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ICC World Cup: SL beat Afghanistan by 34 runs

ICC World Cup: SL beat Afghanistan by 34 runs
Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera is congratulated by team mates after taking the wicket of Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi. (AP)
Cardiff, Jun 4 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 6/4/2019 12:31:21 PM IST

Sri Lanka rallied with the ball to beat Afghanistan by 34 runs in a World Cup match in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Afghanistan bowled well to dismiss the 1996 World Cup champions for just 201.

But faced with a rain-revised target of 187 in 41 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method, Afghanistan -- bidding for just their second win in a World Cup match and first over a Test nation -- slumped to 152 all out.

Nuwan Pradeep took four for 31 while veteran quick Lasith Malinga (three for 39) ended the match when a trademark yorker bowled Hamid Hassan.

Earlier, Mohammad Nabi ran through a panic-stricken Sri Lanka top order as Afghanistan bowled their struggling opponents out for 201.

Sri Lanka came out of the blocks quickly under leaden skies, reaching 144 for one before the halfway point of their innings and were on course for a morale-boosting big score against the unfancied Afghans.

But Nabi, who had earlier removed captain Dimuth Karunaratne for 30, turned the match in the Welsh capital on its head, with three wickets in five balls as Sri Lanka slumped to 146-4.

Shell-shocked Sri Lanka kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, with 35 extras the second-highest scorer.

The turning point of the match was the dramatic 22nd over.

Nabi bowled Lahiru Thirimanne for 25 before having Kusal Mendis caught by Rahmat Shah in the slips for two runs. Angelo Mathews was next to go, for a duck, also caught by Shah.

Fast bowler Hamid Hassan then had Dhananjaya de Silva caught behind for nought by Mohammad Shahzad to leave Sri Lanka in deep trouble.

Thisara Perera was run out for two before Isuru Udana was bowled by Dawlat Zadran for 10.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan joined the party, having opener Kusal Perera caught behind by Shahzad for 78.

Rain then intervened, forcing the players from the field, with Sri Lanka 182-8.

The rain delay meant the match was reduced to 41 overs a side but Sri Lanka folded quickly after the resumption, losing Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep for the addition of just 19 more runs.

Afghanistan need a rain-revised target of 187 to win.

Earlier, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib won the toss and chose to field, hoping to take advantage of the favourable conditions for bowlers.

But openers Karunaratne and Kusal Perera settled quickly as they shared a stand of 92 for the out-of-form side. Both teams were soundly beaten in their first matches of the tournament in England and Wales.

Former champions Sri Lanka were thumped by 10 wickets by New Zealand on the same ground while Afghanistan went down by seven wickets to defending champions Australia in Bristol.

Afghanistan, playing in only their second World Cup, beat 1996 world champions Sri Lanka soundly in last year’s Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Sri Lanka have won only one of their 10 one-day international matches this year - against minnows Scotland.

Brief scores

Sri Lanka – 201 all out (Kusal Perera 78, Dimuth Karunaratne 30; Mohammad Nabi 4/30)

Afghanistan – 152 all out (Najibullah Zadran 43, Hazratullah Zazai 30; Nuwan Pradeep 4/31, Lasith Malinga 3/39)

 

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