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World Cup 2015: Sri Lanka survive Afghanistan scare

Related Links: ICC World Cup 2015 | Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka at Dunedin, Scorecard

After having had an extremely disappointing start to the ICC World Cup 2015, Sri Lanka had a good chance to getting things on track by putting up a commanding show against Afghanistan at Dunedin. They did end up winning in the end, but the performance was far from convincing. After the Lankan bowlers reduced Afghanistan to a meagre 232, the Lankans should have coasted to victory. Instead, they found themselves in all sorts of strife at 51 for 4 as the Afghanistan pacers gunned down the Sri Lankan top and middle order. It required the calm head of Mahela Jayawardene to ensure there was no embarrassment in store. His hundred, supported by 40s from Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera took Lanka home by four wickets.

Above photo: Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka (R) walks from the field after being caught out as Afghanistan’s captain Mohammad Nabi (L) celebrates during the Pool A 2015 Cricket World Cup cricket match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at University Oval in Dunedin on February 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images)

Having been inserted into bat after losing the toss, Afghanistan never got going. Nawroz Mangal was sent into open the innings with Javed Ahmadi, but returned after scoring only 10, falling prey to Suranga Lakmal. The entire Afghanistan innings was the story of batsmen failing to convert starts. Ahmadi made 24 before giving it away. Asghar Stanikzai completed a determined half-century, but was dismissed soon after by Rangana Herath. Samiullah Shenwari contributed 38, Mohammad Nabi 21, and lower down the order, Mirwais Ashraf also got into the 20s. Afghanistan needed at least one of them to carry on.

For the Sri Lankans, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews picked up three wickets each, while Suranga Lakmal got two. The Sri Lankan reply wad equally poor though. Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hassan combined to leave Lanka tottering at 51 for 4. Dawlat trapped Lahiru Thirimanne plumb in front with the first ball of the innings. Shapoor dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan while Hassan got rid of Kumar Sangakkara and Dimuth Karunaratne. It was left to former and current skipper Jayawardene and Mathews to pick up the pieces. Jayawardene looked in supreme touch during his 100 from 120 balls which featured 8 fours and a six. Mathews chipped in with 44 before being run out while Thisara Perera clubbed an unbeaten 47 from 26 to take Lanka home by four wickets.

The win was far from convincing for Sri Lanka, but they would be happy to get points on the board.

Posted by on February 23, 2015. Filed under Afghanistan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Sri Lanka. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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