Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi was an upset man following his team’s four-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in a Super Four contest of Asia Cup 2022 in Sharjah on Saturday.
Nabi admitted that his team posted a total about 20-25 runs short, and rued his team’s fielding and bowling in the contest.
He also lamented on the dropped catches, which, had those been caught would have changed the complexion of the game according to him. Afghanistan rode on Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s 84 to post 175 on board, but during the Lankan run-chase, there were a couple of dropped catches (One in the 13th when Gunathilaka was batting and the other in the 16th the batter being Bhanuka Rajapaksa).
“We were about 20-25 runs short, and also we didn’t field well or bowl in the right areas. It’s a better pitch today than the one we played on against Bangladesh, which is why I said we were a few runs short. We didn’t bowl brilliantly, but we bowled really well. We dropped some catches, which if we took the game would have been different,” Nabi said at the post-match presentation ceremony on Saturday.
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka seemed pretty happy with his team’s execution in the game. Most of the batters stepped up for the Lankans with openers Pathum Nissanka (35) and Kusal Mendis (36) giving them a solid start with a 62-run stand.
Danushka Gunathilaka (33) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (31) also rose up to the occasion, while Wanindu Hasaranga (16 not out off nine deliveries) too played a cameo where he scored three fours.
“It’s the belief in the dressing room. We believe we can chase anything in these kinds of wickets. We can always analyse the wicket better when chasing. There was a plan coming into this game. We know they have good batters, but the boys executed the plans really well.
“As I mentioned at the toss, partnerships were the key to winning the game. We had spoken about that, and now we know how to approach matches and win games,” said Shanaka.
Sri Lanka next face India on Tuesday (6) while Afghanistan’s next assignment will be against Pakistan on Wednesday (7).