U19 Asia Cup 2018: 2nd Semi-Final, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, Review- Nuwanidu Fernando and Shashika Dulshan shoulder Lanka to final

U19 Asia Cup 2018: 2nd Semi-Final, Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, Review- Nuwanidu Fernando and Shashika Dulshan shoulder Lanka to final

The Lankans will now meet India in the final on Sunday.

Sri Lanka U19 vs Afghanistan U19
Sri Lanka U19 vs Afghanistan U19. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sri Lanka U19 continued their unbeaten run in the 2018 Asia Cup, beating Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s Afghanistan in the second semi-final at Sher-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur by 31 runs. Most importantly, the victory has also set up their clash against India, who are also unbeaten in the multi-nation event, in the final on Sunday, October 7 at the same venue.

Nuwanindu stands tall

After winning the toss and electing to field first, Afghanistan didn’t let themselves down as they restricted the Lankans to 209 runs in 50 overs. The Islanders lost Navod Paranavithana and Nishan Madhuska with no runs on the board. Kamil Mishara and Kalhana Senaratne were nipped out by Abdul Rahman, who finished with three wickets in nine overs.

While wickets went down at an alarming rate at the other end, right-handed middle-order batsman Nuwanindu Fernando scored a brilliant 111 runs from 129 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries and three sixes. Some useful contributions from Kalana Perera, Nipun Dananjaya and Pasindu Sooriyabandara helped Sri Lanka cross the 200-run mark.

Lanka steamroll the Afghans

Kalhana Senaratne picked up Riaz Hussan to draw first blood, but Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Baseer Khan put together 49 runs to inject momentum into the Afghan innings. However, Gurbaz perished to Shashika Dulshan for 46 runs after which wickets went down frequently, much to the Afghans agony. In the 33rd over, Afghanistan needed 93 runs with five wickets in hand.

Thereafter, Ijaz Ahmad and Azmatullah Omarzai stitched together a 23-run stand to reignite the Afghan’s hopes of a victory, but Navod Paranavithana removed Omarzai in the 40th over. Ijaz stuck until the very end with a knock of 37 runs from 49 balls and unfortunately, couldn’t help his team out. Abdul Rahman scored 11 runs, but it was never going to be enough for the Afghans.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka U19: 209/7 in 50 overs; (Nuwanindu Fernando 111, Nipun Dananjaya 27; Abdul Rahman 3/42, Abid Mohammadi 1/22)

Afghanistan U19: 178 all out in 48.3 overs; (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 46, Ijaz Ahmad 37;  Shashika Dulshan 4/24, Navod Paranavithana 2/17)

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 31 runs

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