Asia Cup: Afghanistan make flying start beating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in opener
Afghanistan made a flying start in the Asia Cup outplaying five times champions Sri Lanka by eight wickets with 59 balls remaining in the opening match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in UAE on Saturday. After dismissing Islanders Sri Lanka cheaply for 105 runs in 19.4 overs in T20 format, Afghanistan easily reached their target scoring 106 runs for loss of two wickets in 10.1 overs.Replying to Lankan poor total, Afghanistan made a flying start scoring 85 runs in 6.1 overs in the opening stand, before the departure of opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who quick-fired 40 runs off 18 balls, featuring three fours and four sixesAnother opener Hazaratullah Zazai contributed an unbeaten 28-ball 37 runs hitting five fours and one six, one down Ibrahim Zardan scored 13-ball 15 runs with the help of two boundaries while number four Najibullah Zardan remained not out on run a ball 2. Read: Asia Cup 2022: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, Group B Match 1 previewHasaranga De Silva took one wicket conceding 19 runs in three overs. Sent in to bat first earlier, Sri Lanka faced initial batting collapse losing three wickets ---Kusal Mendis (2), Charith Asalanka (0) and Pathum Nissanka (3)-- for just five runs in two overs. Later, number four Danushka Gunathilaka pairing with Bhanuka Rajapaksa tried their best to repair their early damage, contributing 44 runs in the 4th wicket stand. Number five batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored the team highest 38 runs of just 29 balls hitting five fours and one six while two down Danushka Gunathilaka made run a ball 17 featuring three boundaries. After the dismissal of four wickets for 49 runs in 7.2 overs, no Sri Lankan middle order and lower order batters were able to reach the double figure score, except number eight batter Chamika Karunaratne, who scored 31 runs off 38 balls with three fours and one six.Fazalhaq Farooqi was the most successful Afghan bowler grabbing three wickets for just 11 runs in his 3.4 over spell and was adjudged the man of the match.Besides, Afghan captain Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman grabbed two wickets each while Naveen Ul Haq took one wicket.