Skipper Gulbadin Naib admitted Afghanistan struggled in English conditions and blamed wayward bowling in the first 10 overs for their 34-run loss to Sri Lanka in the World Cup. Electing to bowl, Afghanistan bowlers couldn’t exploit the conditions initially to allow Sri Lanka amass 79 in the first 10 overs. They pulled things back in the middle but Sri Lanka posted 201 all out in 36.5 overs after a rain interruption.
Afghanistan bowlers conceded 35 extras, which hurt them in the end. Chasing a rain-revised target of 187 to win, Gulbadin’s men could never recover after being 57 for five to eventually suffer a 34-run loss, their second defeat in the tournament. “We didn’t start well with the ball and didn’t bowl enough in the right areas in the first 10 overs. I think maybe the bowlers didn’t take enough responsibility,” Gulbadin said.
“We were better in the middle and credit must go to how Rashid Khan, Hamid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi bowled.
“But we missed something at the start and if we didn’t give away 35 extras then maybe Sri Lanka don’t score 201.”
Gulbadin said Afghanistan failed to adapt to the seamer-friendly conditions. “Sri Lanka are an experienced team who have played a lot in these type of conditions whether in New Zealand or England,” said the 28-year-old.
“The wicket was completely different to the one we played on against Australia at Bristol. I was telling my guys to play straight and to take their time but they struggle a lot on these kind of surfaces.
“We lost some wickets at the start. Me and Najib tried to keep calm, play straight and not to go for the runs. But the main thing is Sri Lanka bowled really well credit must go to their bowlers.”