Andrew Fidel Fernando in ESPNcrcinfo, 1 November 2022, where the title reads thus “Hasaranga, Dhananjaya, Kumara keep Sri Lanka’s campaign alive”
Having flayed Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, Rahmanullah Gurbaz seemed to be getting into his work again, particularly when he lofted Lahiru Kumara down the ground in the third over to hit the game’s first six. He was on 28 off 23 at the end of the powerplay, and Afghanistan had a platform, having made 42 for no loss. But first ball of the seventh over, Kumara nipped one back into Gurbaz, to knock back middle stump. And Afghanistan did not have a partnership that touched 30 for the rest of the innings.
You wouldn’t think this was the guy who went at over 17 runs an over, just two matches ago. In this game, Hasaranga bowled the seventh, 11th, 14th, and final over of the innings, took three wickets, and did not concede a single boundary. He took special pleasure in bowling his opposite number – Rashid – with a googly in the 20th over, which brought Sri Lanka two wickets and cost only three runs. He was electric on the field, as usual.
De Silva was two off seven at the end of the powerplay, then 12 off 15 later. But with only a modest total to chase, he did not panic, even when the required rate had crept to above eight at the halfway stage. In the 11th over, de Silva nailed a slog sweep off Rashid Khan for six, and this is when his own innings, and that of the team, switched into a higher gear. He hit 54 runs off the last 29 balls he faced, launching Mohammad Nabi for a six into the sight screen, cracking seamers over the covers, and sending the spinners legside. It was his partnership with Asalanka that really broke the game open for Sri Lanka. The pair made 54 off 34 together; de Silva hit 29 off 16.
In truth, Rashid bowled well, getting Kusal Mendis in his first over before having Asalanka caught at long-on in his third. One of the boundaries he conceded to de Silva was also the result of an inside edge. But by the end of his spell, Rashid was visibly frustrated at not having made a greater impact (his figures were 2 for 31), and then things got worse. As he slid to stop a ball on the boundary with Sri Lanka on the cusp of victory, his left knee got stuck in the Gabba’s soft turf. He had to be helped off the field, but later in the day the Afghanistan Cricket Board said in a tweet that he had “considerably improved” after having twisted his knee and “is expected to be fully fit soon”.