ODI World Cup 2023: Sri Lanka scored 241 runs against Afghanistan
No Sri Lankan batter was able to score a fifty as Sri Lanka managed to score just 241 runs against Afghanistan. Here is a recap of the first innings.
Sri Lanka scored 241 runs against Afghanistan at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bowl first. Afghanistan named one change to their 11 by replacing Noor Ahmad with Fazalhaq Farooqi. Sri Lanka on the other hand made two changes to their playing 11. Dimuth Karunaratne and Dushamantha Chameera replacing Kusal Perera and Lahiru Kumara. Here is a recap of the first innings.
Afghanistan restrict Sri Lankan batters
Afghanistan bowlers, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled with immense control in the first 10 overs. In the first five overs, Mujeeb and Farooqi only conceded 18 runs. Dimuth Karunaratne playing his first game in the ongoing World Cup smashed the first boundary of the match on the first ball of the sixth over.
Karunaratne was dismissed on the following ball after a brilliant review by the Afghan skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi. It was a full-length ball from Fazalhaq which seemed to the naked eye as if it would be missing the leg-stump. Karunaratne scored 15 runs in 21 balls hitting one four.
Pathum Nissanka got into the act in the eighth over by smashing one four each in the next three overs to end the powerplay. Sri Lanka ended the powerplay with 41 runs on the board while losing Karunaratne.
Sri Lanka starts to rebuild
Naveen ul Haq and Azmatullah Omarzai were brought into the attack right after the powerplay. The two pacers too bowled with control and did not let Nissanka and Kusal Mendis score freely. Sri Lanka scored 25 runs in the space of five overs (11-15).
Rashid Khan playing his 100th ODI came into the attack in the 16th over. Omarzai after switching his ends bowled an expensive 10-run over. In the same over, Nissanka and Mendis brought up the 50-run stand as they looked set to bat for a long time. Omarzai bounced back in style by taking the wicket of Nissanka in the 19th over. Nissanka was given out caught behind. The opening batter tried to review the call but ran out of time. Nissanka scored 46 runs in 60 balls hitting five fours.
Despite losing a wicket, Sri Lankan batters continued to bat with positive intent with Sadeera Samarawickrama and Mendis at the crease. Samarawcikrama started his innings with a positive mindset scoring his first 30 runs at a nearly run-a-ball pace. Mendis and Samarawickrama did not let the Afghan spinners, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid settle and scored 42 runs in just six overs (21-26).
Quick wickets for Afghanistan
Just when Mendis started to get into his groove by accelerating he was dismissed by Mujeeb. Mujeeb picked up his first wicket of the match in the 28th over. Mendis was playing the slog-sweep but he got a top thick edge giving a simple catch to deep mid-wicket. Mendis scored 39 runs in 50 balls hitting three fours. Mujeeb turned the game on its head by dismissing Samarawickrama in his next over. Samarawickrama persuaded by Charith Asalanka burnt a review while challenging the LBW call. Samarawickrama scored 36 runs in 40 balls hitting three fours.
Mujeeb bowled out his quota of 10 overs with his figures reading 10-0-38-2. Rashid came back into the attack in the 34th over and made his 100th appearance special by dismissing Dhananjaya de Silva in the second over his new spell. Rashid cleaned up the Sri Lankan all-rounder with a wrong’un. Sri Lanka found some much-needed luck in the 38th over with Asalanka scoring a four after an outside edge while Rashid gave them five runs off wides.
Their joy was shortlived as Fazalhaq in the 39th over dismissed Asalanka. Asalanka scored 22 runs in 28 balls hitting two fours. If the continuous wickets weren’t enough, Sri Lanka gifted Afghanistan yet another wicket via run out while attempting a needless runout.
Sri Lankan batters on top
After 40 overs, Sri Lanka had scored just 185 runs and had lost seven wickets. Omarzai came back into the attack and bowled a three-run 41st over. Rashid from the opposite end did not provide any freebies and gave away just five runs. Maheesh Theekshana in the 43rd over smashed two fours off Omarzai’s bowling. Theekshana smashed another four in the next over as Naveen-ul-Haq came back into the attack.
Rashid bowled out his 10 overs and ended his 100th ODI with figures of 10-0-50-1. In the 46th over, Angelo Matthews hit the first six of the match by pulling a back-of-a-length delivery. Fazalhaq broke the 45-run eighth-wicket partnership by dismissing Theekshana in the 47th over. Fazalhaq bowling his last over picked up his fourth wicket of the match thanks to a great catch by Nabi.