Sri Lanka’s counterattack after losing the first match, historic victory over Afghanistan

Hambantota: Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 132 runs in the second match of the three-match ODI series on the basis of Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga’s all-round play. With this, the three-match series has become equal to 1-1. D’Silva (29 not out in 24 balls) and Hasranga (29 not out in 12 balls) took three wickets each for Afghanistan after playing quick innings. Kusal Mendis (78) and Dimuth Karunaratne (52) scored half-centuries as Sri Lanka bundled out Afghanistan for 191 in 42.1 overs after Sri Lanka scored 323 for six. The biggest victory is over Afghanistan. With this victory, the team was able to reduce the disappointment of the six-wicket defeat in the opening match of the series. Ibrahim Zadran (54) and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (57) scored half-centuries for Afghanistan, but apart from these two, only Rahmat Shah (36) and Azmatullah Omarzai (28) could score runs in double figures. The team lost the last eight wickets within 45 runs. Man of the match D’Silva took 3/39 in 10 overs while Hasaranga took 3/42 in 9 overs. While Dushmanta Chameera took two wickets, Mahish Teekshana and captain Dasun Shanaka took one wicket each.

Chameera gave a big blow to the Afghanistan team chasing the target by dismissing the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz (two runs). Ibrahim then kept the team in the match by sharing 51 runs with Rahmat for the second wicket and 84 runs for the third wicket with Hashmatullah. However, the team failed to deal with the pressure of increasing the required run-rate and lost the last eight wickets in 45 runs.

Earlier, Mendis hit seven fours and a six in his 75-ball knock while Karunaratne hit seven fours in his 62-ball knock. Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka (43) got the team off to a good start with an 82-run partnership for the first wicket. Mendis then shared an 88-run partnership with Sadeera Samarawickrama (44) for the third wicket to bring the team’s score close to 200 in the 37th over. In the last over, D’Silva, Hasaranga and Shanaka (23 off 13 balls) batted aggressively to take the score to 323. Fareed Ahmed and Mohammad Nabi took two wickets each for Afghanistan. The series decider will be played on Wednesday.

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