The sixth match of the Asia Cup 2023 saw Afghanistan and Sri Lanka battle against each other in a thrilling encounter at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday (September 5). Although Afghanistan lost the contest and failed to secure a spot in the Super 4 round of the continental event, Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi stole the show with a sensational batting performance and shattered many records in the process.
After losing the toss and being asked to field first, Afghanistan bowlers struggled to contain the Sri Lankan batters. Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka shined for the Sri Lankan side, smashing 41 and 92 runs, respectively. On the other hand, Gulbadin Naib impressed with the ball for Afghanistan, claiming a brilliant four-fer for 60 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
In reply, Afghanistan needed to chase the target in 37.1 overs to sail to the Super 4 round and looked very much into the race after Nabi smashed quickfire 65 runs off 32 deliveries with a staggering strike rate of 203.12 to shift the momentum in Afghanistan’s favour. In the process, Nabi created history by becoming the first Afghanistan batter to amass 5,000 runs in international cricket.
It is worth mentioning that Nabi has represented Afghanistan in 259 international matches and has also served as the national side’s captain for a brief period of time, with 21 international fifties and a century to his name. he star-all-rounder reached the fifty-run mark against Sri Lanka in just 24 balls and also became the batter to hit the fastest ODI fifty for his nation.
Coming back to the Afghanistan and Sri Lanka match, despite Nabi’s exploit, the Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side lost the contest by two runs and were bundled out for 289 in 37.4 overs.