SL vs AFG Highlights Asia Cup 2022: Afghanistan beats Sri Lanka by eight wickets to win tournament opener in Dubai

Asia Cup 2022 Highlights: Afghanistan thrashes Sri Lanka by eight wickets and 59 balls to spare to kickstart its campaign in style at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on Saturday.


Updated : Aug 27, 2022 22:34 IST

Charith Asalanka reacts while he walks back to pavilion during the Asia Cup match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Charith Asalanka reacts while he walks back to pavilion during the Asia Cup match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. | Photo Credit: AP

Charith Asalanka reacts while he walks back to pavilion during the Asia Cup match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. | Photo Credit: AP

Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s HIGHLIGHTS of the Asia Cup 2022 match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.


After being put in to bat, Sri Lanka lost the plot and crumbled to 105. The chase was over in quick time, with Afghanistan making the runs in 10.1 overs. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz smashed an 18-ball 40 to put the match beyond the reach of the Lankans. Fellow opener Hazratullah Zazai (37 n.o., 28b, 5x4, 1x6) stuck around to finish the job. FULL REPORT HERE

AFG 106/2 IN 10.1 OVERS

Asalanka the bowler. Off the inside edge and a single behind the keeper. Not the most convincing way to register such a resounding win. Afghanistan thrashes Sri Lanka by eight wickets and 59 balls to spare.

AFG 105/2 IN 10 OVERS

Theekshana into his third over. Ibrahim drills the first one to long-off for a single. OUT! Unlucky dismissal as Theekshana gets a hand to the ball after Zazai drives down the ground. The ball crashes into the stumps and Ibrahim is outside his crease at the non-striker’s end. Najibullah is in next. Two singles to end the over. Scores level.

AFG 102/1 IN 9 OVERS

Hasaranga with the ball. Full and straight and Ibrahim lifts it over the bowler with ease for another boundary. Pushed to long-on for a single and that’s 100 up in 8.3 overs. Afghanistan now one hit away. A couple of singles follow.


FOUR! Ibrahim throws his hands at this one outside off and collects four behind point. Six runs off the first two balls in this Theekshana over. Zazai makes room outside off and cuts it away to deep cover for a single.


OUT! Gurbaz goes and finally some respite for Sri Lanka. Gurbaz steps out, it is the googly that turns in a bit and stays low to sneak past the bat and crash into the stumps. Ibrahim Zadran the new batter. Three singles to end the over.


SIX! Shanaka into the attack but that doesn’t change anything. Slower one and Gurbaz hits through the line, lofting it over long-off for a maximum. FOUR! Zazai from the other end is also on the charge as he drives aerially over the covers for another boundary. FOUR! This is a skilful shot from Zazai as he steers it to the third man fence for four more. He hacks across the line, skies it to deep backward square leg but the fielder in the deep has to run in a long way and is just short. A couple of runs. FOUR! Everything going Afghanistan’s way here. Outside edge that loops over short third to run to the boundary.


SIX! Astounding shot from Gurbaz as she shuffles across the stumps a bit and then sweeps this with strong wrists for a six at fine-leg. SIX! Another one next ball as Gurbaz hammers this full one over the long-off boundary. FOUR! It’s raining boundaries here as Gurbaz eases this past the mid-off fielder for four runs. FOUR! Another boundary to end the over, this time it is Zazai, as 21 runs come from it.


Hasaranga into the attack. Two singles to start the over. Down leg-side and Zazai goes for the sweep behind but misses, collecting two leg-byes in the process. Full on the legs and Zazai whips it off this pads and over the midwicket boundary for a maximum.


Debutant Pathirana with the ball. On the money straightaway but Gurbaz is solid in his defence. FOUR! Full, outside off and Gurbaz hammers it through the line and down the ground for four runs. SIX! Short and pulled away by Gurbaz over the fine-leg boundary. FOUR! Gurbaz disdainfully dispatching Pathirana here. Half-volley outside off and driven over the covers for a boundary. Gurbaz this time looks to make room outside off. Pathirana follows him and Gurbaz ends up flicking it to deep square leg for two more. Slower one to end the over and Gurbaz is beaten for pace.


OUT! Theekshana into the attack and strikes first ball. Oh wait! Gurbaz goes upstairs and he survives as this is missing leg stump. Wide down leg next ball and the batters hare for a single. Zazai makes room outside off but ends up trickling it to mid-off. He is beaten next ball trying to carve one behind the keeper. A couple of runs next ball as Zazai gets a thick outside edge trying to go big on the off-side.

