Zee Media Bureau
Over 38.4 || Score 124/10
With the required run-rate soaring at more than seven runs per over, Afghanistan slumped to their worst defeat of the tournament. The lower and the middle-order batsmen couldn't live up to the pressure and the Lankans had strengthened their grip over the match, the moment Mohammad Nabi was dismissed. Sri Lanka remain unbeaten in the tournament and have deservedly cruised to the finals.
Mirwais Ashraf c NLTC Perera b de Silva 1 (18b)
Dawlat Zadran b Mendis 0 (8b)
Hamza Hotak lbw b Mendis 1 (13m 14b )
Mohammad Nabi lbw b de Silva 37 (43b)
Najibullah Zadran c Mathews b NLTC Perera 11 (35b)
Over 30 || Score 110/5
Afghanistan scored 37 runs in the last ten overs and lost one wicket of Samiullah Shenwari. While they have managed to keep wickets in hand, the required run-rate is rapidly increasing as they now need 144 runs from 20 overs.
Samiullah Shenwari c Thirimanne b Lakmal 6 (19b)
Over 20 || Score 73/4
Sri Lanka have struck back by picking three wickets, including of set batsmen Stanikzai and Zadran in the last ten overs. Thisara Perera picked two of those wickets and Afghanistan are in some sort of trouble now.
Nawroz Mangal c Sangakkara b NLTC Perera 4 (13b)
Noor Ali Zadran c de Silva b Mendis 21 (41b)
Asghar Stanikzai b NLTC Perera 27 (34b)
Over 10 || Score 39/1
Sri Lanka got their first breakthrough when after smashing Lakmal for a fabulous six, opener Mohammad Shahzad was dismissed while trying to play another big stroke. The first wicket fell at 8 and since then, Asghar Stanikzai and Noor Ali Zadran have added unbeaten 31 runs for the second-wicket partnership.
Mohammad Shahzad b Lakmal 7 (7b)
Sri Lanka innings:
Over 50 || Score 253/6
Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perer failed to score big in the last seven overs as Sri Lanka managed to cross the 250-run mark. Afghanistan bowlers once again impressed with their line and length and it's time for their batsmen to show their mettle.
Angelo Mathews 45* (41b) Thisara Perera 19* (23b)
Over 43 || Score 195/6
Dawlat Zadran took his first wicket in the form of P Silva as Sri Lanka lost their sixth wicket. Silva was playing well but eventually got out after scoring seventeen runs off 16 balls. From here on Sri Lanka must be thinking of a score near 250, whereas, Afghanistan will try to restrict them within 220.
PC de Silva c Mirwais Ashraf b Dawlat Zadran 17 (16b)
Over 40 || Score 171/5
Afghanistan were right back in the game when Sri Lanka lost the wickets of Chandimal and Sangakkara in just four balls. While Chandimal was bowled by Hamza Hotak, Sangakkara was run-out while he attempted for a suicidal single which was never there. Angelo Mathews and Chaturanga de Silva are the two new batsmen at the crease and Afghanistan have a real chance of containing the Lankans for less than 250 with some good bowling.
KC Sangakkara run out 76 (102b)
LD Chandimal b Hamza Hotak 26 (41b)
Over 35 || Score 148/3
Kumar Sangakkara has once again come to the rescue of the Lankans and has been involved in an unbeaten 65-run partnership with Dinesh Chandimal. Afghanistan need to pick the wicket of Sanga as soon as possible, if they want to bundle the Lankans out for a paltry total.
Kumar Sangakkara 69* (95b) Dinesh Chandimal 24* (36b)
Over 25 || Score 95/3
Mahela Jayawardene poor form continues as he once again got out cheaply. Ashraf was the bowler on this occasion too. Chandimal is the next man in after the fall of third Sri Lankan wicket. Afghan bowlers are bowling impressively and still not giving much room to Lankan batsmen to free their arms.
Over 17 || Score 54/2
Kusal Perera who was playing a watchful innings lost his concentration and gave his wicket. Mirqaiz Ashraf got the better of Perera. The right-handed batsman tried to play a cut shot but got the thick inside edge and was played on. Perera got out after scoring 33 runs. After the fall of second Sri Lankan wicket, Mahela Jayawardene walked in to bat. Sri Lankan run rate is under 3.2 at the moment. Meanwhile, SL have crossed the mark of fifty runs in the 16th over.
Over 10 || Score 35/1
Afghanistan bowlers are still troubling the Sri Lankan batsmen. In the sixth over their speedster Shapoor Zadran once again gave his team the first breakthrough of the day in the form of H Thirimanne. After pitching at off stump line his ball nipped back in sharply and crashed into the stumps of the southpaw. Man in form Sangarakkara walked into the middle after the fall of first Lankan wicket.
Over 5 || Score 12/0
In the first five overs Afghanistan bowlers bowled at a tight line and hardy gave any room to Sri Lankan openers to free their arms. So once again a good start by Afghani bowlers. And if they keep up this pressure for some more time Sri Lankan batsmen might get frustrated.
Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat first. It means Sri Lanka want to set up a big total in front of the minnows Afghanistan to put them under pressure.
Indian players and fans will see this match very eagerly as they would want Afghanistan to win the match, so that their chances to reach the finals of the Asia Cup remain intact.
Sri Lanka have a good batting line up and their experienced player Kumar Sangakkara has been in good form. Apart from him, Lankan openers are also playing confident cricket. So here SL will look for a score somewhere near 320.
Mirpur: After beating Bangladesh for their first major win over a Test-playing nation, giantkillers Afghanistan would look to continue their flirtation with cricketing history when they take on leaders Sri Lanka in their Asia Cup cricket match, today.
Buoyed by their spirited effort of taming Bangladesh by 32 runs in their own den at Fatullah Saturday, the gutsy team from the strife-torn nation would be eyeing another major upset against Sri Lanka. The minnows would find it difficult to achieve further glory in the five-nation tournament against an increasingly stronger opponent Sri Lanka, who are sitting comfortably atop the points table with eight points after scoring back-to-back victories against Pakistan and India.
With two wins and a healthy runrate of +0.168, Sri Lanka have virtually assured themselves of a berth in the finals of Asia Cup, while Afghanistan`s hopes of further progress in the tournament would depend on the outcome of the match tomorrow. Afghanistan have four points from two matches with one win and a loss in their kitty. However, they don`t have anything to lose from this tournament as they are featuring in the Asia Cup for the first time in its history.