Abu Dhabi: Rahmat Shah (72, 90b, 5×4) played a composed innings before pacer Thisara Perera’s (5/55) five-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka bowl out Afghanistan for 249 in their opening match of the Asia Cup here Monday.
Perera played havoc with the Afghan innings as Sri Lanka picked up seven wickets in the last eight overs of Afghanistan innings on a pitch that looked to be on the slower side.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, Afghanistan were off to a cautious start with the openers Mohammad Shahzad (34, 47b, 4×4, 1×6) and Ihsanullah Janat (45, 65b, 6×4) putting on 57 runs in just under 12 overs.
Spinner Akila Dhananjaya (2/39) made the first breakthrough when he had Shahzad trapped in front of the wicket. There was another half-century stand, between Ihsanullah and Shah, as the Afghanistan dressing room looked relaxed at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
However, Sri Lanka found another wicket after the two batsmen added exactly 50 runs for the second wicket when Akila dismissed Ihsanullah having him leg before after the implementation of the DRS.
Skipper Asghar Afghan came to the middle, but his stay was short-lived as Shehan Jayasuriya foxed him, the two wickets in as many overs reducing Afghanistan to 110 for three at the end of the 26th over.
An 80-run partnership ensued between Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi (37), helped Afghanistan to 190 when Dushmantha Chameera sent the Afghan top-scorer back to the pavilion.
Shahidi was the next man to get out, falling to Perera. Mohammad Nabi scored 12-ball 15 before the seasoned Lasith Malinga cut short his stay in the middle.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 249 (Rahmat Shah 72, Thisara Perera 5/55, Akila Dhananjaya 2/39) versus Sri Lanka. Match to continue