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‘Thriller of the year’ – Fans react as Sri Lanka defeat Afghanistan by 2 runs in nail-biter and qualify for ‘Super 4’ of Asia Cup 2023

Kusal Mendis was adjusted the Player of the Match.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan (Image Source: Twitter)

On 5 September 2023, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan locked horns with each other in Lahore in the sixth game of the ongoing Asia Cup. The Lankans came with a win in their first game while the Afghans lost their first match against Bangladesh. But, still, with a huge win Afghanistan had a chance to qualify for the ‘Super 4’ stage.

Speaking of the match, Dasun Shanaka won the toss and opted to bat first. While batting first, they scored 291 runs for eight wickets in 50 overs. Kusal Mendis was the highest scorer with 92 runs off 84 balls. Both the openers Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne also played well along with Charith Asalanka.

Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan by 2 runs in the Asia Cup 2023

In the end, Dunith Wellage scored 33* runs off 39 balls, including three fours and one six. For Afghanistan, Gulbadin Naib was the star as he picked up four wickets for 60 runs in 10 overs. Along with him, Rashid Khan took two wickets while Mujeeb Ur Rahman grabbed one wicket. After that, Afghanistan were asked to chase down the target in 37.1 overs to qualify for the next stage and knock the Lankans out of the tournament. But, during the chase, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran failed cheaply. Then, Mohammad Nabi smashed 65 runs off 32 balls, including six fours and five sixes.

He also smashed the fastest fifty in the history of ODIs for Afghanistan off just 24 balls. Along with him, skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 59 runs and Rahmat Shah smashed 45 runs off 40 balls. Then, significant and quick contributions came from Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, and Rashid Khan. At one stage, they needed three runs off one ball to qualify with one wicket to spare. But, Fazalhaq Farooqi lost his wicket and they lost the match by two wickets. Thus, they got knocked out of the tournament and Sri Lanka qualified for the next stage along with India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Kusal Mendis won the Player of the Match award. 

Here is how fans have reacted: 

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