HomeSportsCricketAfghanistan one step closer to World Cup qualification after washout

Afghanistan one step closer to World Cup qualification after washout

Afghanistan 228 (Gurbaz 68, Rahmat 58, Rajitha 3-31) vs Sri Lanka 10 for 0 – match deserted

Before rain made a consequence not possible, Sri Lanka’s spinners took grip of the center overs of Afghanistan’s innings, earlier than Kasun Rajitha closed it out. On a slower Pallekele observe, Afghanistan had breezed by way of the early overs, crusing to 135 for 1 quickly after the midway stage. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was mainly chargeable for their success by way of this era, hitting 68 off 73, as Rahmat Shah made one other half-century.

But then Sri Lanka’s bowlers roared again. Although, 30 overs in, Afghanistan had been at 149 for 3 – properly positioned for a complete properly in extra of 250 – they slipped thereafter, not even in a position to bat out their overs.

The climate, nonetheless, had the final say. Sri Lanka had been well-placed to make a comeback within the collection, however the most effective they’ll hope for now could be a drawn affair. It additionally means their hopes of computerized qualification for subsequent yr’s World Cup dwindle additional, as they may take solely 5 Super League factors from this match.

For Afghanistan, who had been on 110 Super League factors earlier than this match, a five-point achieve (the quantity you’re awarded for a no-result) on the desk, takes them a step nearer to computerized qualification. In truth, they’ve now successfully ensured their spot on the World Cup, barring factors deductions.

The rain got here down quickly after innings break, delaying the beginning of Sri Lanka’s chase. Then when the hosts had been 10 for 0, they returned. They ceased for a short whereas, however got here again a 3rd time, forcing the abandonment.

Before that, Rajitha took 3 for 31 from his 9 overs, and the spinners shared 4 wickets between them, as Afghanistan had been dismissed for 228 with 10 balls left unused. Mohammad Nabi performed an honest late hand, putting two sixes and two fours in his 34-ball 41. But he began working out of companions, and needed to take larger dangers, and ultimately holed out within the forty eighth over.

Nabi was the final of Rajitha’s victims. Although he struck Rajitha for a six earlier ball, the bowler slowed up the subsequent supply, had him mistime the shot, and ship a catch to lengthy off, the place Dhananjaya de Silva held on to a low one. In Rajitha’s earlier over, he had had Rashid Khan hit a slower one within the air to sweeper cowl, earlier than Mujeeb Ur Rahman nicked his second ball to the keeper.

Rajitha bought his rewards within the again finish of the innings, however he had bowled superbly with the brand new ball. His first over value only one run, his second was a maiden, and he conceded simply 10 in his opening five-over spell. All up, he conceded solely two boundaries (a six and a 4) within the 54 authorized deliveries he ship down.

Sri Lanka’s spinners weren’t fairly so dominant, notably within the first half of the innings, when Gurbaz was producing a usually belligerent innings, and Rahmat Shah was constructing himself to a different rating. Those batters placed on 113 for the second wicket off 133 deliveries.

Gurbaz hit 4 sixes within the arc between lengthy off and cow nook – a few of these being launch photographs after strain had been constructed up. After Theekshana had him caught at lengthy off attempting to hit his fifth, although, a number of the oomph went out of Afghanistan’s innings, and Sri Lanka’s spinners dominated the subsequent 10 overs.

Theekshana bought one other wicket – that of Najibullah Zadran – and completed with 2 for 49 from his 10. Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva claimed a wicket apiece and went for lower than 40 from their full quotas.

Wednesday’s match will now decide whether or not Sri Lanka may even draw the collection.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf



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