This was a cracker of a match as both team gave it all they had and made it a nerve breaking encounter. Afghanistan defied all odds and took complete control over the first innings as they sent back back the Lankan batting department back to the pavilion by the 36th over, for a trifling 201.
Sri Lanka might have won this match, but Afghanistan won the hearts. After the side’s impressive bowling attack, they did display a fair amount of resistance, but lacked discipline to see the finish line. Afghanistan’s batting saw a mid way collapse, after the top order threw away their wickets.
Afghani spinners didn’t fail to impress us yet again as the spin duo of Rashid and Nabi picked 6 wickets and gave away just 47 runs. Both the right arm spinners played a crucial role and led the bowling attack. However, the all-rounders failed to perform with the bat, which proved to be the pressing factor as they fell short by 35 runs.
Sri Lanka won this low averaging game by 34 runs as they bowled out Afghanistan by the 32nd over.
3. Podi Kusalla
Kusal Perera is said to replicate Sanath Jayasuriya, one of the all time greats. The leftie has been displaying elegant batting and has been in good touch. Perera kept the score-card ticking during the power-play and helped Sri Lanka get to a good start.
The leftie later switched gears, after a session of quick fire wickets and played a stable knock of 78 from 81 balls, before he fell prey to Rashid Khan’s spin. Kusal has a graceful aspect attached to his batting which has been setting him apart as a batsman and helped him secure his position not only in the National squad, but also as an opener.
2. Afghani Spin Twins
Rashid and Nabi need no introduction as both have been the talk of the town ever since their IPL debuts. The duo have been performing all around the globe consistently, making them few of the most preferred options in World.
The duo picked straggled the Lankan batting as the duo went to pick 6 wickets. Both of the spinners were highly economical as they just gave away 37 runs. Nabi was the X factor this game as the veteran picked up 4 wickets in his 9 overs for just 30 runs.
It was Nabi’s fifth over that seemed to change Afghanistan’s fortune as he went on to pick 3 wickets in that over.
Rashid joined the party late, with his 2 wickets to wrap up the Lankan batting and finished with figures of 2/17 in 7.5 overs.
Nuwan Pradeep has been having a good run off-late, which helped him secure a place in the National squad for this World Cup.
The veteran came hard on the Afghani batsmen yesterday as he picked up 4 wickets. All the wickets Pradeep picked, came just when his team needed them. Pradeep was later named as the man of the match, for his crucial performance in this game.