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175/6 (20)
179/6 (19.1)
SL won by 4 wickets
Player of the match: Rahmanullah Gurbaz
 
Two successive Sri Lanka matches, two thrillers in the UAE. Tomorrow, we will have two such teams who have also been involved in a thriller a week ago, which was watched by almost half the population of the world - two of the oldest rivals in international cricket, India and Pakistan, go up against each other for the second time in this Asia Cup! Wonder what that'll throw up! It has been an absolute pleasure bringing you the coverage of this cracker of a contest, and on that note, I, Rajarshi, along with Pratyush, will sign off now! Good night!
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Player Of The Match: Disappointed with the result, but that's cricket. I feel we were short by 25 runs. The wicket wasn't difficult to bat on. I was trying to play my natural game and be positive, but the way we finished in the last two overs, that was not in our favour, we'll try our best to do well in that aspect. We have domestic cricket, league cricket in Afghanistan, a busy schedule, just try to be in our process, and working hard, which has helped me a lot. (On batting coach Jonathan Trott) He works so hard with us, and conducts practice sessions with a very good plan. We are happy with him. We will take the learnings from here to the T20 World Cup, hopefully it'll be helpful for us.
Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka captain: (On making such chases a habit) It's the belief of the dressing room. As a team, we believe we can chase anything in these types of wickets. We can have a look when we chase down a total, for we can have an idea of how the wicket plays. That was the plan today as well. There was a plan coming to this game, they had experienced batsmen, but the boys executed the plans really well, especially Dilshan Madushanka, Asitha Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, and not to forget, Wanindu Hasaranga, he came up with some brilliant stuff as well. Partnerships are the key to winning the game. We had a talk about it, now we know the exact way to approach the game. It was very pleasing to see how the openers started, and then Gunathilaka and Rajapaksa, and each and every one contributed.
Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan captain): We were 20-25 runs short at the end. We didn't field really well and didn't bowl in the right areas either. This was a better pitch compared to the previous game we played against Bangladesh. The way we started was good with the partnerships giving us a chance to get a big total but we missed that in the end. We didn't bowl brilliantly but it wasn't the worst either. But again, we didn't field really well. If we would have taken those, the situation might have been different. 
Bhanuka Rajapaksa: When I went to bat, it was all about connecting and running. When they scored 170-odd runs, we knew it was chasable with on a decent pitch. We knew it would be when the spinners came into play but the boys did well. (Preferred batting position) Depends on the team's needs. I've played at number three in the IPL. Initially, they (Sri Lanka) wanted me to bat at 3 but now they want me at 5 or 6 to strengthen the middle order. It's a floating role but I'm enjoying it. (After the last game) A bit of redemption, of course. We know we aren't as bad as we were in the first game. We all raised our hands up to show everyone and our nation that we aren't as bad as we were in that game.
Match summary:
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl

Afghanistan 175/6 (20 Overs)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz 84(45) | Dilshan Madushanka 2/37 (4)

Sri Lanka 179/6 (19.1 Overs)
Kusal Mendis 36(19) | Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/30 (4)

Sri Lanka win by 4 wickets with 5 balls to spare.

What a run-chase, what an effort, what a team! Almost every single Sri Lankan batter contributed to the chase, Afghanistan were a bit tired on the field and the Lankans took full toll of it! The tone for the chase was set by Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis early on, as the duo put up an opening stand of 62 in next to no time before Mendis holed out to deep mid-wicket. Both the openers were applying themselves brilliantly, targeting the shorter boundaries and picking the right balls to dispatch! Post Mendis' wicket Afghanistan proceeded to apply the screws for a bit, with the spin trio of Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb and Rashid Khan keeping things tight. 

That was until Danushka Gunathilaka decided that enough was enough, and decided to smash Nabi to the cleaners! In spite of the wicket of Charith Asalanka, 14 came off Nabi's third over, and it seemed like that was exactly the shift in momentum that Sri Lanka were hunting after the powerplay! The fact that Karim Janat put an easy chance given by the Sri Lankan left-hander down didn't do any favours to the Afghans. The runs started to flow at a healthy rate in the next over or two, but then Dasun Shanaka, who just started to warm up to the cause, fell to what turned out to be the catch of the match from Najibullah Zadran, who tossed the ball back having lost his balance and completed the catch eventually!

