Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets at T20 World Cup


Dhananjaya de Silva bats during the T20 World Cup cricket match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, in Brisbane. AFP

Sri Lanka moved into third place from last in its group to rekindle slim hopes of qualifying for the T20 World Cup semifinals with a six-wicket win over Afghanistan on Tuesday at the Gabba.

Wanindu Hasaranga claimed three wickets as Sri Lanka restricted Afghanistan to 144 for eight after Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat. The leg-spinner is the leading wicket taker in the competition with 13.

Sri Lanka, 148-4, wasn’t really tested during the run chase as Dhananjaya de Silva posted a half-century to see his team through. The Sri Lankan vice-captain hadn’t made a 50 since January 2020 and his knock was a timely one as the former champions collected two points to get back into contention.

De Silva shared a 34-run stand with Kusal Mendis for the second wicket as Sri Lanka got off to a good start. Mendis needed nine deliveries to get off the mark but finished on 25 off 27 deliveries with two 4s and one 6. Sri Lanka badly needed a good start after losing four wickets for eight runs in its previous game inside four overs.

De Silva was dropped on 39 by Gulbadin Naib as he failed to hold on to a return catch. He scored the winning runs, an elegant cover drive for four off Fazalhaq Farooqi to finish unbeaten on 66, his career-best score as Sri Lanka won with nine deliveries to spare. De Silva faced 42 balls and hit six fours and two sixes.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa walked in with Sri Lanka needing 45 in 39 deliveries and played a cameo with his 18 runs coming in 13 balls with three fours.

Any hopes of Afghanistan reaching the semifinals are now over. The Asian nation has played four of their five games and have got only two points, both from rained-out games against New Zealand and Ireland. They lost their first game to England by five wickets.

Afghanistan’s last game is against Australia on Friday in Adelaide, and it may not have its star leg-spinner Rashid Khan. He limped off the pitch after hurting his knee while fielding.

In the second match Tuesday at the Gabba, England won the toss and chose to bat against New Zealand.
England has three points after three games and need a win to improve its chances of going through to the semis.

Associated Press


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here