maheesh Theekshana makes a sliding stop near the edge of the circle and the batters cross.

13.3 1

Another slower one, short and wide outside off, Gurbaz drags his attempted pull shot down to wide long on for one.

13.2 1

Slower delivery, a touch short and on middle, Zadran tucks it to deep mid-wicket and picks up a single.

13.1 6

SIX! Up and over, stand and deliver from Zadran. A length ball around off, angling in, Ibrahim Zadran clears his front leg and powers it over long on. The fielder jumps near the fence but it sails over his head.

Slight halt in play as Rahmanullah Gurbaz is getting some attention from the physio. Maybe cramps, it's very hot out there. Chamika Karunaratne is back on.

Score after 13 overs : 111/1

Runs Scored

16 Runs

R Gurbaz

72 (37)

I Zadran

22 (25)

D Shanaka

2-0-22-0

12.6 2

Top edge but safe! Shanaka digs it in short and outside off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz top-edges his attempted pull shot over mid-wicket. The ball falls safely and they get two runs. 16 from the over!

12.5 6

SIX! Rahmanullah Gurbaz has decided to hit the top gear again. He picks the slower one early, it's full and in the slot and Gurbaz sends it flying over extra cover for a biggie.

12.4 2

Aeria but safe! Shanaka bowls it short and around off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz gets across and swings it over square leg. It lands safely in the deep and they take two runs.

12.3 0

Mistimed! Full and around off, angling in, Gurbaz walks forward but mistimes his big shot back towards the bowler.

12.3 wd 1

Wide! Sprays it on a length but quite wide outside off at 128 kph, Gurbaz leaves.

12.2 4

FOUR! Edgy! A welcome boundary for Afghanistan. Shanaka serves it full and wide outside off at 103 kph, Rahmanullah Gurbaz throws his bat at it and gets a fat outside edge. It loops behind short third man for a boundary.

12.1 1

Angles in a length ball on middle, Ibrahim works it to deep mid-wicket for one. The 50-run stand comes up.

Score after 12 overs : 95/1

Runs Scored

6 Runs

I Zadran

21 (24)

R Gurbaz

58 (32)

D Madushanka

3-0-24-1

11.6 1

Fullish and on the pads, at 103 kph, Ibrahim clips it to deep mid-wicket and keeps strike with a single.

11.5 1

On a length and outside off, at 139 kph, it's eased through covers for a single.

11.4 0

Better this time. Change in pace. At 105 clicks, fuller in length and outside off, Gurbaz is deceived and swings his bat blindly at it.

11.4 wd 1

Wide! Dilshan sees the batter shuffling across the stumps and delivers a slower full delivery way down the leg side. Rahmanullah Gurbaz swings and misses.

11.3 1

Identical to the last delivery, this time at 139 kph, Zadran connects with his punch and sends it to sweeper cover for one.

11.2 0

Beaten this time! Pace up from Dilshan Madushanka. He clocks 138 kph and angles across a good-length ball, Ibrahim Zadran goes on the back foot to force it through the line but misses.

11.2 wd 1

Wide! Dilshan attempts a slower one but errs in line. He serves it down the leg side and the batter tries to flick but misses.

11.1 1

Back of a length around leg, Gurbaz helps it in front of square leg and rotates the strike.

Change. Dilshan Madushanka (2-0-18-1) is back on.

Score after 11 overs : 89/1

Runs Scored

6 Runs

I Zadran

19 (21)

R Gurbaz

56 (29)

D Shanaka

1-0-6-0

10.6 2

Fine running between the wickets. Shanaka serves it on a length and around off, Ibrahim Zadran turns it with gentle hands through square leg and returns for the second run.

10.5 1

Fuller and around off, it's driven to the right side of the extra cover fielder for a single.

10.4 0

Tries to be innovative but fails to middle his shot. Slower and fuller outside off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz attempts a predetermined slog-sweep but it takes the toe end of his bat and goes to covers. Dot.

10.3 1

Full this time, on the pads, Ibrahim eases it down to wide long on for a run.

10.2 1

Width there outside off, short in length, Gurbaz is early into the shot and mistimes it through covers for one.

10.1 1

Starts his spell with a length ball around off, Zadran stays back and steers it through point for a single.

