By defeating Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Pune, Afghanistan caused yet another upset at the Cricket World Cup and won consecutive games for the very first time in their history at the tournament. With four and a half overs left on the clock, Afghanistan cruised to 242-3 thanks to an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 111 between captain Hashmatullah Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai.
Today, we have another action-packed story at the Cricket World Cup! Don’t forget to check the best online cricket betting sites in India, as well as the latest World Cup odds and offers while you’re at it.
Quick Recap: Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka
Afghanistan’s opening batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz went out to the fourth ball of Sri Lanka’s first over, bowled by Dilshan Madushanka, putting his team in a precarious position at 0-1.
Despite the best efforts of the Sri Lankan bowlers, they were unable to break the stand of 72 runs between Rahmat Shah and Ibrahim Zadran. After Afghanistan won the toss and elected to field, Sri Lanka got off to a good start, losing just one wicket in the powerplay when Dimuth Karunaratne was caught lbw by Fazalhaq Farooqi.
The Tigers were bowled out for 241 with three balls remaining in the last over as Afghanistan’s bowlers took wickets at regular intervals.
Afghanistan Remain Impressive
Afghanistan has already sparked two massive upsets in this tournament by defeating England and Pakistan. Now they’ve done the unthinkable by beating the defending champs from 1996.
Kusal Mendis was bowled by Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-38) when he slog-swiped to deep midwicket but hit a fielder. The Sri Lankan captain has been out using his signature shot four times in as many matches.
Sri Lanka were 230-8 after 49 overs, with pace bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi being the pick of the bowlers with a four-fer after he had Charith Asalanka (22) caught at mid-off and a blistering yorker that slammed into the middle stump of Maheesh Theekshana (29).
Struggling Against Underdogs
Sri Lanka’s captain Kusal Mendis (39) and Pathum Nissanka (46) put up 62 runs for the third wicket, but their opener was caught behind for just 48 after feathering a through ball to replacement wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
In the second over, Afghanistan’s regular wicketkeeper, Ikram Alikhil, was forced to leave the field with a finger injury when a throw at the stumps nicked the tip of his gloves. Sri Lanka’s next wicket came in the 17th over when Ibrahim Zadran dug out a bouncer to deep third, but Dimuth Karunaratne caught it. Sri Lanka had previously bowled out Gurbaz for a duck with the fourth delivery.
A cross seamer from Kasun Rajitha caught a leading edge from Rahmat as he passed fifty, and Karunaratne took another catch at mid-on.
Player of the Match: Fazalhaq Farooqi
The left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi took 4 for 34 as Afghanistan restricted Sri Lanka to a below-par 241. His ODI numbers were the finest of his career, while Afghanistan’s World Cup numbers were second best of all time. Farooqi was Afghanistan’s main seamer heading into the event. However, he only managed to take two wickets while allowing 6.32 runs per over in the first four games.
Afghanistan’s finest bowler on the day was left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmad, who replaced Farooqi. He took the wickets of Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan.
Score: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
|Sri Lanka||241/10||49.3 overs|
|Afghanistan won by 7 wickets|
Afghanistan needed another 111 runs to win, but their skipper Hashmatullah and Azmatullah finished off the run chase in fine fashion, bringing their team to another victory. With six points, Afghanistan has moved into fifth place, while Sri Lanka has dropped to sixth with four. The semi-finals will consist of the top four teams.
On Tuesday, Pakistan and Bangladesh meet in Kolkata at the Cricket World Cup, with both teams needing a win to strengthen their dwindling top-four ambitions. Since starting the competition with wins over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan has lost four consecutive matches, to India, Australia, Pakistan, and South Africa.Bangladesh, meanwhile, is in last place after losing five consecutive games after starting with a victory (over Afghanistan). The Tigers’ chances of making the semi-finals are little to none if they lose to Pakistan. Check out the best online cricket betting sites India now to bet on your favorite teams before it’s too late!