In a high-stakes encounter at the Gaddafi Stadium, cricket fans were treated to an absolute thriller as Sri Lanka secured their spot in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2023 by the narrowest of margins, defeating Afghanistan by just 2 runs.
Kusal Mendis Porpels Sri Lanka to Competitive Total
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat, setting the stage for an intense showdown. Their batters rose to the occasion, posting a competitive total of 291/8 in their allotted 50 overs. Kusal Mendis was the standout performer, earning accolades on social media for his brilliant knock of 92 runs off 84 balls, which included six fours and three sixes.
Other notable contributions came from Pathum Nissanka (41 runs) and Charith Asalanka (36 runs). The Afghan bowler, Gulbadin Naib, was the pick of the lot, with Twitter users praising his four-wicket haul, despite conceding 60 runs in his 10-over spell.
Also READ: Asia Cup 2023 – Indian captain Rohit Sharma shatters several records in the clash against Nepal
Afghanistan’s Thrilling Chase
The Afghan innings was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. To secure a place in the Super 4 stage, Afghanistan needed to chase down the target in 37.1 overs or less. At one point, it appeared that they were not only on track to win but also to edge out Sri Lanka for the qualification spot.
With the scoreboard reading 200 in just 26 overs and the loss of only four wickets, Afghanistan needed 92 runs in 11.1 overs to secure their Super 4 spot. Mohammad Nabi was the driving force behind this remarkable chase, drawing admiration amongst fans for his explosive batting. However, the match took a dramatic turn when Nabi was dismissed.
As the game progressed, Rashid Khan and Najibullah Zadran played crucial knocks, bringing the game down to the wire. With just three runs needed off the final ball to seal their qualification, the tension reached its peak. Twitter erupted with suspense as Mujeeb Ur Rahman faced the last delivery bowled by Dhananjaya de Silva.
In a heart-stopping moment, Mujeeb holed out, and Sri Lanka clinched victory by a mere two runs. Social media was flooded with reactions, celebrating Sri Lanka’s victory and commiserating with Afghanistan for missing out on the Super 4 stage by the narrowest of margins.
Also READ: Najmul Hossain Shanto ruled out of Asia Cup 2023; Litton Das joins Bangladesh squad for Super 4 round
This thrilling encounter at the Asia Cup 2023 will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most exciting matches in recent cricket history. It showcased the unpredictability and drama that cricket fans cherish, leaving everyone eagerly anticipating the next fixtures in this highly competitive tournament.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
A thriller in Lahore 😯
— ICC (@ICC) September 5, 2023
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 5, 2023
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 5, 2023
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) September 5, 2023
What a pity . Afghanistan fought so valiantly but being unaware that in the last 3 balls 6 runs would have seen them through and they chose to block thinkinthey cannot. Reminded of Mark Boucher in 2003 WC.
Support staff need to be more pro active especially in such qualification…
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) September 5, 2023
Man oh man! What a game in Lahore. Afghanistan could have taken up to 38.1 overs if they levelled the score (291) and hit a six to take their total to 297 but it seems they were not aware of this fact!
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 5, 2023
Qualifying to Super-4 in last 3 Asia Cups:
2018 – IND🇮🇳 & PAK🇵🇰 qualify
2022 – IND🇮🇳 & PAK🇵🇰 qualify
2023 – IND🇮🇳 & PAK🇵🇰 qualify
2018 – AFG🇦🇫 & BAN🇧🇩 qualify
2022 – AFG🇦🇫 & SL🇱🇰 qualify
2023 – BAN🇧🇩 & SL🇱🇰 qualify
Group A always same!
Group B always different!
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) September 5, 2023
Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 2 runs to qualify into Super 4.
Heart-break for Afghan boys. pic.twitter.com/q1ZzkcQDBL
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) September 5, 2023
Rashid Khan was heartbroken after a 2 run defeat against Sri Lanka.
He gave his best in the end to cross the line, but fell inches short….!!! pic.twitter.com/iDzfAj2VKn
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 5, 2023
Sri Lanka win a thriller in Lahore!
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 5, 2023
Cricket: A game of close margins 🥲
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) September 5, 2023
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