DRINKS! It's been a wonderful start for Afghanistan! They will be happy with the score right now! Rahmanullah Gurbaz is playing a gem of an innings and will hope to continue. Sri Lanka on the other hand had their opportunities but will look for wickets now and keep Afghanistan under 150, if possible. An interesting passage of play awaits. Dasun Shanaka to bowl after the break...

Score after 10 overs : 83/1

Runs Scored

5 Runs

I Zadran

15 (18)

R Gurbaz

54 (26)

W Hasaranga

3-0-17-0

9.6 1

Fires it in, flat and short on middle, Ibrahim goes back and punches it down to long off for another single. At the halfway mark, Afghanistan are 83 for 1.

9.5 0

Quicker and on off, defended back to the bowler.

9.4 1

Flatter through the air, around off and turning in, Rahmanullah Gurbaz works it in front of square leg for one.

9.3 1

Gets on the front foot and pushes a full ball down to long off for a run.

9.2 1

Full and flighted, around off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz goes down and sweeps it off the inner edge to the left of deep square leg. One more run.

9.1 1

Mistimed! Flatter one, around off and turning in, Ibrahim Zadran goes back and mistimes his punch in the air. It though goes safely to long off, for a run.

Score after 9 overs : 78/1

Runs Scored

8 Runs

R Gurbaz

52 (24)

I Zadran

12 (14)

C Karunaratne

1-0-8-0

8.6 2

Chamika goes short again, around leg, this time Gurbaz perhaps gloves his attempted pull shot and it scoots towards fine leg. The fielder pulls it back near the fence and the batters take two.

8.5 0

Appeal for a caught behind, not given. Nothing from the keeper but Chamika Karunaratne is interested and convinces his skipper to take the DRS. Coming to the delivery - Karunaratne digs it in short, around off at 130 clicks, Rahmanullah Gurbaz stays back to pull but fails to middle his shot. It goes behind and the keeper collects it well. Time for the DRS - Nothing on the UltraEdge. Sri Lanka lose one review.

8.5 wd 1

Wide! Slower one goes wrong. This has been served down the leg side. Rahmanullah Gurbaz tries his best to get some bat behind it but misses.

8.4 1

Slower short ball, around off, Ibrahim Zadran pulls it to deep square leg and gets a single.

8.3 1

FIFTY FOR GURBAZ, off just 22 balls! Sliding down the leg side, on a length, Gurbaz walks across and helps it through square leg for a run. It has been a cracking knock from him so far. Can he make it a big one?

8.2 2

This time they get two. Short in length and around off, Gurbaz pulls but without much timing and it goes slowly to the deep mid-wicket region. They complete two with ease.

8.1 1

Angles in a full-length ball around off, Zadran closes the face of his bat and helps it to deep mid-wicket. Calls for two but gets only one run after a bit of hesitation.

Change. Chamika Karunaratne is into the attack.

Score after 8 overs : 70/1

Runs Scored

9 Runs

I Zadran

10 (12)

R Gurbaz

47 (20)

W Hasaranga

2-0-12-0

7.6 1

Short and around off, Zadran plays it to the left of the cover fielder and rushes to the other end. The fielder fails to pick the ball otherwise it could have been close.

7.5 0

Presses forward to a full ball and drives it to covers. Dot.

7.4 1

Spinning in sharply from around off, quicker and shorter, Gurbaz punches it down to long on for one.

7.3 6

SIX! Out of here! Wanindu Hasaranga decides to give some flight to his delivery but pays the price. It's full and around off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz goes down on one knee and smokes it over mid-wicket for a biggie.

7.2 0

A hint of away turn there as it lands short and outside off, the batter punches but finds the cover fielder.

7.1 1

A touch short and around off, staying a bit low, Zadran forces it from the back foot to long on for a run.

Score after 7 overs : 61/1

Runs Scored

12 Runs

I Zadran

8 (9)

R Gurbaz

40 (17)

D Madushanka

2-0-18-1

6.6 1

Fuller and around off, knocked down to long on for a run. End of a good over for Afghanistan, 12 from it.

6.5 4

FOUR! Superbly executed! A 140 kph delivery, short and around off, Ibrahim Zadran arches back and uses the pace of the bowler to ramp it down towards third man for a boundary.

6.4 1

Drop and run. Around off, on a length, Gurbaz plays it down with soft hands towards backward point and steals a single.

