Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the first game of the 2022 Asia Cup. Fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled 3-11, and Afghan openers steal the show afterward.
Afghanistan chose to field and bowled Sri Lanka out for 105, a score their batters smashed in 10.1 overs in Dubai.
Left-hander Hazratullah Zazai, unbeaten on 37, and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanllah Gurbaz, who hit 40, put up 83 runs for the first wicket to extend the bowlers’ domination.
Afghanistan, which are in Group B with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, have gotten off to a flying start in the six-nation event, which serves as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November.
Farooqi, a left-arm fast, shone for Afghanistan when he struck with consecutive deliveries in the opening over of the session, sending Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka back to the pavilion for two and zero.
Pathum was then seized by Naveen-ul-Haq. Nissanka was caught behind after reviewing the on-field judgment, and the third umpire confirmed the ruling despite no evident spike on the ultra-edge, leaving the batter and the dressing room startled.
Sri Lanka were suffering at the time, with only five runs on the board and three wickets down in the first two overs.
Danushka Gunathilaka (17) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (38) tried to respond with a flurry of boundaries in a 20-run sixth over before spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman ended the 44-run partnership. Wickets continued to fall, with two runouts in the 13th over, including the end of Rajapaksa while trying a second run.
Chamika Karunaratne struck 31 before being bowled by Farooqi to lift the team total above 100.
Afghanistan’s openers came out firing, with Gurbaz hitting three fours and four sixes in his 18-ball blitz before succumbing to leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
Zazai continued the onslaught with Ibrahim Zadran, who scored 15 runs before being taken off, to rouse the Afghan supporters and quiet the Sri Lankan throng.
On Sunday, India will face Pakistan in a highly anticipated Group A match at the same location.