The much awaited and anticipated cricket carnival of Asia got under way on Saturday, August 27th. Afghanistan dominated Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Asia Cup 2022, winning by 8 wickets.
Earlier in the day Afghanistan Captain Mohmmad Nabi won the toss and elected to bowl first at the Dubai International stadium. Nabi is aware of the fact that batting first at Dubai in a evening game is tough.
The match was a special one for Afghanistan as they were playing their 100th T20 international match.
Dasun Shanaka during the toss time said that he would have bowled first as well. Six batters, two all-rounders and three genuine bowlers. We’ve got two new faces – Dilshan Madushanka and Matheesha Pathirana are making their debuts.
SL vs AFG Highlights : 1st Innings
Fazalhaq Farooqi struck in the very first over for Afghanistan as he dismissed Kusal Mendis for 2 runs. Initially the umpire favored the batsman and adjudged the Afghani players LBW appeal as not out. Afghanistan took the review and the ball was clearly hitting the stumps and the umpire over turned the decision as OUT.
The very next ball he dismissed Sri Lanka’s inform batsman Charith Aslanka the very first ball trapping him Leg before. Aslanka gone for Duck the very first ball. Sri Lanka 2/2 at the end of first over.
Naveen Ul Haq was into the attack and dismissed Pathum Nissanka as Nissanka edged one to Gurbaz. Sri Lanka 5/3 by the end of 2nd over.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Danushka Gunathilaka rebuilt the Lankan innings after early adding 36 runs in the powerplay. Sri Lanka at the end of powerplay were 41/3.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman broke the 44 run stand between Rajapaksa and Gunathilaka by dismissing Gunathilaka as he failed to clear the fielder in the deep.
Sri Lanka were reduced to 70/8 at the 13 over mark. Afghanistan Captain Mohmmad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman picked up two wickets each during 6th and 13th over phase.
Chamika Karunaratne walked out to bat at number 8 scored useful 31 runs at the backend of the Sri Lanka innings as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 105 runs in the 20th over.
SL VS AFG Highlights : 2nd Innings
After a solid performance with the ball the Afghani batters walked out with a very little pressure. The Afghani openers started off aggressively. The debutant for Sri Lanka Dilshan Madushanka bowled an over full of extra’s giving away 11 runs in the very first over.
Rahman Ullah Gurbaz smashed Matheesha Pathirana scoring 4.6.4 of three consecutive balls as Afghanistan were off to a great start in the powerplay.
The Sri Lankan bowlers had no answers to the brut batting that was on display by both the Afghani openers.
The duo of Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 83 runs in the powerplay. The total is the highest totals in powerplays for Afghanistan.
Wanindu Hasranga finally dismissed Gurbaz leg before wicket. Gurbaz scored a quick fire knock of 40 runs in 18 balls smashing 3 fours and 4 sixes.
Ibrahim Zadran was then run out by Mahesh Theekshana for 15 runs. Afghanistan won the match in 10.2 overs. Hazratullah Zazai scored 37 runs in 28 balls to take his team to victory in Asia Cup 2022 1st match.
Fazalhaq Farooqi was awarded the MAN OF THE MATCH in the first match of Asia Cup 2022 for his 3 wicket haul
Mohmmad Nabi: The boys played really well, especially the fast bowlers. When we decided to bowl first, they used the pitch so well. We were just discussing to hit the right lines, and if we get a bit of swing it will be of use for us. We have a lot of confidence after such a game, hopefully we can do well next game as well.
Dasun Shanaka: There are two ways to think about the toss, it would have been a bit easier if we were bowling first with two youngsters playing for the first time. There was too much grass, there wasn’t too much in it for the spinners but still our world-class spinners should have done better. I think in T20 cricket anything can happen, we can bounce back in the next game.
Watch Match Highlights of Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan on Hotstar