Afghanistan dished out an impressive bowling display to bundle out Sri Lanka for a below-par 105 in a Group B Asia Cup match here on Saturday. Left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/11) did the damage at the top before the spin duo of Mujeeb-ur Rahman (2/24), Mohammad Nabi (2/14) ruled the roost in the middle overs to skittle out the Lankans in 19.4 overs after Afghanistan chose to bowl.
This was the first time Afghanistan bowled out a team without Rashid Khan (4-0-12-0) taking a wicket which underlined their show as a collective bowling unit.
Nevertheless, the wily Rashid was at his tidy best, bowling at crucial junctures to stifle Sri Lanka’s recovery.
The only respite for the Islanders came from Bhanuka Rajapaksa who led their recovery with a stroke-filled 29-ball 38 (5x4s, 1×6). But two clumsy run-outs in two balls exposed the Lankans inexperience in the middle.
First it was Nabi who came up with a direct throw to end Rajapaksa’s brilliant counter-attacking knock and then another mad running saw the dismissal of Maheesh Theekshana in the very next ball to leave Sri Lanka tottering at 69/8.
They were in danger of getting all out inside 15 overs after Nabi reduced them to 75 for 9. Chamika Karunaratne showed the rearguard action with a 38-ball 31 (3×4, 1×6) to take them past 100.
Sri Lanka had a horrendous start as they slumped to 5/3 inside two overs with Farooqi inflicting a double blow in consecutive deliveries in the opening over.
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