SL vs AFG: A thumping win for Sri Lanka, keeps the series alive…

SL vs AFG: A thumping win for Sri Lanka, keeps the series alive...
SL vs AFG 2nd ODI (Pic- Twitter)
SL vs AFG: From 146 for two, Afghanistan collapsed to be bowled out for 191 runs in 42.1 overs, losing its last eight wickets for just 45 runs...

SL vs AFG: From being defeated by 6 wickets in the first ODI despite having a massive score to winning the massive margin, this is how Lanka turned the table. Sri Lanka came up with a dominant show with both bat and ball to stage a strong comeback and level the three-match series against Afghanistan on Sunday.

Let’s start from the start. It is June 4th 2023, there was Afghan against Lanka playing their 2nd ODI of 3 matches. Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to set a target against the opposition to chase. As it looked a quality batting track Sanaka didn’t hesitate to bat first.

The openers scored freely to pile on the runs. Comeback man Dimuth Karunaratne didn’t impress in the opening ODI but got going with two boundaries off Fazalhaq Farooqi in just his first over.

Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka got Sri Lanka off to a rapid start but Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman’s kept the run rate in check in the powerplay. Afghanistan made an entry point when Mohammad Nabi caught Nissanka leg-before-wicket. The opener added 82 runs in 15.5 overs as it was slow batting.

Half-centuries by Dimuth Karunaratne and Kushal Mendis helped Srilanka to post a total of 323. Kushal Mendis became the top scorer for Sri Lanka. Dasun Sanaka had some big hitting in the end but Hasaranga played a cameo role and finished things off in style with an unbeaten 29 off 12 balls with four fours and a six.

After setting a target of 324, Dushmantha Chameera dismissed the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz cheaply for two runs to give his side an early advantage and a breakthrough to the visitors’ side.

Kasun Rajitha and Chameera bowled tight lines and lengths which made Afghanistan down. By the 15th over the visitors had crawled to 56-1. Afghanistan began sluggishly, the required rate was already above 7.5 per over.

Although after this Afghanistan made a very strong partnership, their run rate kept increasing. Opening batsman Ibrahim Zadran continued his form and added 86 runs for the third wicket with captain Hashmatullah Shahidi. But as soon as the wicket of Ibrahim Zadran fell, the visiting team lost its rhythm.

Zadran scored 75 runs while the captain Shahidi scored 57 runs. From 146 for 2 in 30.2 overs, Afghanistan was in such a state of disarray that they were all out for 191 in 42.1.

Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva took 3 wickets each. This is Sri Lanka’s biggest win over Afghanistan in ODIs. At the same time, they made up for their disappointing performance in the first ODI on Friday, in which they lost by six wickets.

Sri Lanka’s display of batting has given them a boost of confidence ahead of this month’s World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

Although Afghanistan have already qualified for the World Cup, they will be feeling positive despite Sunday’s heavy defeat as star Rashid Khan is expected to play in the final match on Wednesday. The leg-spinner had been ruled out of the first two games due to a back injury.

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