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Afghanistan record consolation win

22 February 2024 09:30 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Pic by kushan pathiraja

By M. Shamil Reporting 
from Rangiri Dambulla

Afghanistan ended their tour of Sri Lanka on a winning note as they pulled off a thrilling consolation win, by three runs, in the third T20 encounter played at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium yesterday.
The defeat prevented the home team making a clean sweep having won the one-off Test match and a clean 3-0 sweep in the limited over series.
The run chase of 206 runs set for Sri Lanka was no doubt going to be a tall order, however openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis gave the supporters something to cheer, smothering the Afghanistan bowling attack and was almost on par with their opponents batters.
They posted Sri Lanka’s 50 runs on the board in 31 balls, unfortunately it came to an end 14 runs later with the dismissal of Mendis and the score on 64 and Kusal Perera who followed faced only two balls being dismissed for a duck.
However Nissanka went on to reach his half ton which took him 27 balls that included eight boundaries and a six, but an injury to Nissanka with his score on 60 who was forced to retire, changing the complexion of the game.
Skipper Hasaranga got out cheaply before Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kamindu Mendis frustrated the Afghanistan bowlers and carried the bat to put on a valuable 53 runs for the fourth wicket.


With Sri Lanka on 146 for 4 they lost the wicket of Angelo Mathews five runs later and Mendis along with Dasun Shanaka added 36 runs for the sixth wicket. Sri Lanka at this stage needing 22 runs in seven balls almost made it as Mendis in a do or die effort fell short of three runs. Though Mendis’ effort was in vain he made a valuable unbeaten knock of 65 in 39 balls which had seven boundaries. 
It was a run fiesta in the first session of play after Afghanistan skipper Ibrahim Zadran won the toss and elected to take first lease of the wicket. Openers Hazrafullah Zazal and Rahmunullah Gurbaz went on the rampage paying scant respect to the Sri Lanka bowlers whilst accumulating runs at will.
The pair were separated with the score on 88, and skipper Zadran who followed did not last long as he faced only nine balls for his ten runs adding 25 runs with Gurbaz as he became Dhananjaya’s second victim.
Gurbaz put on another brief stand of 28 runs for the third wicket with Azmatullah Omarai before he was dismissed by skipper Wanindu Hasaranga after an enterprising innings of 70 made in 43 balls which comprised seven boundaries and a six.


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