Asia Cup 2022: First two overs changed match for us, says Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka
Asia Cup 2022: Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said that the first two overs of their batting transformed the entire game for them after their 8-wicket loss to Afghanistan in the opening game of the 2022 Asia Cup.
At the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday, Afghanistan, captained by Mohammad Nabi, defeated Sri Lanka in all three areas of the game to win by an eight-wicket margin. Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 40 runs, and Hazratullah Zazai scored 37*.
“First two overs changed the match for us. We lost three wickets in the first two overs and couldn’t recover from there. Dew was there a little bit but the target of 106 was not good enough,” said Shanaka in a post-match press conference.
The captain continued by praising Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who laid the team’s winning foundation.
“The way Zazai and Gurbaz played was amazing. They have played here a lot. This is their home condition. They are having a great chance,” said the Sri Lanka captain.
“We are playing a lot of cricket with the Bangladesh team that will play a major role for us. So, playing in BPL helps,” he added.
Afghanistan got off to a quick start in the game, scoring 83 runs without losing a wicket while chasing 106 as their openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
The pair smashed fours and sixes while pummeling Sri Lankan spinners all over the field. Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva’s dismissal of Gurbaz after he had amassed 40 runs in 18 deliveries ended the 83-run partnership.
Then Ibrahim Zadran joined the first player on the ice and fired some powerful shots. Zadran was run out by Maheesh Theekshana in the game’s tenth over. After making 5 runs off of 13 balls, he was ejected and returned to the pavilion.
Then Najibullah Zadran entered the crease to begin batting. In the Asia Cup encounter against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan scored 106 runs off just 10.1 overs, defeating Sri Lanka by an 8-wicket margin. Najibullah only bowled one over.
Prior to then, Sri Lanka lost its top five batters in the span of 10 overs, leaving the team in peril at 60/5. Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, and Charith Asalanka, the top three batsmen for Lanka, were cheaply eliminated.
Before Danushka Gunthilaka was out for 17 runs, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Danushka Gunthilaka shared 44 runs for the fourth wicket.
Rajapaksa scored 38 runs off of 29 pitches, playing a key knock. However, Mohammad Nabi chased him away.
Following Rajapaksa’s dismissal, the majority of the middle and lower order failed to score. And dismissed without a batter reaching double figures.
Only Chamika Karunaratne attempted to outperform the Afghan bowlers, scoring 31 runs in a critical innings to help his team reach the 100-run barrier. On a track that seemed favourable for a spin assault, Fazalhaq Farooqi claimed the final wicket to dismiss Sri Lanka for 105 in 19.4 overs.