Afghanistan annihilates Lanka by eight wickets

Left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/11) rattled the top-order before spinners Mohammad Nabi (2/14) and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman stifled the Lankans in the middle overs.
Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz celebrates with Mohammad Nabi after a Sri Lankan wicket.
Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz celebrates with Mohammad Nabi after a Sri Lankan wicket.

DUBAI: Afghanistan produced a dominating all-round display to thrash a below-par Sri Lanka by eight wickets and start its Asia Cup campaign on a resounding note here on Saturday.

Opting to bowl, Afghanistan first produced a sensational bowling effort to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 105 in 19.4 overs.

This was the first time Afghanistan bowled out a team without Rashid Khan (4-0-12-0) taking a wicket which underlined its show as a collective bowling unit.

Left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/11) rattled the top-order before spinners Mohammad Nabi (2/14) and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman stifled the Lankans in the middle overs.

In reply, Afghanistan cantered home in just 10.1 overs to register a big win in its milestone 100th T20 International.

Young wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave Afghanistan a fiery start, smashing an 18-ball 40, while Hazratullah Zazai took the team over the line with an unbeaten 37 off 28 balls (5x4s, 1x6).

The win also gave a big push to Afghanistan’s net run-rate (5.176) as it climbed to the top spot in Group B to brighten its Super 4 chances.

Group B also features Bangladesh, which takes on Afghanistan at Sharjah on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Rahmanullah, who overturned an lbw decision after being given out for nought, was all class as he toyed with the Lankan bowling attack.

BRIEF SCORES: Sri Lanka 105 in 19.4 overs (F Farooqi 3/11) lost to Afghanistan 106/2 in 10.1 overs (R Gurbaz 40)

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