Asia Cup: Discussion points as Afghanistan knock Sri Lanka out
Afghanistan ended Sri Lanka's campaign in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018, being held in the UAE. After losing their opening encounter by 137 runs against Bangladesh, the Lankans were, once again, thrashed. A disastrous batting show saw them lose by 91 runs, as Afghan spinners ruled the roost. Here are the key discussion points as Afghanistan trumped the Islanders.
If we talk about lethal spin department, Afghanistan rank among the best alongside India. The trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi picked 6 wickets between them to rattle Lanka. Mujeeb, in particular, gave Afghans the perfect start getting Kusal Mendis trapped for a duck. And once when Rashid came to attack, the Lankans lost the plot completely.
Lanka's batting hit a new low in this tournament. There was not even a single player to direct the sinking ship in both the matches. No one showed any application as it looked like a labored outing. There was no leader in this batting line-up and the manner in which the team threw their wickets away, it was a sorry sight.
Afghanistan's top three batsmen chipped in with the runs, which laid a strong foundation for the side to reach 249 runs. Rahmat Shah was the star of the night after hitting a 90-ball 72. He saved Afghans the blushes after the side was struggling at 110/3. Credit to Shahzad and Ihsanullah for setting the groundwork with an opening 57-run stand.
Thisara Perera (5/55) was the standout bowler. His heroics didn't allow the Afghans to get to the 270-run mark, which at one stage looked possible. Akila Dananjaya supported him well with figures of 2/39. The bowling is the only positive factor Lanka will take home.