6.3 1

It's on a length and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran tries to loft it over covers but ends up slicing it in the air. It goes square of the wicket on the off side and they cross for a single.

6.2 1

Back of a length, on off, Gurbaz taps it down to third man and takes a single.

6.1 4

FOUR! Well played! Slower one, a touch short and around off, Rahmanullah Gurbaz opens the face of his bat at the last moment and guides it fine down to third man for a boundary.

Score after 6 overs : 49/1

Runs Scored

3 Runs

I Zadran

2 (6)

R Gurbaz

34 (14)

W Hasaranga

1-0-3-0

5.6 0

Play and a miss! Shortish and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran goes back to cut but misses. At the end of the Powerplay, Afghanistan are 49 for 1.

5.5 0

Hasaranga continues to bowl quicker through the air. Around off, it's played from the back foot to covers.

5.4 0

Quicker one, around off, Ibrahim goes back and forces it to covers. A good stop by the fielder inside the ring.

5.3 0

Loopy and full around off, Ibrahim defends it off his front foot to the off side.

5.2 2

Flatter and shorter, around off, Ibrahim Zadran goes deep inside the crease and punches it through covers for a couple.

5.1 1

Turning in from around off, shorter in length but not rising much, Rahmanullah Gurbaz goes back and tucks it to deep square leg for a run.

Wanindu Hasaranga to bowl the final over of the Powerplay.

Score after 5 overs : 46/1

Runs Scored

6 Runs

I Zadran

0 (1)

R Gurbaz

33 (13)

D Madushanka

1-0-6-1

4.6 0

A direct hit and Zadran was a goner! Length and outside off. Zadran pushes it to the left of point. Zadran wants a single but Gurbaz wasn't interested. The fielder has a shy at the striker's end but misses.

Ibrahim Zadran is the new batter.
4.5 W 0

OUT! TIMBER! Finally, Sri Lanka get the opening wicket! Dilshan Madushanka is pumped up! Another excellent delivery! Zazai was struggling a bit here! Dilshan Madushanka bangs it hard on the deck, this is around off. Zazai has a wild swing across the line but he misses. The ball hits the top of off.

4.4 1

Too full and around off, it is worked to mid on for a single.

4.3 4

FOUR! Bit of room and Gurbaz makes the most of it! This is outside off on a length. Gurbaz opens the face of the bat and guides it past short thrid man for four.

4.2 1

Again Zazai mistimes it! This is around middle. Zazai looks to flick but mistimes it to fine leg for a single.

4.1 0

Good bowling! Short in length and around off. Zazai hops as he tries to play on the leg side but gets an inside edge. The ball lobs over the stumps and goes to the right of the keeper.

Dilshan Madushanka to have a go now.

Score after 4 overs : 40/0

Runs Scored

14 Runs

H Zazai

12 (13)

R Gurbaz

28 (11)

A Fernando

2-0-18-0

3.6 1

Length and outside off. Zazai pushes with soft hands and gets a faint inside edge. It doesn't carry to the keeper and he makes a half-stop. A single.

3.5 0

Fuller ball, around off. Zazai pushes it to the right of the man at covers who makes a solid stop.

3.4 1

Length and outside off. Gurbaz taps it to covers for a run.

3.3 4

FOUR! Gurbaz will make the most of the life he has been given! On a length and outside off, a bit of width and Gurbaz cuts it through point for a boundary.

3.2 2

Two runs! Full and on middle, it is flicked past mid-wicket for two runs.

Play halted! Sri Lanka have some issue with the ball!
3.1 6

SIX! Bang! A length ball on the pads. Gurbaz gets across and whacks it behind square on the leg side for a huge biggie.

Score after 3 overs : 26/0

Runs Scored

15 Runs

R Gurbaz

15 (7)

H Zazai

11 (11)

M Theekshana

2-0-22-0

2.6 1

Full and on off, pushed through covers for a single.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz is just told to wait as the on-field umpire wants to get it checked by the third umpire. The replay shows Danushka Gunathilaka has touched the ropes. Gurbaz can continue batting...
2.5 6

SIX! Rahmanullah Gurbaz survives! This is full and outside off, turning a bit away. Gurbaz tries to go downtown over long off but his one hand comes off and the ball goes high and to Danushka Gunathilaka who takes a skier near the fence at long on. Okay, hold on! It's a six! Danushka Gunathilaka has just touched the ropes as the umpires get it checked upstairs! His back foot was in contact with the ropes. The replay confirms it and Rahmanullah Gurbaz gets a lifeline!

