Sri Lanka displayed an exceptional performance in the decisive game of three-match ODI series against Afghanistan to win the series ahead of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe. The home team showcased their dominance by convincingly defeating Afghanistan by nine wickets in the series decider, recovering from a 1-0 deficit to clinch the series 2-1.
Afghanistan’s decision to bat first backfired as they were bowled out for a mere 116 runs in just 22.2 overs. Mohammad Nabi displayed some resistance by top-scoring with 23 runs, while Ibrahim Zadran and Gulabdin Naib contributed 22 and 20 runs, respectively.
Sri Lankan fast bowler Chameera proved to be the tormentor-in-chief, claiming an impressive four wickets. Wanindu Hasaranga and Lahiru Kumara also made valuable contributions, taking three and two wickets, respectively.
In their pursuit of the target, Sri Lanka efficiently chased down the total in a mere 16 overs, losing only one wicket in the process. Pathum Nissanka played a scintillating knock, smashing a rapid 51 runs off just 34 balls before being dismissed LBW by Gulabdin. Opening batsman Karunaratne also showcased his prowess with a well-crafted innings, scoring 56 runs off 45 deliveries.
The series commenced with a thrilling six-wicket victory for Afghanistan, where they displayed an impressive performance. However, Sri Lanka staged a remarkable comeback, securing comprehensive victories by 132 runs and nine wickets in the subsequent matches.
This triumph serves as a significant boost for Sri Lanka as they prepare for the crucial Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka, who is yet to made official announcement about their squad is placed in Group B along with Ireland, Oman, UAE and Scotland.