SL qualifies for the final of Asia Cup with a bonus point victory
MIRPUR: Sri Lanka wrapped up Afghanistan at 124 to claim a comprehensive victory by 129 runs booking their birth for the final of Asia Cup, ARY News reported.
Sri Lanka winning the toss decided to bat first at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on Monday.
Initially, Afghanistan’s bowlers kept Sri Lankan batsmen down on a slow Mirpur surface leaving Sri Lanka at 158 for 5, then 184 for 6 in the 42nd over, before Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews orchestrated a delayed surge, finishing unbeaten on 45 from 41, after Kumar Sangakkara had held the middle-overs together with his third 50-plus score in the tournament.
A useful contribution from Mathews allowed Sri Lanka to achieve a competitive 253 for 6, despite Afghanistan's earnest efforts with the ball.
Sangakkara scored 76 from 102 before Mathews conjured a misunderstanding that had Sangakkara caught comfortably out of his ground at the non-striker's end.
Dinesh Chandimal also made a useful contribution by stuttering 26 to a fourth-wicket partnership worth 74 with Sangakkara.
Afghanistan wasn’t able to get a steady start while chasing 253, and lost first wicket in the second over.
Noor Ali Zadran (21) and Asghar Stanikzai (27) recovered the early loss with the short partnership of 45 runs.
Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis took 3 wickets each while Suranga Lakmal and Chaturanga De Silva dismissed 2-batsmen each.
A combined bowling effort blessed Sri Lanka victory with a bonus point.