In Lahore, during a crucial match in the Asia Cup at Gaddafi Stadium, the Afghan cricket team came close to victory but fell short of their target of 292 runs. The event witnessed a standout performance by Kaushal Mendes, who contributed 92 runs to his team’s cause.
In this contest, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat. Ronaratne scored 32 runs, while Dimoth Pathum Nissan added 41 runs to the total. Gulbadin Naib claimed three wickets for Afghanistan, including the dismissals of Sudhir Asmar and Karma. Asalanka (36) partnered with Kaushal Mendes to build a crucial 102-run stand before falling victim to Rashid Khan. Mujibur Rahman sent Dhanan Jaya de Silva (14) back to the pavilion, and Kaushal Mendes was unfortunately run out by Rashid Khan after scoring 92. Gulbuddin Naib also took Mahesh Thi Kushana’s wicket (28), and Danth Vela Legge remained unbeaten on 33. Sri Lanka concluded their innings with 291 runs for the loss of 8 wickets, with Gulbuddin Naib claiming 4 wickets and Rashid Khan taking 2.
Afghanistan needed to reach the target in 37.1 overs to advance to the Super 4 stage but faced early setbacks as three wickets fell within the first 50 runs. Gulbadin Naib (22) was dismissed by Math Ya Pa Thir Anna, and Rehmat Shah (45) fell to Rajbitha. Mohammad Nabi provided some hope with a blistering 65 runs off just 32 balls but was eventually dismissed by Mahesh Thi Kushana. Kareem Jannat (22) became a victim of Danthwela League, and Afghanistan found itself at 234 runs.
Hashmatullah Shahidi’s resilient innings of 59 ended when Dunth Vela Legye took his wicket. With 45 runs needed off 25 balls to qualify for the next round, Najeebullah Zadran (23) was dismissed by Kasan Raj Bethany, and Rashid Khan attempted to salvage the situation by hitting two fours in the 36th over. However, Mujibur Rahman (0) was dismissed by Dhanan Jaya de Silva, and Fazal Haq Fariqi’s lbw dismissal sealed Afghanistan’s fate. They were all out for 289 runs in 37.4 overs, with Rashid Khan remaining not out on 27. Kasan Rajbetha took 4 wickets, while Dunth Vela Legge and Dhanan Jaya de Silva each claimed 2 wickets.
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