Sri Lanka kicked out Afghanistan from the Asia Cup after a nail-biting contest on Tuesday at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, to enter the Super-4 stage.
Afghanistan needed to chase down the target in 37.1 overs or less in order to qualify for Super 4.
Afghan batters couldn’t achieve the target and were dismissed for 289 runs in 37.4 overs while chasing a target of 291 runs.
It was a major miscalculation by the Afghan side as their team had got to 295 in 37.4 overs.
Afghanistan could have still qualified for Super-4 but it emerges that last man Fazalhaq Farooqi was unaware of the fact that as he defended three balls in the 38th over, while also getting dismissed on the third one, rather than giving the strike to Rashid Khan, who had scored 27 off 16, on the other end.
If Farooqi had taken a single and Rashid hit 6 on next ball then there was a chance. But they didn’t even know this scenario.
It was tough luck for Afghanistan that all-rounder Mohammad Nabi’s brilliant knock of 65 runs in 32 balls, with the help of six fours and five sixes went in vein.
Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi with his 59 runs in 66 balls superted Nabi from the other end.
While batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka set a target of 292 runs in the crucial Group B clash.
Sri Lanka finished on 291-8 in 50 overs.
Sri Lanka got off to a solid start with Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne scoring 63 runs in 10.2 overs.
However, both failed to kick on after getting a start and were dismissed for 41 and 32 runs, respectively.
For Sri Lanka, Kusal Mendis was the top run-scorer with 92 runs in 84 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes. But hee was unfortunate to miss out on a well-deserved hundred after he was run-out at the bowler’s end.
Charith Asalanka scored 36 runs in 43 balls.
Dunith Wellalage (33 not out) and Maheesh Theekshana (28) added 64 runs in 63 balls for the eighth wicket to provide impetus at the backend of the innings.
Afghan Seamer Gulbadin Naib claimed 4-60 in 10 overs, meanwhile Rashid Khan bagged figures of 2-63.