In a rain-hit low scoring match, Sri Lanka with some inspired bowling performance by fast bowlers’ Nuwan Pradeep (4 for 31) and Lasith Malinga (3 for 39), bowled them to a 34-run win over Afghanistan at Cardiff on Tuesday. The match was reduced to 41 overs with a revised target of 187 runs (DLS) after the rain stoppage resumption.
Winning the toss and electing to field, Afghanistan helped by some disciplined bowling by their spinners restricted Sri Lanka to 201 in 35.5 overs. Sri Lanka got off to a good start with skipper Karunarathne (30, 45b, 3×4) and Kusal Perera (78, 81b, 8×4) adding 92-runs for the opening wicket.
Afghanistan restrict Sri lanka
Lahiru Thirimanne (25) was the other useful contributor. Afghanistan struck back through their spinners Mohammad Nabi (4 for 30) and Rashid Khan (2 for 17) and were responsible for the downfall of the Sri Lankan batsman who departed at regular intervals and were bowled out for 201.
Rain-stopped play at the fag end of the Sri Lankan innings, but resumed and the target was revised to 187 in 41 overs ( DLS).
Nuwan Pradeep shines
Afghanistan set a target of 187 in 41 overs, got off to a decent start with openers Mohammad Shahzad (7) and Hazratullah Zazai (30) adding 34-runs for the opening wicket. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals and at one stage Afghanistan were struggling at 57 for five in 13.4 overs.
A sixth wicket partnership of 64-runs between skipper Gulbadin Naib (23) and Najibullah Zardan (43) gave them a semblance of a chance, but after the run out of Najibullah, wickets fell in quick succession and Afghanistan were bowled out for 152 in 32.4 overs. Sri Lanka won by 34-runs.
Medium-pacer Nuwan Pradeep bowled with fire and took four for 31 for Sri Lanka. He was well-supported by experienced Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga who took three for 39.
Nuwan Pradeep was chosen as the Player of the Match.
Sri Lanka: 201 in 36.5 overs (Kusal Perera 78, Karunarathne 30, Thirimanne 25, Nabi 4 for 30, Dalwat Zardan 2 for 34, Rashid Khan 2 for 17) bt Afghanistan: 152 32.4 overs (Hazratullah Zazai 30, Najibullah Zardan 43, Naib 23, Nuwan Pradeep 4 for 31, Lasith Malinga 3 for 31). [Revised target 187 in 41 overs (DLS)]; Player of the Match: Nuwan Pradeep four for 31.