AFG 11/0 IN 1 OVER

Zazai and Gurbaz are out to begin the chase for Afghanistan. Zaza is off the mark with a single off the first ball to fine leg. Beaten! Shaping away and Madushanka beats Gurbaz’s outside edge outside off. Length ball down leg side and off the thigh pad to fine-leg for one leg-bye. Very wide outside leg and the keeper also can’t get to it. Runs away for five wides. Zazai beaten on the cut on this occassion. FOUR! Commanding way to end the over as Zazai hammers this length ball outside off to the midwicket boundary.


SL 105 IN 19.4 OVERS

FOUR! Down the ground boundary for Karunaratne and Sri Lanka brings up 100 in 19.1 overs. Full-toss, muscled over midwicket but no run taken. A couple of runs off the third ball. OUT! Karunaratne gets an inside edge onto his stumps as he goes fetching wide outside off. Sri Lanka bowled out for 105 in 19.4 overs.

SL 99/9 IN 19 OVERS

Naveen with the ball. Full and wide outside off. Karunaratne fetches it and thumps it down the ground but doesn’t run. Slightly shorter this one and slogged to long-on and still no runs from the over. Slower one next up and it is three dot balls in a row. Slow and short this time and Karunaratne gets some bat on it despite taking his his eyes off the ball and scurries through for a couple. FOUR! Full-toss over the waist, no-ball and Karunaratne puts this away to the fine-leg fence. Free-hit coming up. Slower one again and Karunaratne hits this straight down the throat of the long-off fielder and takes a single. Yorker to end the over and Madushanka just about digs it out. Nabi goes upstairs for an LBW shout. It is pitching outside leg and Madushanka survives even though he missed this one.

SL 91/9 IN 18 OVERS

Farooqi returns. Two dot balls as Karunaratne continues to turn the singles down. Three dots in a row now. Finally he hares for a couple after drilling a low full toss down the ground. Slow and short one this one and Karunaratne steps out but cannot connect, deceived by the lack of pace. Karunaratne just about squeezes out a single off the last ball to keep strike.

SL 88/9 IN 17 OVERS

FOUR! Loose ball from Mujeeb down leg and Karunaratne swings it behind and past short fine for four runs. He is turning down the singles here and now you know why. SIX! Steps out a bit and flicks over square leg. The fielder in the deep gets a hand to it but then ends up parrying it over the rope. Karunaratne keeps strike with a single.

SL 77/9 IN 16 OVERS

Rashid to bowl his last over. Spins one into Karunaratne, who misses it, but probably going down leg. Googly to end the over and Karunaratne goes deep in his crease and carves it behind point for a single.

SL 75/9 IN 15 OVERS

Nabi bowls out. Just a single off the first three balls. OUT! Slog sweep again undoing a Sri Lanka batter. Pathirana gets down and gets a top edge that is comfortably taken at covers.

SL 73/8 IN 14 OVERS

Rashid into his third. Searing googly and Pathirana gets his bat down in time and gets a thick inside edge that goes past the stumps for a couple. Loud LBW appeal off the last ball of the over but the umpire is not convinced and Nabi goes upstairs for the review. Turning in again into Karunaratne, who brought his front pad forward but missed the ball. Umpire’s call for impact and Karunaratne will survive.

SL 70/8 IN 13 OVERS

OUT! Big wicket of Rajapaksa, who is run out at the non-striker’s end with a direct hit. OUT! Another run out next ball and Sri Lanka in serious trouble now as Theekshana walks back without facing a ball. Single for Pathirana off the last ball of the over. Just two runs from it.

SL 68/6 IN 12 OVERS

Rashid to bowl his second over. He keeps it right. Rajapaksa goes for a big heave outside off but misses. Just two singles from the over as Rajapaksa ends the over with three dot balls.

SL 66/6 IN 11 OVERS

OUT! Shanaka goes for a golden duck! Nabi the skipper gets his counterpart off the first ball as Shanaka edges it behind to the keeper. He was looking to open the blade of the bat and run it down to third man but ended up getting faint edge. Karunaratne is in now. He is off the mark with one after two dots.

