Zadran Century leads Afghanistan to victory over Sri Lanka



Candy: Opening hitter Ibrahim Zadran scored a fine 106 eg Afghanistan They beat Sri Lanka by 60 runs in the inaugural One Day International match at Pallekele International Stadium on Friday.

Zadran pushed Afghanistan to 294-8, and Sri Lanka were out for 234 with 12 overs.

“It was a good wicket for the bat,” said Zadran. “When I was bowled out, I told my colleagues that we should try to get something like 320. Even when Sri Lanka batted, the wickets were really good. The wickets didn’t change much but the bowlers were very good.”

Sri Lanka had hopes chasing the run while Pathum Nissanka was in. The opening batsman scored an 83-ball 85 with 10 boundaries. However, Nissanka didn’t have much support from the rest of the top order.

Wanindu Hasaranga threatened to take the match with a late bout. He smashed Muhammad Al Nabi’s 22 runs over that which included sixes and four boundaries and reached his fourth half-century in 31 deliveries.

The required rate was largely under Sri Lanka’s control, but Hasaranga, the last known batsman, was running out of partners. He was the last man out.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Sri Lanka captain Dasun Chanaka. “I don’t think we executed our plans with the ball. It’s a good wicket but we shouldn’t have given up 294. We bounced back well but it was too late. Afghanistan made partnerships but we failed to do so. We didn’t convert good starts.”

Top order Afghanistan put in an impressive performance and although Sri Lanka fought their way back to the death, the target of 295 was just too much for the hosts.

The 20-year-old Zadran, playing for only the sixth time in an ODI, added 84 runs for the first wicket with Rehmanullah Gurbaz (53) after they chose to bat first.

Zadran then added 118 runs for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah (52) and Afghanistan had 200 runs on the board with 12 overs and eight wickets in hand.

Zadran reached his second hundred in the ODI with a terrific drag shot to the exact leg boundary off Lahiru Kumara. Farooqi’s quick left-arm catch ended his knock when Zadran dragged one over the stumps.

Farooqi finished with four wickets and was well supported by Gulbadin Naib, who claimed three wickets.

Afghanistan erred after Zadran’s dismissal, falling five wickets for 27 runs in his last four overs.

However, Afghanistan achieved a second victory over Sri Lanka in six matches and came close to qualifying for the tournament cricket Globalism cup in India Next year.

The second of three games on Sunday.

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