Asia Cup 2022: Gurbaz powers Afghanistan to big win over Sri Lanka

Wicketkeeper-batsman hits four sixes and three boundaries in his 18-ball 40



Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz plays a shot during the Asia Cup Twenty20 cricket match with Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. –AFP
Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz plays a shot during the Asia Cup Twenty20 cricket match with Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. –AFP
by

James Jose

Published: Sat 27 Aug 2022, 8:58 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Aug 2022, 10:44 PM

Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz conjured an explosive knock to help Afghanistan defeat Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Asia Cup on Saturday.

The 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman smoked four sixes and three boundaries in his 18-ball 40 as Afghanistan won the Group B fixture by a comprehensive margin of eight wickets and with 59 balls remaining at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Gurbaz’s opening partner Hazratullah Zazai scored an unbeaten 37 from 28 deliveries with five boundaries and a six.

Earlier, Fazalhaq Farooqi snapped up three wickets as Afghanistan restricted Sri Lanka.

The 21-year medium pacer took three for 11, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman and captain Mohammad Nabi picked two apiece as Sri Lanka could only muster 105

The only bright spot for Sri Lanka was Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who made a defiant 38 from 29 deliveries with five boundaries and a six, after Farooqi’s twin strikes in the first over of the match.

Chamika Karunaratne scored 31 from 38 balls with three boundaries and a six, while Danushka Gunathilaka made a run-a-ball 17 with three boundaries.

Afghanistan take on Bangladesh in their next match at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday, while Sri Lanka meet Bangladesh in Dubai on Thursday.

Brief scores:

Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets

Sri Lanka: 105 all out in 19.4 overs (Bhanuka Rajapaksa 38, Chamika Karunaratne 31, Danushka Gunathilaka 17; Fazalhaq Farooqi 3-11, Mohammad Nabi 2-14, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2-24)

Afghanistan:106-2 in 10.1 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 40, Hazratullah Zazai 37 not out)

Toss: Afghanistan


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