Ambitious Afghanistan Keeps Itself In The Playoff Race

Ambitious Afghanistan Keeps Itself In The Playoff Race

It was a spectacular yet disciplined performance by Afghanistan on Monday at the MCA Stadium, in the City of Peshwas, Pune. The Afghans first restricted Sri Lanka to an achievable score of 241 runs and then the Afghan batting lineup chased it beautifully with clinical excellence. 

The day commenced with the Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi winning the toss and opting to field first. This gave the Lankan Lions an opportunity to put up a score, coming all charged up after their spectacular win over the English.

It was a rather disappointing batting performance by skipper Kusal Mendis’ men. All of the top seven batters got into double figures but failed to convert those into half-centuries. The team crawled to reach 241 runs(all out). Notable performances included opener Pathum Nissanka(46 in 60b), captain Kusal Mendis(39 in 50b) and number four batter Sadeera Samarawickrama(36 in 40b). Afghanistan’s southpaw pacer, Fazalhaq Farooqi(10-1-34-4) troubled the batters throughout and ended with a 4-wicket haul.

In the second innings, Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz went for a duck in the first over. But Ibrahim Zadran(39 in 57b) and Rahmat Shah(62 in 74b) stood their ground to stabilize the innings. But Zadran fell in the 17th over. Lankan left-armed pacer, Dilshan Madushanka(9-0-48-2) had the only notable bowling performance, dismissing the two Afghani openers.

The in-form, Rahmat Shah scored yet another half-century, before being caught on Kasun Rajitha’s bowling(10-0-48-1). After this, the Afghan skipper Hasmatullah Shahidi(58 in 74b, n.o) and Azmatullah Omarzai(73 in 63b, n.o) put up an unbroken stand of 111 runs to draw the curtains on the game and the Lankan playoff hopes with style. 

Afghanistan won comfortably by seven wickets with 28 balls to spare. Fazalhaq Farooqi was named the Player-of-the-Match for his four-wicket haul.

It seems that Afghanistan’s decision to rope in former Indian cricketer, Ajay Jadeja as a mentor has worked wonders for them. They have won 3 out of the 6 matches they have played and are currently placed 5th on the points table. They are hot on the heels of 4th-placed Australia.

Here’s the latest look at the points table after Monday’s match:
TeamMatchesWonLost Points
South Africa65110
New Zealand6428
Sri Lanka6244

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.