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We fell 20-25 runs short; fielding wasn't great, says Afghanistan skipper Nabi

Sharjah, Sep 4 (IANS) Afghanistan captain Mohammed Nabi attributed his team’s four-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Super Four match here to his batters not setting a total in the vicinity of 200 runs on a small Sharjah ground, and also expressed displeasure with the fielders dropping catches.

Sri Lanka on Saturday won their Super Four match against Afghanistan by four wickets with five balls remaining after they overhauled the target of 175 for the loss of six wickets, with openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis giving a good start and Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who usually comes in at one-down but came in to bat at No.5 — scoring 31.

Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz (84 from 45 balls) and Ibrahim Zadran (40 from 38) were the chief contributors to the team total of 175/6 as the rest failed, resulting in a below-par score on a good batting wicket.

“We were about 20-25 runs short, and also we didn’t field well or bowl in the right areas. It’s a better pitch than the one we played on against Bangladesh, which is why I said we were a few runs short. We didn’t bowl brilliantly, but we bowled well. We dropped some catches, which if we took, the game would have been different,” said Nabi.

‘Player of the Match’, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, too conceded his team was a good 25 runs short, adding the side would try to iron out the flaws before the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

“Of course disappointed with the result, but that’s cricket. We were short 25 runs or so, because the wicket wasn’t that difficult. I just tried to do my best, but I think the way we finished in the final overs wasn’t good. Playing franchise cricket has helped a lot, because of how we train to compete in those big competitions. We hope to take the form from here to the World Cup as well.”

–IANS

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