SL 64/5 IN 10 OVERS

OUT! Another one bites the dust and this Hasaranga, who was looking to attack the spinners from ball one. He goes for the slog sweep again and gets a top edge that loops high before it is pouched by mid-off. Rajapaksa, meanwhile, continues to bat on a different surface. Width and room outside off from Mujeeb and he hangs back and slashes it behind point for a boundary.

SL 59/4 IN 9 OVERS

Rashid Khan is finally here with the ball. Cut off the backfoot by Hasaranga to the point fielder. Drifted on the pads and clipped to long-on for a single. Down leg side and Rajapaksa misses the sweep. A half-shout by the keeper but the umpire is unmoved. That was close! Turns late into Rajapaksa, who gets an inside edge that almost crashes into the stumps before rolling behind the keeper for a single. Hasaranga goes for the slog sweep but only manages an inside edge onto his leg. Just five runs from the over.

SL 54/4 IN 8 OVERS

OUT! Mujeeb gets the big breakthrough. Unleashes the reverse-sweep, connects well but straight to the point fielder. Gunathilaka has to go. Hasaranga is in next. He gets off the mark with a single after two dot balls. FOUR! Rajapaksa ends the over with a boundary.

SL 50/3 IN 7 OVERS

Nabi into the attack. He slows things down again a bit. Batters dealing in singles. The captain is playing matchups perhaps with two left-handers at the crease. FOUR! Boundary off the fifth ball of the over however, as Rajapaksa gets low and hammers it ovr cover for a boundary. Last ball goes down leg, but Rajapaksa misses the sweep and the keeper thinks he has got his man. Umpire turns down the appeal but Nabi goes upstairs. Nothing on UltraEdge as the ball seems to have brushed the pad only. Afghanistan loses the review. Wide ball signal will remain. Fifty up for Sri Lanka in 6.5 overs. Okay, looks like the ball will not be bowled again as the umpires say it’s over up.

SL 41/3 IN 6 OVERS

Omarzai to bowl the last over of the PowerPlay. The medium-pacer starts with a wide ball down leg-side. Width and room outside off and Rajapaksa cuts it hard to deep point for a single. FOUR! Audacious from Gunathilaka as he shuffles across and ramps it to the third man boundary for four runs. FOUR! Another boundary as Gunathilaka makes room outside off and sends it crashing over covers. Dropped! Gunathilaka gets a reprive as an easy one is dropped at cover. He makes them pay with a couple of back to back fours.

SL 21/3 IN 5 OVERS

Mujeeb into the attack with his off-spin. He runs through his over and just three singles come from it.

SL 18/3 IN 4 OVERS

Naveen will continue. Rare loose ball on the pads and Rajapaksa flicks it through midwicket for a single and gets off the mark. Yorker dug out down the ground by Gunathilaka for a single. SIX! Finally something to rejoice for Sri Lanka. Full on middle and off and Rajapaksa stands and delivers and smashes this over the long-off boundary for a maximum. The bowler responds with a short of a length ball next up. FOUR! Cracking shot to end the over as Gunathilaka leans into the drive and sends this full delivery through the covers and to the boundary.


Hat-trick ball for Farooqi. Angling into Gunathilaka and he gets an inside edge onto his pad. Four dots and Gunathilaka almost chops on off the fifth delivery as he gets a thick inside edge. Slower one to end the over and it is a dot and a maiden as Gunathilaka defends it back to the bowler.


Naveen Ul Haq from the other end with the new ball. Couple of dots to start the over. Full one just outside off and crisply driven by Nissanka but straight to the cover fielder. Four dot balls in a row now and Afghanistan has Sri Lanka under the pump already. Slower one, Nissanka steps out and heaves it to deep midwicket for a couple. Is that another one? The umpire gives out as Nissanka swings and misses but the batter reviews after some deliberation with his partner. Nissanka shimmied out again and looked to muscle that to the long-on fence but the ball moved away a bit and missed the blade. OUT! Just a murmur as the ball passed the bat on UltraEdge but it is given out and Nissanka can’t believe it.

SL 3/2 IN 1 OVER

Left-arm pacer Farooqi to Nissanka. Drifted on the pads and he tucks it away for a single on the leg-side. Mendis lifts the second ball over the bowler for a couple. OUT! Pitching on middle and leg and swings into Mendis, who misses the flick. Umpire turns it down but Afghanistan reviews and it’s hitting leg stump. OUT! Two in two for Farooqi Came in sharply on a length from outside off stump into Asalanka and he is trapped in front for a golden duck.

