Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi was proud of his team’s performance despite a heartbreaking two-run loss to Sri Lanka that knocked his side out of the Asia Cup in Colombo on Tuesday.
The Asia Cup match was crucial for both teams, but especially for Afghanistan, who needed to chase down a target of 292 runs set by Sri Lanka in just 37.1 overs due to their lower run rate. This was a daunting task, but the Afghan team rose to the challenge with determination and grit.
“Very disappointed about it. We fought well, we gave our 100 per cent. Proud of the team for the way we played, the way we batted. I think in the last couple of years we played good cricket in the ODI format also,” Shahidi said.
Sri Lanka had started off strong, setting a formidable target for Afghanistan. Their leading run-scorer, Kusal Mendis, played an impressive innings, scoring 92 runs in 84 balls. Despite this, Afghanistan did not back down. Veteran player Mohammad Nabi led the charge, smashing a quickfire 65 off just 32 balls, marking the fastest half-century by an Afghan player in ODIs.
The match was a nail-biter, with Afghanistan coming tantalizingly close to victory. However, they fell short by just two runs, ending their innings at 289 in 37.4 overs. This narrow defeat resulted in Afghanistan’s elimination from the tournament, while Sri Lanka advanced to the Super 4 stage.
“We are still learning a lot. We had a lot of positives in this tournament. We are very near to the World Cup, what we did wrong here we will learn and be better for World Cup. Our crowd is always supporting us. We are thankful to them. We tried tour best to give something back to them today, we feel sorry for them,” he added.