Sri Lanka Rout Afghanistan to Enter Final…

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 129 runs to enter final of Asia Cup. Chasing 254, the Afghans were bowled out for 124 with Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis taking three wickets each.

Quotes from presentation:

Afghanistan skipper Mohd Nabi: “We bowled well in the first 35 overs and Sangakkara batted very well. We started well with the bat, but Mendis and Malinga bowled really well. It was difficult for us to pick Malinga.”

Angelo Mathews: “It was a very important game for us because we had to seal our place in the final. Afghans have a very good bowling attack and our batsmen found it hard, it was a slow pitch too. It was a collective effort from Thisara Perera – he scored some useful runs and picked up crucial three wickets.”

Man of the Match Kumar Sangakkara for his 76: “It was a tough wicket to bat on, so we had to spend some time in the middle. You can’t take anything for granted, the Afghan side played very well, they exploited the pitch conditions very well. There is no guarantee in cricket, you can be in fine form, but it takes only one ball for you to fail, so you have to enjoy while it goes well.”

A comfortable victory for Sri Lanka. They achieve a bonus point too and have qualified for the final. Sri Lanka did well to post a competitive total on the board after struggling early on.

Sangakkara made a handy 76 while Mathews and Thisara Perera played breezy knocks at the death to power the Lions to 253. Chasing the target, Afghanistan lost Shahzad early but then Noor Ali and Stanikzai did well to rebuild the innings. Just when it looked it was going well for Afghanistan, they lost Stanikzai and that proved to be the turning point as Afghanistan lost wickets in flurry.

Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi tried their best but the pressure was always building and they couldn’t get Afghanistan past the finish line. Thisara Perera was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with three wickets.