Afghanistan in a huddle just as the Sri Lanka openers step into the ground. Nissanka and Kusal Mendis are in the middle.

The teams, led by captains Dasun Shanaka and Mohammad Nabi, are out for the national anthems.

Afghanistan Playing XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Sri Lanka Playing XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana.

PITCH REPORT: It is a brand new surface and it is pretty much in the centre so the boundaries are not too skewed. The shortest boundary is 66m long. Scott Styris reckons the wicket has something in it for everyone.

TOSS: Afghanistan wins the toss and elects to bowl first. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka says he would have done the same. This is also Afghanistan’s 100th T20I match.

STAT: 22 out of 33 games in the T20 World Cup 2021 (Super 12s onwards) were won by the team bowling second.

We are moments away from the toss in Dubai...

Meanwhile, India is getting in the groove ahead of the big clash tomorrow against Pakistan.

6:47 PM IST

The toss is coming up shortly. Here is a look at the X-factor players ahead of the tournament opener.

Wanindu Hasaranga

After finishing as the leading wicket-taker (16) in his maiden appearance at the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman last year, Wanindu Hasaranga will return as the bowling spearhead of the Sri Lankan attack. 

Rashid Khan

While he has not been at his phenomenal best in T20Is this year, Rashid Khan continues to cast a spot of doubt on the batter’s mind, time and again. He is way ahead in terms of wickets in all T20 cricket this year (62 in 47 matches).

Will familiarity with conditions help Sri Lanka today?

Saturday’s Asia Cup 2022 opener between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Stadium will be a crisscross of torment and catharsis for both teams.

The fall of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July, which followed months of protests, was greeted with joy by many in Sri Lanka. However, now, even as the country tries to retain a semblance of normalcy, the remnants of an unprecedented economic crisis continue to linger.

Meanwhile, it’s been more than a year since the Taliban entered Kabul unchallenged and took control of Afghanistan, which has now endured more than four decades of war.

So, there is perhaps no denying the fact that cricket will be a great distractor for both teams over the next week.


Marred by a lack of pedigree after the exit of its stalwarts post the T20 World Cup triumph in 2014, Sri Lanka has tottered in the quest to pave its way back to the top of the T20 game. Its struggles over the last six years have also witnessed a constant shuffle in the leadership tank.

With Dasun Shanka assuming captaincy in the limited-overs formats in 2021, Sri Lanka has attempted a revival of sorts. The arrival of fresh talent in Wanindu Hasaranga and Charith Asalanka has also bolstered spirits. However, with inconsistency in personnel over each passing series, Sri Lanka’s core is still under reconstruction.  


Take a six-year timeline since its inability in qualifying for the 2016 Asia Cup  T20, and Afghanistan has made rapid strides in the international arena. Its remarkable progress earned it the ICC full-member nation tag in 2017 and come the 2018 edition, Afghanistan ruffled a few feathers. 

Afghanistan topped its group comprising Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with wins over both sides in the group stage. It nearly pulled off a spot in the final before losing close matches to Pakistan and Bangladesh in the Super 4s. It also clinched a thrilling tie against India in the final match. 

Afghanistan leapfrogged Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in time for the 2021 T20 World Cup to seal an automatic spot in the Super 12s. In a campaign that could have gone either way with stiff matches against Pakistan and New Zealand, Afghanistan emerged as a team that cannot be taken lightly anymore - a dark horse capable of magic on its night. 

Sri Lanka Predicted XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Asitha Fernando.
Afghanistan Predicted XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Karim Janat, Noor Ahmad.
Wicketkeeper: Rahmanullah Gurbaz  Batters: Najibullah-Zadran, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka  All-rounders: Wanindu Hasaranga (vc), Mohammad Nabi, Chamika Karunaratne  Bowlers: Rashid-Khan (C), Maheesh Theekshana, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman.
Team Composition:   AFG 5:6 SL 
Sri Lanka  Squad: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka(w), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Asitha Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Ashen Bandara, Praveen Jayawickrama, Nuwanidu Fernando, Pramod Madushan, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwan Thushara.
Afghanistan  Squad: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi(c), Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afsar Zazai, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Usman Ghani, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi
The 2022 Asia Cup match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will be aired LIVE on the Star Sports Network at 7:30 PM IST. The match will also be live streamed on Disney+Hotstar.
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