Twitter Reactions: Sri Lanka survive mighty Afghanistan scare to seal Super Fours spot

Sri Lanka won the match by two runs.

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So close yet so far - Afghanistan’s journey in Asia Cup 2023 ended following a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of defending champions Sri Lanka. They had the win in their palm, but the Lankan bowlers did a brilliant job towards the end and on top of that, the Afghanistan team looked like they were not aware of the Net Run Rate scenario, which might have cost them the game in the end.

Meanwhile, batting first, the Lankan Lions started well as Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne's opening stand of 63 runs set the tone of the match. Following this, Kusal Mendis played an incredible knock of 92 runs off 84 deliveries and with that, Sri Lanka were in a very comfortable position. Towards the fag end of the match, Dunith Wellalage and Maheesh Theekshana accelerated well, as Sri Lanka finished well with the bat.

From Afghanistan, Gulbadin Naib picked up four wickets, while Rashid Khan picked up two. They did a good job on a surface where the Sri Lankan batters could have easily breached the 300-run figure. However, the spin duo didn’t let that happen.

When it came to the chase, Afghanistan lost both their openers rather cheaply. Kasun Rajitha dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, while Naib returned to the pavilion after scoring 22 runs. Hence, the team was under tremendous pressure, and that’s when Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah played some incredible cricket to restore the momentum. After Shah got out, veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi joined the party and hit 65 runs off 32 deliveries to completely change the complexion of the game.

However, the 38-year-old couldn’t finish the game. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka later introduced Dunith Wellalage, who picked up the important wickets of Shahidi and Karim Janat, but even so, Afghanistan were in the game. Rashid Khan tried to change the momentum towards the end and was very close to getting the team across the line, but unfortunately, wickets kept falling as the team lost the match by two runs and got eliminated from the competition.

Here's how Twitter reacted:

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