Sri Lanka has won 5 tournaments in the 34 year history of the Asia Cup. India won 6 tournaments, and Pakistan has won 2 tournaments. Out of 54 matches in 13 tournaments, Sri Lanka has won 35 matches.
Sri Lankan cricket team led by Angelo Mathews went to United Arab Emirates to take part in the 14th tournament of the Asia Cup. But the Afghanistan team shattered Sri Lanka’s pride, and Sri Lankan cricket fans’ hopes. Sri Lanka had to leave the tournament in the first round.
Sri Lanka lost a match against Bangladesh on 15 September by 137 runs. After winning the toss, Bangladesh chose to bat first, and scored 261 runs. However, Sri Lanka was able to score only 124 runs.
In order to be able to proceed to the second round, Sri Lanka had to win the match yesterday. With that hope, Sri Lankan team stepped into the ground with 3 changes. Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal and Amila Aponsu had been replaced with Shehan Jayasuriya, Akila Dhananjaya and Dushmantha Chameera.
Asghar Afghan, captain of the Afghanistan team, chose to bat after winning the toss. Afghanistan team was all out for 249 in 50 overs. Rahmat Shah, Ihsanullah, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mohammed Shahzad scored 72, 45, 37 and 34 runs respectively.
Thisara Perera took 5 wickets for 55 runs, and Lasith Malinga, who took 5 wickets in the previous match, was not able to take any wickets.
Sri Lanka’s opening batsmen, who entered the ground to chase down 250 runs, were again unsuccessful. Sri Lankan inning ended at 41.2 overs with only 158 runs.
Upul Tharanga scored 36 runs and that was the highest score. Afghanistan bowlers did not allow Sri Lankan batsmen to exceed 30 runs.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammed Nabi and Rashid Khan took 2 wickets each for Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka’s journey in the Asia Cup ended in just 3 days. Sri Lankan team will be coming back to Sri Lanka after burying Sri Lankan cricket’s 3 decades of pride in Abu Dhabi.