Afghanistan were understood as one of the weak contestants of Asia Cup 2022, but they have given a shut-up call all around there with terrific match-winning performances against Sri Lanka. The Asia Cup 2022 opener took place today at Dubai International Stadium between the two teams, and Mohammad Nabi’s men took control in all departs.
They initiated with top-class bowling, removing Sri Lanka’s top order. FazalHaq Farooqi removed Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka, respectively, and Naveen ul Haq assisted with the third wicket, removing opener Pathum Nissanka. Sri Lanka were 5/3, but Danushka Gunathilaka managed to drag them till 49.
Unfortunately, the fourth man, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, ended SL’s batting stint as the top-scorer but became Farooqi’s prey on 38 runs coming from 29 balls. Chamika Karunaratne was another man to be removed by Farooqi on 31, the second-best batter from his side.
Sri Lanka were all out on 105, spearing two balls, handing over Afghanistan an underdog target of 106 runs. It was not only Nabi’s bowlers who rocked but also the batters shocked the watchers with their terrific approach.
Hazratullah Zazai and Rehmanullah Gurbaz put a solid start with blowy batting, smashing boundaries everywhere. Opener Zazai contributed with 37 runs coming from 28 balls, whereas, Gurbaz’s 40 off 18 almost finished the game for them. Next, 17 runs from two Zadrans helped Afghanistan clutch a deadly win, to be at the top of points table for Group B.
Nabi’s men’s new approach is an open threat to other teams and a warning not to take them lightly in upcoming matches. They will tackle Bangladesh on August 30th. They have built chances to be in the Super 4 round, where they will be competing with Group A’s teams, who will qualify for the Super 4 round.
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