Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Match Highlights – Before the start, it was deemed to be a match where both the teams have equal opportunity.
It proved to be exactly the same when the two teams collided. In what turned out to be a thriller, Sri Lanka scored their first points by beating Afghanistan by 34 runs in a rain-curtailed match by DL method.
Must Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Points Table
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan won the toss and invited Sri Lanka which was battered in the previous match against New Zealand to bat. It was expected that Afghanistan would follow a similar tactic employed by New Zealand. They started on a similar fashion with two pacers from both ends. Usually, they go about with a spinner from the other side while Zadran bowling the openers. But inspired by the nemesis of their opponents, they included the other strategy. However, it did not look inspirational as the Sri Lankan openers, coming out of the shell from the other match, fired with all cylinders scoring 79 runs in the first power play without losing a single wicket.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Match Highlights
Kusal Perera who was promoted as an opener in place of Lahiru Thirimanne looked solid and aggressive as well while his captain Karunaratne was looking phased out on the other end. His miseries ended when he hoicked one against Nabi only to find Najibullah Zadran. Thirimanne too looked determined and together pulled a fifty-run partnership with Kushal Perera before getting bowled by Nabi who claimed his second wicket.
This wicket also triggered a collapse in the middle order, something of the kind was also seen in the previous match and has become a norm in almost all matches of Sri Lanka these days. Kusal Mendis and Mathews both holed out to Rahmat Shah in the deep off Nabi who claimed four wickets today. Dhananjaya De Silva also followed the two batsmen off Hamid while Thisara Perera was run out with a great effort. The rest of the tail could never get going and folded against some quality spin bowling by Rashid towards the end on 201 in the 37th over. As per the DL score, the revised target was put at 187 runs to be scored in the 41 overs.
Afghanistan did not have a great start as their star wicketkeeper-batsman Shahzad looked struggling scoring 7 runs off 12 balls. Hazratullah showed some promise while Rahmat and Shahidi could not spend time in the middle because of some excellent bowling by Udana and Pradeep. The latter was the most impressive of the bowlers by claiming 4 wickets off 31 runs. The rest of the Afghan team could not carry out the baton of wins and fold out at 152 runs thereby handing Sri Lanka their first win of the tournament.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Match Highlights – Brief Score
Sri Lanka 201/10 (36.5 overs) Kusal Perera 78(81), 30(45), Nabi – 4/30 beat Afghanistan – 152/10 Najibullah 43(56), Hazratullah 30(25), Nuwan Pradeep – 4/31, Malinga 3/39 by 34 runs.