Asia Cup, 2022 |Super Four - Match 1 |9/3/2022 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.
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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.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Chamika Karunaratne, 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.
END OF OVER 19 | 7 Runs & 1 Wkt | SL 175/6
Naveen-ul-Haq to Wanindu Hasaranga, 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.
Naveen-ul-Haq to Wanindu Hasaranga, Length ball, outside off. Wanindu Hasaranga cuts it straight to point.
Naveen-ul-Haq to Chamika Karunaratne, 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.
Naveen-ul-Haq to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 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?
Naveen-ul-Haq to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Two runs! Too full and on middle. Bhanuka Rajapaksa drills it to wide long on and takes a couple of runs now.
Naveen-ul-Haq to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 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.
END OF OVER 18 | 12 Runs & 0 Wkt | SL 168/5
Naveen-ul-Haq to bowl the 19th over.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Wanindu Hasaranga, 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.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Wanindu Hasaranga, 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!
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Wanindu Hasaranga, Good delivery! A slower bouncer on middle. Wanindu Hasaranga gets on his knees as he tries to ramp it away but misses.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Wanindu Hasaranga, 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.
Fazalhaq Farooqi to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Slower short ball, outside off. Bhanuka Rajapaksa dabs it to short third man for a quick single.