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CWC 2023, AFG vs SL: Afghanistan record third win, climb up to 5th position

CWC 2023, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka: Mujeeb ur Rahman's 2-38, FazalHaq Farooqi's 4-34 and Rahmat Shah's 62 are top performances. Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka and climb to 5th position.

CWC 2023, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka:  Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka and move to 5th place in points table | Walking Wicket (Images: ©ACBofficials/Twitter
Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka and move to 5th place in table (Images: ©ACBofficials/Twitter

Brief Scores: AFG 242/3 (Shah 62, Omarzai 73, Madushanka 3/48) beat SL 241 (Nissanka 46, Farooqi 4/34) by 7 wickets.


Player of the Match: Fazalhaq Farooqi (4/34).

For the second time in a row, Afghanistan have displayed a masterclass in chasing down targets. It happened against Pakistan a few days ago, and they repeated the feat against Sri Lanka on 30th October at Pune.


In their head-to-head encounters, Sri Lanka holds a 7-3 advantage over Afghanistan.

Talking point: Afghanistan's maturity with the ball and chasing

Afghanistan had a dominant day, excelling with the ball and their batting performance. They began by restricting their opponents to a score shy of 241 runs, showcasing their strong bowling effort. In the chase, their batters demonstrated maturity by following a textbook ODI approach, starting cautiously and finishing strongly. This systematic approach created a positive outcome for their team and strengthened them.


Disciplined Afghanistan almost rule Sri Lanka in the semi-final race

Afghanistan delivered an impressive performance, limiting Sri Lanka to 241 runs on a fairly benign pitch. The toss had both teams getting their preferred choice, with Afghanistan opting to bowl and Sri Lanka electing to bat first. Fazalhaq Farooqi made an early breakthrough by dismissing Dimuth Karunaratne. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis added stability to the innings with a 62-run partnership, although they played cautiously.


During the middle overs, Hasmatullah Shahidi utilized spinners effectively, maintaining pressure on the run rate. This tactic worked well, as the steady Mujeeb Ur Rehman claimed the key wickets of Mendis and Samarawickrama, triggering a Sri Lankan collapse from 134/2 to 185/7. Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana's partnership helped Sri Lanka cross the 240-run mark. However, Afghanistan would be content with their bowling effort.


In Afghanistan's innings of 242/3 in 45.2 overs, Rahmanullah Gurbaz departed without scoring. Ibrahim Zadran put on a notable 39, but it was Rahmat Shah who anchored the innings with a solid 62, ensuring a steady scoring rate. Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi remained unbeaten at 58, while Azmatullah Omarzai also stayed not out, contributing 73. With the help of valuable partnerships, they reached the total with 28 balls to spare. Thus, Afghanistan won the game by 7 wickets.

Let’s glance at the top three performances from the game between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in CWC 2023.

CWC 2023, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka_ Fazalhaq Farooqi gets player of the match for his 4-34 against Sri Lanka _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©ACBofficials_Twitter
Farooqi gets player of the match for his 4-34 (Images: ©ACBofficials/Twitter
Fazalhaq Farooqi's four-wicket haul disrupts Sri Lankan Batting Order

Dimuth Karunaratne fell first victim to Fazalhaq Farooqi's LBW appeal. The ball swung towards the leg stump as Karunaratne missed a flick. Replay confirmed no bat contact, and ball-tracking displayed all three reds as the ball struck leg stump. It was a successful review of Afghanistan, which made Karunaratne depart.

In the 38th over, Charith Asalanka's demise to Farooqi exposed Sri Lanka's vulnerability. Attempting an ill-timed pull, he mistimed the ball, sending it high off the cue end. Rashid Khan accepted the straightforward catch at mid-off, further denting Sri Lanka's situation. Afghanistan continued to make steady progress, while Sri Lanka faced mounting pressure.

With trapping two more victims, Theeksana and Mathews, Farooqi claimed his four wickets, conceding 34 runs at an economy of 3.40.


Mujeeb’s 2 wickets complimented Farooqi's created mayhem

When a bowler claims four wickets at one end, they only want a partner at the opposite end to deliver. For Farooqi, that companion turned out to be Mujeeb Ur Rahman.


Kusal Mendis was removed after a well-composed inning by Mujeeb. His attempted slog sweep went awry, resulting in a top edge. Subfielder Najibullah made no mistake at deep mid-wicket and took a crucial catch for Afghanistan.


Mujeeb struck again on the 29th, sending Samarawickrama back to the pavilion. The batter, caught leg before wicket, opted for a review, but it was a clear decision with three reds on ball-tracking, hitting the middle of the leg stump. Afghanistan's Mujeeb continued to make an impact.


Thus, Mujeeb ended his 10-over spell, picking up two wickets at an economy of 3.80 and conceding 38 runs in total.


CWC 2023, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka_ Rahmat Shah scored 62 against Sri Lanka _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©ACBofficials_Twitter
Rahmat Shah scored 62 against Sri Lanka (Images: ©ACBofficials/Twitter)
Rahmat Shah’s 62 runs facilitated Afghanistan’s Chase

After losing Rahmanullah Gurbaaz in the first over, Rahmat Shah came to the crease and stood strong on one end, anchoring the innings for Afghanistan.


In the third over, Shah played a delightful shot as he elegantly flicked a full, straight delivery from Rajitha. The ball raced past the diving fielder at short mid-wicket, showcasing exquisite timing and pure class. Rahmat welcomed Mathews with a stylish boundary. Mathews delivered a slightly back of a length ball outside off, angling away. Rahmat seized the opportunity and elegantly punched it wide of cover, displaying excellent timing once again.


With his measured batting, Shah eliminated Afghanistan's vulnerable period during the chase. He secured his team by scoring 62 runs off 74 balls at a strike rate of 83.78. His innings featured seven boundaries before Rajitha dismissed him.

Statistical Highlights from the Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka game
  • Rashid Khan becomes the fourth Afghanistan player to feature in 100 ODI games.

  • Fazalhaq Farooqi’s 4/34 is the second-best bowling figure for Afghanistan in ODI World Cup.

  • Rashid Khan has now taken Dhananjay De Silva’s wicket twice in ODIs, allowing him to score 13 runs off 25 balls at a strike rate of 52.0.

  • Shahidi becomes the sixth Afghanistan batter to reach 2000 ODI runs.

  • 111* was the second-highest 4th wicket stand for Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka in ODIs.

  • Sri Lanka becomes the team to have lost the most number of matches in the ODI World Cup.

  • Azmatullah Omarzai’s 73 becomes the highest score from number 5 or below for Afghanistan in World Cups.


ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Points Table
ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Points Table
Points Table after Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka game
Points Table Scenario & What’s to Come

With this win against Sri Lanka, Afghanistan now has gone to the 5th spot, keeping their faint rays of hope for semifinal qualification still alive. They now have six points to their name at a net run rate of -0.718.


On October 31, Pakistan will be in action against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, from 2:00 PM onwards.


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