A massive 91 run defeat to Afghanistan saw the end of Sri Lanka in this year’s Asia Cup at Abu Dhabi last evening.
In the match against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka suffered a 137 run defeat but none of their mistakes were rectified coming into yesterday’s do or die game. A couple of crucial catches were put down and direct hits were blown from close range.
However, miscommunication while running between the wickets resulted in two ridiculous runouts, sending Dhananjaya De Silva and Shehan Jayasuriya back to the dugout.
Afghanistan decided to bat first after winning a crucial toss and they were cautious in the first quarter of the innings. Sri Lanka did their basics but lacked enthusiasm on the field. The opportunities that came their way were somewhat tough but catchable.
A solid partnership between Rahmat Shah and Ihsanullah helped Afghanistan set a stable platform early in the innings. Shan went on to make 72, Ihsanullah was dismissed 5 runs short of his fifty.
A bit of brilliance from Thisara late in the innings restricted Afghanistan to 249. Thisara Perera picked 5 for 55 in 9 overs for Sri Lanka.
Mujeeb had Kusal Mendis out for a duck but a cautious partnership between Dhananjaya De Silva and Upul Tharanga got Sri Lanka back in the hunt. A silly runout had De Silva back in the hut just when the batsman looked comfortable in either end. The rest of the batsman failed to contribute and the lions were all out for 158 in 41 overs.
Rahmat Shah was adjudged player of the match.
“Even in the first game, we got all out for 150-odd. Congratulations to Afghanistan, they outplayed us. We got a good start but once again lost our way in the middle overs. The bowlers did well, the fielding had also improved from the last match. It’s just the batting unit that let us down. We played better cricket in the latter part of the South Africa series. Just disappointing to see the way the boys went about it. We just couldn’t handle pressure. Not passing 150 on both occasions is very shocking and disappointing,” said losing captain Angelo Mathews at the post-match presentation.
Sri Lanka’s next assignment is against England and the 1st ODI is scheduled to start on the 10th of October 2018.
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