Afghanistan lost to Sri Lanka by six wickets, out of the race for the last four

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by six wickets with nine balls to spare in the Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup here on Tuesday, thanks to a brilliant performance by the bowlers led by spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and a half-century from Dhananjay de Silva. While Sri Lanka kept their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive with this win, Afghanistan were knocked out of the race for the last four. Afghanistan got off to a good start after winning the toss and batting first but after that they lost wickets at regular intervals. In the end, his team could only manage 144 runs for eight wickets.

For him, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 28 and Usman Ghani scored 27 runs. For Sri Lanka, Hasaranga took three for 13 in four overs while fast bowler Lahiru Kumara took two wickets for 30 runs in four overs. After this, Dhananjaya finished Sri Lanka’s innings and played a fascinating innings of 66 not out off 42 balls. With this, Sri Lanka registered an easy victory by scoring 148 for four in 18.3 overs. Chasing a relatively small target, Sri Lanka did not start well. Pathum Nisanka (10) in Mujeeb ur Rahman (2 for 24) was soon shown the pavilion. Fazlhaq Farooqui (no wicket for 22 runs) maiden the next over and tightened the screws.

However, Kusal Mendis (25) hit two consecutive fours in the next over as Sri Lanka scored 28 for one in the powerplay. Rashid Khan (2 for 31) dismissed Mendis in his first over. However, 14 runs came off this star spinner in the next over which included a four and a six from Dhananjay. Dhananjay also hit a six in the next over of Mohammad Nabi. Dhananjaya stitched a 54-run stand with Charit Aslanka (19) and 42-run partnership with Bhanuka Rajapaksa (18) to lead Sri Lanka to victory. Earlier the ball was swinging in the first two overs of the match but after that the Sri Lankan bowlers could not control their length in the power play overs.

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Gurbaz meanwhile adopted an aggressive attitude. The wicket-keeper batsman hit a six on Kasun Rajita and continued his stormy stance as Afghanistan scored 42 runs in six overs of the power play. However, Kumara gave Sri Lanka their first breakthrough soon after the power play. Gurbaz looked in position to play a big innings but Kumara took the ball between his bat and pad and bowled him. After this the spinners took charge and curbed the run-rate.

Ghani meanwhile hit Kumara for a six at long off. He then gave a catch to deep midwicket in an attempt to hit Hasaranga for a six. Kumara then took his second wicket in the form of Ibrahim Zadran (22). Captain Mohammad Nabi (13) also could not last long. Sri Lanka’s fielding was not good but despite this, Afghanistan could only manage 40 runs in the last 30 balls and in the meantime they lost five wickets.

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