Sri Lanka secured their maiden ODI series win over Afghanistan today (07th June) at Hambantota International Cricket Stadium when they beat the visitors by a comfortable margin of 9 wickets in the series decider.
Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi has won the toss and opted to bat first while bringing their star leg spinner Rashid Khan & Gulbadin Naib to their playing xi. The hosts also made one change as they brought back Lahiru Kumara in place of Kasun Rajitha.
Afghanistan (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi(c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad Malik
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara
Rahmanullah Gurbaz & Ibrahim Zadran opened the innings, but once again they failed to provide a good start to the innings. Lahiru Kumara got rid of Gurbaz with a well-directed bumper as Dimuth Karunaratne took a well-judged catch at the fine leg region. Gurbaz ended a rather disappointing series with scores of 14, 2, 8.
Rahmat Shah’s stay at the crease didn’t last long as Dushmantha Chameera nicked him to the keeper. Soon after, skipper Shahidi made his way back to the pavilion in the same fashion for just 4 runs.
Afghanistan found themselves in a terrible position as they were reduced to 48/4 by Lahiru Kumara, castling the dangerous Ibrahim Zadran for 22. Mohommed Nabi was the highest run scorer for visitors with a 23-run knock while Gulbadin Naib got out after making 20 runs.
None of the Afghan batters made significant contributions to losing their wickets at regular intervals as they were bowled out for 116 inside 23 overs. Sri Lanka’s star pacer Chameera made good signs for the hosts with 4 wickets ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers. Kumara set the platform with the new ball for Sri Lanka, finishing with 2/29 in 5 overs.
Start of the series, Wanindu Hasaranga’s form was another major concern for Sri Lanka in the ODI format, but he made a very good comeback, bowling too economically by picking up 3/7 in 4.3 overs. Maheesh Theekshana also bowled well in his short spell to bag the other wicket in the Afghan innings.
Nissanka and Karunaratne provided a fabulous start to the run-chase as they were piling on the runs and that too came in a very quick time. Nissanka scored his 7th ODI half-century as his fastest in this format off just 32 deliveries which included 8 fours & 2 sixes. Gulbadin Naib trapped him in front of the stumps after an 84-run stand for the opening wicket within just 10.1 overs.
Then Kusal Mendis joined Karunaratne to take Sri Lanka home safely with an unbroken 34-run partnership for the 2nd wicket. Karunaratne smashed his 2nd consecutive fifty in the series and remained unbeaten on 56 off just 45 balls including 7 boundaries.
Sri Lanka chased down the target in just 16 overs to clinch the 3-match series 2-1 and that became Sri Lanka’s first-ever bilateral series win over Afghanistan. Dushmantha Chameera has taken 6 wickets in just two games and won both Man of the Match Award & Man of the series Award due to his terrific bowling display.
|Rahmanullah Gurbaz||c Chamika Karunaratne b Lahiru Kumara||8||10||2||0||80.00|
|Ibrahim Zadran||b Lahiru Kumara||22||21||4||0||104.76|
|Rahmat Shah||c Kusal Mendis b Dushmantha Chameera||7||11||1||0||63.64|
|Hashmatullah Shahidi||c Kusal Mendis b Dushmantha Chameera||4||3||1||0||133.33|
|Mohammad Nabi||lbw b Dushmantha Chameera||23||23||2||0||100.00|
|Najibullah Zadran||c Wanindu Hasaranga b Dushmantha Chameera||10||13||2||0||76.92|
|Gulbadin Naib||c Dhananjaya de Silva b Mahesh Theekshana||20||21||4||0||95.24|
|Rashid Khan||lbw b Wanindu Hasaranga||2||8||0||0||25.00|
|Mujeeb ur Rahman||c Kusal Mendis b Wanindu Hasaranga||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Fazal Haq Farooqi||lbw b Wanindu Hasaranga||4||15||1||0||26.67|
|Fareed Ahmad||not out||13||7||0||1||185.71|
|Extras||3 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 2, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||116/10 (22.2 Overs, RR: 5.19)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-13 (1.6) Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 2-27 (4.3) Rahmat Shah, 3-31 (4.6) Hashmatullah Shahidi, 4-48 (8.4) Ibrahim Zadran, 5-72 (12.4) Najibullah Zadran, 6-77 (14.1) Mohammad Nabi, 7-80 (15.4) Rashid Khan, 8-92 (17.2) Mujeeb ur Rahman, 9-103 (20.4) Gulbadin Naib, 10-116 (22.2) Fazal Haq Farooqi,|
|Pathum Nissanka||lbw b Gulbadin Naib||51||34||8||2||150.00|
|Dimuth Karunaratne||not out||56||45||7||0||124.44|
|Kusal Mendis||not out||11||17||1||0||64.71|
|Extras||2 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 0, w 1, pen 0)|
|Total||120/1 (16 Overs, RR: 7.5)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-84 (10.1) Pathum Nissanka,|
|Fazal Haq Farooqi||4||0||33||0||8.25|
|Mujeeb ur Rahman||2||0||18||0||9.00|