All-rounder Mohammed Nabi completed 5,000 international runs on Tuesday, becoming the first-ever Afghanistan player to do so. The 38-year-old reached this milestone during his side’s Asia Cup 2023 group stage clash against Sri Lanka. During his side’s chase of 292 runs, which they needed to get to in 37.1 overs to qualify for the Super Four stage, Nabi scored 65 in 32 balls, consisting of six fours and five sixes. His runs came at a strike rate of 203.12.
Nabi’s fifty came in 24 balls, becoming the fastest fifty by an Afghanistan player in ODI history, overtaking Mujeeb ur Rahman’s recent record of 26-ball fifty against Pakistan last month.
Now in 259 international matches, Nabi has scored 5,011 runs at an average of 24.56, with a strike rate of 99.22. He has scored a century and 21 fifties in 238 innings, with the best score of 116.
He is Afghanistan’s leading run-scorer in international cricket, followed by Mohammad Shahzad (4,811 in 156 matches) and Asghar Afghan (4,246 in 195 matches).
In three Tests, he has scored 33 runs at an average of 5.50 and best score of 24.
In 147 ODIs, he has scored 3,153 runs at an average of 27.18, with one century and 18 fifties in 131 innings. He is the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs behind Rahmat Shah (3,269 runs in 97 matches)
He has also played 109 T20Is, scoring 1,825 runs at an average of 22.25, with five fifties in 101 innings, with the best score of 89. He is the second-highest run-scorer in T20Is behind Mohammed Shahzad (2,015 runs).
Coming to the match, Sri Lanka opted to bat first and put on 291/8 in their 50 overs. Pathum Nissanka (41 in 40 balls with six fours), Dimuth Karunaratne (32 in 35 balls with six fours) and Kusal Mendis (92 in 84 balls with six fours and three sixes) at the top and then Charith Asalanka (36 in 43 balls, with two fours and a six), Dunith Wellalage (33 in 39 balls with three fours and a six) and Maheesh Theekshana (28 in 24 balls with two fours and a six) later played crucial knocks for Lanka.
Gulbadin Naib (4/60) and Rashid Khan (2/63) were the pick of the bowlers for Afghans.
In the chase of 292, Afghanistan lost their openers early, but knocks from Gulbadin Naib (22 in 16 balls with four fours), Rahmat Shah (45 in 40 balls with five fours and a six), Hashmatullah Shahidi (59 in 66 balls with three fours and a six) and Mohammed Nabi (65 in 32 balls with six fours and five sixes) pulled Afghanistan back into the game.
Karim Janat (22 in 13 balls with a four and two sixes), Najibullah Zadran (23 in 15 balls with a four and two sixes) and Rashid Khan (27 in 16 balls, with four boundaries and a six) scored well, but the brilliance of Dhanajaya (2/12), Dunith (2/36) and Kasun Rajitha (4/79) in final overs left them two runs short of a win.
Sri Lanka advances to the Super Four Stage with four points, two wins in two matches along with Bangladesh (two points, one win and a loss in two matches) from their group. From another group, India and Pakistan have advanced.
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