In the match where rain interrupted a lot, the Lankan lions bagged a 34 runs’ victory against Afghanistan to open their account in the World Cup points table. Although their net run rate is not reasonable, they still have 2 points with them for now, which will be a confidence booster for them in their upcoming matches. The play was curtailed to 41 overs per side due to the delayed start.
Chasing the revised target of 187 after the rain interruptions, Afghanistan only managed to reach 152 runs. Nuwan Pradeep‘s career-best bowling figures (4/31) followed by Lasith Malinga’s 3/39 were the stand out bowlers for Sri Lanka.
Before the starting of the match, Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib won the toss and decided to bowl first. But, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera gave the team a good start, both of them added 92 runs for the first wicket before Mohammad Nabi dismissed Sri Lankan skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne. Then, Lahiru Thiramanne and Kusal Perera added 62 runs for the second wicket. At this stage, Sri Lankan team was looking all set to reach a massive total, but Afghanistani bowlers fought back to end the Sri Lankan innings at 201 runs. Kusal Perera was the highest run scorer for Sri Lanka (78 off 81 balls) while Afghanistan all-rounder, Mohammad Nabi, was the star performer for the team with the ball reaching figures of 4/30 in his nine overs.
Chasing the target of 187, Afghanistan lost wickets at regular intervals. The opener Hazratullah Zazai looked good for his 30. Instead of him, Najibullah Zadran showed some effort at the end of the innings. He scored 43 runs which were the highest individual score by Afghanistan batsman in the match. Legendary Sri Lankan pacer, Lasith Malinga wrapped up things by picking the last two wickets.
Man of the Match
Nuwan Pradeep bagged the ‘Man of the Match’ award for achieving his career-best bowling figures (4/31 in 9 overs).
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