Afghanistan thrash Sri Lanka in Asia Cup opener


Fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi returned bowling figures of 3-11 to help Afghanistan thrash Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the opening match of the Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament on Saturday.

Afghanistan elected to field and bundled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 105, a total their batsmen over-hauled in 10.1 overs in Dubai.

Left-hander Hazratullah Zazai, unbeaten on 37, and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanllah Gurbaz, who hit 40, put on 83 runs for the opening wicket to build on the dominance started by the bowlers.

Afghanistan, in Group B with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, have made a thumping start to their cam-paign in the six-nation tournament that acts as a tune-up to the T20 World Cup in October-November in Australia.

Farooqi, a left-arm quick, stood out for Af-ghanistan after he struck with successive deliveries in the first over of the innings to send Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka trudging back to the pavilion for two and nought.

Naveen-ul-Haq then sent back Pathum Nissanka caught behind after the batsman reviewed the on-field call and the third-umpire upheld the decision despite no visible spike on the ultra-edge, leaving the batsman and dressing room stunned. At that point Sri Lanka were struggling with just five runs on the board and three wickets down in the opening two overs.

Danushka Gunathilaka (17) and Bhanuka Raja-paksa (38) attempted to hit back with a flurry of boundaries in a 20-run sixth over before spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman broke the 44-run stand.

Wickets kept tumbling with the 13th over pro-viding two run outs, including the end of Rajapaksa while attempting a second run.—APP

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