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Asia Cup 2022 ‘Super Four’ | Gurbaz’s dashing strokeplay takes Afghanistan to competitive total against Sri Lanka


Sri Lankan team remain unchanged while Afghanistan made one change to its side.

Sri Lankan team remain unchanged while Afghanistan made one change to its side.

Young opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave a brilliant exhibition of his dashing strokeplay as his 45-ball 84 was the cornerstone of Afghanistan’s competitive total of 175 for 6 against Sri Lanka in an Asia Cup Super 4s match on September 3, 2022.

However, Afghanistan will be a bit disappointed as the last five overs yielded only 37 runs and lost five wickets in a jiffy with GUrbaz’s dismissal putting some sort of a brake on the run flow.

Gurbaz, the 20-year-old right-hander, who was a part of IPL champion team Gujarat Titans, smashed half a dozen sixes and added 93 in just 10.4 overs with Ibrahim Zadran (40) to take Afghanistan to a more than respectable total at the Sharjah Cricket ground.

The evening belonged to Gurbaz, who did get a slice of luck as Danushka Gunathilaka’s foot touched the rope when he went for a successive second six off mystery spinner Mahesh Theekshana, having slog-swept him for his first six.

However, there was no looking back after that even though the right hander didn’t use his feet much against the spinner.

The slog sweep off Wanindu Hasaranga over cow corner was a treat to watch and so was the two down-the-ground sixes off Chamika Karunaratne which was all about maximum power with hand-eye co-ordination and minimal feet movement.

There was pull shot off pacer Asitha Fernando among the half dozen of sixes that he hit and once he was out, Sri Lanka bowlers did get a sense of reprieve on a ground where the side boundaries are really short.

Zadran though got a few lusty blows and so did Rashid Khan (9) towards the fag end of the Afghanistan innings to take the score close to 180.

While spinners Theekshana (1/29) and Hasaranga (0/23 in 4 overs) gave away only 52 in their eight overs, it was skipper Dasun Shanaka (0/22 in 2 overs) and Karunaratne (0/29 in 2 overs), who leaked 51 runs in four overs for the “fifth bowler’s quota”.

Teams

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (capt), Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi

Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (capt), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka

Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK), Gazi Sohel (BAN)

TV Umpire: Anil Chaudhary (IND)

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)



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