It was the 16th over from Naveen-ul-Haq that turned the tide towards the Lankan largely. Bhanuka Rajapaksa's blade blazed at the perfect time, as the bulky left-hander absolutely obliterated every half-volley that came in his way! The fact that he was dropped was just rubbing salt into the wounds of the Afghans. Gunathilaka and Rashid went up against each other, quite literally, after the left-hander reverse-swept the leg-spinner for four. Rashid had the last laugh, knocking Gunathilaka's off-stump back as he tried to smash Rashid out of the park. Wanindu Hasaranga walked in, and unlike the man he replaced, kept his cool, and kept finding the gaps on the off-side with some innovative strokeplay! It was eventually him who got Sri Lanka towards the finishing line, and Karunaratne helped them run through the ribbon with 5 balls to spare!
THE LANKAN LIONS ROAR BACK IN SOME STYLE! THEY HAVE PULLED OFF A HEIST! Afghanistan steamrolled them in the group game, and they respond to it stupendously! The Afghanistan players look tired and completely distraught, Karunaratne thanks the heavens, Hasaranga punches the air, Sri Lanka with the first win in the Super 4s with the highest successful run chase in T20 Internationals at Sharjah!
19.1 Fazalhaq Farooqi to Chamika Karunaratne, FOUR! SRI LANKA TAKE THE TWO POINTS! Full toss outside the off-stump, Karunaratne gets underneath it to drive this up and over mid-off to seal the deal in style! This is Sri Lanka's highest successful run chase in T20Is in Sharjah! They win by 4 wickets to kick off their Super 4 campaign with a win!
We go into the final over with the scores being levelled! Surely, with four wickets remaining, there is no twist in the tale? Surely not. 
19
overs
175 /6 score
4
2
W
1
0
0
runs
cricket bat icon Wanindu Hasaranga *
16 (9)
cricket bat icon Chamika Karunaratne
1 (1)
cricket ball icon Naveen-ul-Haq
2 /40
18.6 Naveen-ul-Haq to Wanindu Hasaranga, MIX UP! A direct hit would have been curtains for Hasaranga! Nervy moments, these. Full length delivery on the off-stump line, Hasaranga drives it to cover but him and his partner are stuck in a mid-pitch conversation. Luckily, no damage done!
18.5 Naveen-ul-Haq to Wanindu Hasaranga, back of a length delivery on the fifth stump line, Hasaranga hangs back to cut it to point. Picks out the fielder, not yet for Sri Lanka.
18.4 Naveen-ul-Haq to Chamika Karunaratne, full length delivery outside the off-stump, Karunaratne drives it to wide mid-off to sneak a single. Scores are level!
Chamika Karunaratne, RHB, comes to the crease
18.3 Naveen-ul-Haq to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, KNOCKS HIM OVER! It was in the slot but he took pace off it. Rajapaksa wanted to finish it off in style but he lost his shape there, not picking the slower one. The furniture behind him is disturbed and he has to take the long walk back. Hasaranga is telling what he feels about that shot. Rightly so! Not great shot selection but it shouldn't cost them here.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa b Naveen-ul-Haq 31 (14b 4x4 1x6)
18.2 Naveen-ul-Haq to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, into the block hole to angle it into Rajapaksa, clipped to long-on to scamper back for the second run. Sri Lanka in touching distance now!
18.1 Naveen-ul-Haq to Bhanuka Rajapaksa, FOUR! DRILLED! Bhanuka Rajapaksa, you beauty! Wide half-volley outside off, another slower one. Rajapaksa picks the bones out of it and hammers it through the covers. Zazai wasn't more than 5 yards away from it but he had no chance!
Naveen-ul-Haq (3-0-33-1) is back into the attack
Sri Lanka are running away with this game!!! Wanindu Hasaranga, the game changer! The equation was already in favour of Sri Lanka even after the departure of Gunathilaka, and Hasaranga just provides the insurance runs as we go into the last two overs of the run-chase! Sri Lanka are two boundaries away from sealing it and taking a step towards the final!
18
overs
168 /5 score
1
1
4
0
4
2
runs
cricket bat icon Bhanuka Rajapaksa
25 (11)
cricket bat icon Wanindu Hasaranga *
16 (7)
cricket ball icon Fazalhaq Farooqi
0 /30