2.4 6

SIX! First of the innings! What a shot though! Gurbaz shows his power here! This is full and outside off. Gurbaz slog-sweeps it over deep mid-wicket for a biggie.

2.3 0

Flatter again, around leg. Gurbaz makes room and plays it back to the bowler.

2.2 1

Another single! Flatter, quicker and on middle, Zazai flicks it to deep square leg for a run.

2.1 1

Tossed up on middle, it is drilled down to long on for one.

Score after 2 overs : 11/0

Runs Scored

4 Runs

H Zazai

10 (10)

R Gurbaz

1 (2)

A Fernando

1-0-4-0

1.6 0

Excellent comeback from Asitha Fernando after going for four! Touch fuller, outside off, it is chopped to backward point.

1.5 0

Make it four dots now! Fernando hits the deck hard but the ball stays low after hitting the pitch. Zazai tries to play towards third man but misses.

1.4 0

Three dots now! Good bowling from Fernando! Short in length, angling across, outside off. Zazai swings across the line and misses.

1.3 0

On a length and just outside off. Zazai drops it to covers.

1.2 0

Pitched up, outside off, it is pushed to covers.

1.1 4

FOUR! Welcomes Asitha Fernando with a boundary! Afghanistan are playing with intent! Not off the middle though! A length ball, outside off. Zazai has a feel for it, he tries to push but gets an outside edge, past the keeper to third man for four.

Who will bowl from the other end? It is Asitha Fernando.

Score after 1 overs : 7/0

Runs Scored

7 Runs

R Gurbaz

1 (2)

H Zazai

6 (4)

M Theekshana

1-0-7-0

0.6 0

Tossed up, around off, drifts a bit in. Gurbaz stays back and defends.

0.5 1

Around off, fuller, it is eased down to long on for a single.

0.4 1

Tossed up, outside off, Gurbaz drives it to mid off and calls for a single. It was hit straight to the fielder but the batters were quick to make their ground.

0.3 1

Flatter ball, outside off. Zazai punches off the back foot to the left of point for a single.

0.2 4

FOUR! First boundary of the game! This is floated, full ball, outside off. Zazai lofts it high over covers for a boundary.

0.1 0

Theekshana starts with a shorter ball, around off, it skids through, Zazai inside-edges it towards short fine leg.

We are all set for the action to start. The players from both teams walk out to the middle for their respective national anthems. It will be Afghanistan's first followed by Sri Lanka's. All done with the pre-match formalities. It's time for cricket to do the talking. All set now. Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz are the openers for Afghanistan. Maheesh Theekshana to start with the ball.
The skipper of Afghanistan, Mohammad Nabi says that they would have bowled first as well,  but they will look forward to putting a good score on the board. Mentions that he is really happy with the way the bowlers have performed and hopefully they bowl well today as well. Adds that they had a good game against Bangladesh and they want to continue doing the same. Informs that they have one change - Azmatullah Omarzai misses out as he is sick and is replaced by Samiullah Shinwari.
Dasun Shanaka, the skipper of Sri Lanka says that they are going to bowl first, as they are good at chasing and so it's a good toss to win for them. Mentions that in the previous game the openers got them to a good start, and they had some good partnerships in the middle, which helped them control the game. Informs that they are playing with the same team.
Afghanistan (Playing XI) - Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (C), Samiullah Shinwari (In for Azmatullah Omarzai), Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Sri Lanka (Unchanged Playing XI) - Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (WK), Charith Asalanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.
TOSS - Sri Lanka have won the toss and they will BOWL first!
Against all odds, Afghanistan have punched above their weight and showed the progress they have made in the recent past. They no longer are mere pushovers. One of the two unbeaten teams of this edition, Afghanistan, have made an impact, but they cannot rest on their laurels. Sri Lanka are like a wounded lion, and a backlash could be on the cards. That said, the Lankans have massive improvements to make in both departments of their game. The last win would have lifted the confidence of the team and they will be targeting a strong start to the Super 4 stage at Afghanistan's cost. Stay tuned for more...

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