Sri Lanka Thrash Afghanistan To Reach Asia Cup Final

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan
Asghar Stanikizai departs as Sri Lanka players celebrate during their huge win in Mirpur
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 253-6 (Sangakkara 76) beat
Afghanistan 124 (Mendis 3-11) by 129 runs
Asia Cup game six, Mirpur

Sri Lanka qualified for the final of the Asia Cup 2014 in emphatic style as they thrashed Afghanistan by 129 runs in their penultimate group game.

Kumar Sangakkara's 76 helped them post 253 for six before Afghanistan were bowled out for 124 in 38.4 overs having never threatened to get on terms.

There was to be no repeat for them of their historic victory over Bangladesh two days earlier and Sri Lanka laid another marker down in what continues to be an impressive campaign.

Coming to terms with the slow nature of the pitch Sangakkara made a patient, yet invaluable, 76 in 102 balls to put Sri Lanka in the ascendency.

Kushal Perera (33), Dinesh Chandimal (26) and Angelo Mathews (45 not out) also made useful contributions.

For Afghanistan, Mirwais Ashraf took two for 29 with Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Hamza Hotak taking a wicket apiece.

Little then went right during Afghanistan's reply, losing Mohammad Shehzad for seven to Suranga Lakmal early, and wickets tumbling quickly afterwards.

Noor Ali Zadran (21) and Asghar Stanikzai (27) briefly offered some resistance, putting on 45 for the second wicket but before long they were reduced to 73 for five and this time, unlike against Bangladesh, there was to be no comeback.

Mohammad Nabi struck 37 in 43 balls but Najibullah Zadran (11) was the only other player to reach double figures.

Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis both took three wickets with Lakmal and Chathuranga de Silva taking two apiece during a thoroughly dominant, efficient and incisive performance by the Sri Lankans.

Sri Lanka play Bangladesh in their final group game on 6th March while Afghanistan take on India one day earlier.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results
25th February: Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 296-6 (Thirimanne 102) beat
Pakistan 284 (Malinga 5-52) by 12 runs
26th February: Bangladesh v India
India 280-4 (Kohli 136, Rahane 73) beat
Bangladesh 279-7 (M Rahim 113) by 6 wickets
27th February: Afghanistan v Pakistan
Pakistan 248-8 (Umar Akmal 102no) beat
Afghanistan 176 (M Hafeez 3-29) by 72 runs
28th February: India v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 265-8 (Sangakkara 103) beat
India 264-9 (Dhawan 94) by 2 wickets
1st March: Bangladesh v Afghanistan
Afghanistan 254-6 (Asghar Stanikzai 90no) beat
Bangladesh 222 (Mominul Haque 50) by 32 runs
2nd March: India v Pakistan
Pakistan 249-9 (Mohammad Hafeez 75) beat
India 245-8 (Sharma 56) by one wicket
3rd March: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 253-6 (Sangakkara 76) beat
Afghanistan 124 (Mendis 3-11) by 129 runs
4th March: Bangladesh v Pakistan
Pakistan 329-7 (Ahmed Shehzad 103) beat
Bangladesh 326-3 by three wickets
5th March: Afghanistan v India
India 160-2 (Dhawan 60, Rahane 56) beat
Afghanistan 159 (Jadeja 4-30) by 8 wickets
6th March: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 208-7 (Mathews 74no) beat
Bangladesh 204-9 (Priyanjan 2-11) by 3 wickets
8th March: FINAL - Pakistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka 261-5 (Thirimanne 101) beat
Pakistan 260-5 (Malinga 5-56) by 5 wickets