EMERGING TEAMS ASIA CUP 2019
Reining champions Sri Lanka tumbled out of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup following their third straight defeat to Afghanistan by 7 wickets on Monday at the sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground at Cox’s Bazaar. It was a disastrous ending to two times championsSri Lanka’s campaign as the less fancied Afghanistan chased down 239 runs for victory in authoritative manner with opening batsman Shahidullah scoring 102 off 137 balls inclusive of 7 boundaries and 3 sixes. He put on 99 for the first wicket with Abdul Malik who was run out for 47 with 6 boundaries and a six and 119 for the third wicket with Darwish Rasooli who made 61 off 59 containing 5 sixes and 2 boundaries.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka’s 238 all out off 49.5 overs revolved around a captains knock of 100 off 106 balls by Charith Asalanka inclusive of 6 boundaries and 3 sixes after his side had been reduced to 87 for 3 off 18.4 overs. However, Afghanistan rode back into contention reducing Sri Lanka from 204 for 5 wickets in 40 overs following a 115-run fourth wicket alliance between Asalanka and Kamindu Mendis who made 63 off 71 balls containing 6 boundaries and a six reverting to No.5 from his regular opening slot. Following Mendis’ departure the last five Lankan batsmen fell for 16 runs with Asalanka in a lone fight being eighth out with the total on 233. Main wicket takers for Afghanistan were Abdul Wasi 3 for 50 and Yousuf Zazai 2 for 26. Sri Lanka finished last in Group A next to Oman which had 2 points with Pakistan on top with 6 points and Afghanistan placed second with 4 points.
Bangladesh headed Group B with 6 points followed by India 4 points and Nepal third with 2 points and Hong Kong placed last.
Meanwhile, table leaders of Group A Pakistan will take on second placed India in Group B in the first semi-final on November 20 at Mirpur while table leaders of Group B Bangladesh will take on second placed Afghanistan of Group A in the second semi-final on November 21 at the same venue with the final scheduled for November 23 at Mirpur.
Sri Lanka Emerging Team 238 All out (49.5 Overs) Run rate: 4.77
(Charith Asalanka 100, Kamindu Mendis 63, Abdul Wasi 3/50,
Yousuf Zazai 2/26).
Afghanistan Emerging Team 242/3 (44.5 Overs) Run rate: 5.39
(Shahidullah 102, Darwish Rasooli 61, Abdul Malik 47)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-