Asia Cup 2018: 3 reasons why Sri Lanka lost to Afghanistan
Sri Lanka faced a do-or-die situation on Monday when they took on Afghanistan in the second Group B match of the Asia Cup. The 137-run loss against Bangladesh was an alarm bell for Sri Lankan cricket which has been poorly managed after the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. Sri Lanka who have won the Asia Cup five times doesn't seem to be the Old Sri Lankan team which fought neck to neck with India and Pakistan.
Afghanistan has been improving constantly and they came into this match on the back of victories in Ireland, where they defeated the home team both in the T20I (2-0) as well as ODI (2-1) series.
Top-order batsman Rahmat Shah scored a well made 72 as Afghanistan posted 249 runs against Sri Lanka at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Monday. Rahmat Shah played 90 balls with great patience to help his side post a challenging total on a flat Dubai surface. Openers Ihsanullah Janat (45) and Mohammad Shahzad (34) scored crucial runs on top of the order to give Afghanistan a great platform.
249 was enough for the Afghans as they restricted Sri Lanka for just 158, beating them by 91 runs. With this, Sri Lanka are knocked out of the ongoing Asia Cup.
We look at a few reasons which made the loss inevitable.
#3 An invaluable effort by Rahmat Shah
Rahmat Shah’s impressive 72 led Afghanistan to a decent total, giving Sri Lanka a target of 250 in the second match of Group B. Afghanistan have been impressing everyone in the limited-overs formats over the past few years with their grit and determination after they got ODI status in 2011.
When we talk about the Afghanistan team the names that come to mind are Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Afghanistan's biggest weapons are the all-rounders like Rahmat Shah and Samiullah Shenwari, who are very important in the limited overs format. The flexibility they provide to the team makes Afghanistan a team that doesn't depend on only star players and Rahmat's performance today proved it right.