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T20 World Cup 2022, Gr 1, SL v AFG: Hasaranga 3-fer, Dhananjaya 66* keep Lankan hopes alive

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan: Wanindu Hasaranga's 3-13, Dhananjaya de Silva's 1-9 & 66 and Rashid Khan's 2-31 are top performances as Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets. Sri Lanka move to third place in Group 1 points table.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan: Wanindu Hasaranga's 3-13 helps Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan in Super 12s game | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC via Getty Images)
Hasaranga gets POTM for his 3-13 helps against Afghanistan (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 148/4 (De Silva 66*, Mendis 25, Mujeeb 2/24) beat Afghanistan 144/8 (Gurbaz 28, Ghani 27, Hasaranga 3/13) by six wickets

Player of the Match: Wanindu Hasaranga (3/13)

Unlucky Afghanistan who after an opening defeat against England faced two back-to-back washouts due to rain. took on Sri Lanka, who after an opening victory against Ireland lost successive games against Australia and New Zealand. The 11th Group 1 game of the Super 12 stage of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 was held at the Gabba in Brisbane.

In their three face-offs in this format, Sri Lanka have tasted two victories while Afghanistan have won just one game.

All-round Sri Lanka thrash sleeping Afghanistan

Sri Lanka bowlers, after a bad start, came back strong in the game as their spinners made life difficult for Afghanistan. Even when they were put under pressure with the bat in the early stage of the game, they showed positive impact thanks to their all-rounders, especially Dhananjaya de Silva.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, were sloppy with the bat being unable to put partnerships with the bat even after keeping Sri Lanka under a little bit of pressure and failed to deliver when it mattered. Their T20 World Cup 2022 has ended early than their fans would have liked.

Sri Lanka earn crucial victory to keep themselves alive

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi on winning the toss opted to bat under cloudy conditions. Sri Lanka included Pramod Madushan in place of Chamika Karunaratne while Afghanistan installed Gulbadin Naib replacing injured Hazratullah Zazai.

Afghanistan built a decent 42-run opening partnership in the powerplay before Sri Lanka made a good return in the game to reduce Sri Lanka to 68/1 in 10 overs. Afghanistan kept on losing wickets as Sri Lanka spinners went on to control the game. With a few handsome blows at the back end, Afghanistan made their way to 144/8 in their allotted 20 overs.

Chasing an average total of 145, Sri Lanka lost Pathum Nissanka (10) early and Kusal Mendis (25) a little later to reach 46/2 in eight overs. The 54-run partnership between Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva gave them the much-needed momentum as the latter with an unbeaten 66-run knock carried his team over the line with six wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in ICC Men’s World Cup 2022.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan_ Lahiru Kumara took 2-30 against Afghanistan; Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan _  Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Getty Images)
Kumara makes an impact with 2-30 against Afghanistan (Source: ©Getty Images)

Kumara-Hasaranga duo puncture Afghanistan with combined figures of 5/43

Under pressure Sri Lanka after two back-to-back loses, needed to win this valuable game to keep themselves alive in this competition. Afghanistan openers put up a decent 42-run partnership in the powerplay.

Lahiru Kumara was introduced for the second time in the seventh over and with the first ball of his new spell, he drew first blood sending back Rahmanullah Gurbaz on 28 as the full ball went through the gap between bat and pad to break the furniture.

Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka quickly brought back Wanindu Hasaranga into the attack and only with his second ball, Hasaranga bagged the wicket of Usman Ghani on 27 who tried to pull the googly but was caught by the Lankanm skipper.

Kumara coming back into his last over, bagged the wicket of Ibrahim Zadran on 22 who in an attempt to whack a back of a length delivery over mid-off, found the hands of the mid-on fielder.

Hasaranga who had 1/10 in three overs returned for the last over the innings. With the third ball of that over, the leg-spinner smartly pulled the length back as Rashid Khan in trying to smash the ball saw the ball disturbing his stumps on a personal score of 9. On the last ball of the innings, Hasaranga again wisely bowled a short ball as Mujeeb Ur Rahman got stumped out on 1.

Lahiru Kumara who finished with 2/30 in his four overs now has 28 T20I wickets in 24 games, while Hasaranga who has recorded 84 T20I wickets in 51 games returned figures of 3/13 in four overs.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan_ Rashid Khan took 2-31 in losing cause; Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ACB_Getty Images)
Rashid Khan's 2-31 kept Afghanistan in hunt (Source: ©ACB/Getty Images)

Rashid Khan makes an impact with 2/31

Defending a low total of 144, Afghanistan needed their star bowler Rashid Khan to be in top form as he tried his best to make an impact on another game.

On the last ball of his very first over, Rashid caged the prize wicket of Kusal Mendis on 25, who going for a premeditated sweep managed to get a top edge as the keeper grabbed a simple catch. Rashid was belted in his second over before he got another wicket.

Coming back for his third over, Rashid broke the dangerous looking 54-run stand between Asalanka and De Silva, when he registered the wicket of Asalanka on 19 who deciding to smash the ball over long-on was caught by the fielder manning that position.

Rashid Khan who now has 121 wickets in 73 T20I games returned figures of 2/31 in his four overs.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12, Group 1, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan_ Dhananjaya de Silva took 1-9 and scored 66 off 42 against Afghanistan _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC via Getty Images)
Dhananjaya put on an all-round show (1-9 & 66 off 42) (Source: ©ICC via Getty Images)

Dhananjaya de Silva displays all-round show with 66* and 1/9

Dhananjaya de Silva with his all-round performances has helped Sri Lanka in many games in the past and in a crucial game, he showed his ability again.

In his only over with the ball in hand, de Silva picked up the wicket of Najibullah Zadran on 18 who sliced the ball straight into the hands of the long-off fielder. He finished with 1/9 in that one solitary over.

Coming at 12/1 in the third over, de Silva didn’t get a lot of strike at the start as he cracked his first boundary over the mid-off fielder before taking on Rashid Khan. He belted one boundary to fine leg region before nailing a slog-sweep to smack Rashid over deep mid-wicket region for a maximum.

De Silva charged against Mohammad Nabi to hit him straight down the ground for a six. He shared a valuable 54-run stand with Asalanka, and also celebrated his third T20I fifty. He pulled Mujeeb through the mid-wicket region for a boundary before finishing the game with another boundary through extra cover.

Dhananjaya de Silva who remained not out on 66 in 42 balls, now has 617 T20I runs in 32 games with three half-centuries and 10 wickets.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 Points Table

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group 1 Points Table
Group 1 Points Table

Points Table Scenario & What’s Next

With their second win, Sri Lanka moved up to the third position in Group 1 points table with a net run rate (NRR) of -0.457, while Afghanistan continue to stay in the last position with two points thanks to two wash-outs in four games at a NRR of -0.718.

Afghanistan will now meet Australia on November 4 at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, while Sri Lanka will come face to face with England at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney on November 5.

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