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Sri Lanka Defeat Afghanistan by 6 Wickets to Start ICC World T20 with A Win

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Sri Lanka Defeat Afghanistan by 6 Wickets to Start ICC World T20 with A Win

March 18
14:01 2016

dilshanNew Delhi, Friday, March 18 – In a crucial match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the former beat the latter. Afghanistan that qualified for Super 10 thanks to amazing performances against Scotland, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe in the early stages won the toss and elected to bat first as the motto was to score as much as runs possible, taking into consideration mood of the pitch.

Despite the fact that Sri Lanka got the invitation to field, objective was to let opponents go back to the dressing room as early as possible and try pouring efforts to win their first T20 International of the ongoing tournament. Winning was important as they did not do well in Asia Cup held in February. They even lost against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka could have won at that stage hadn’t they lacked momentum to do so. Angelo Mathews led team Sri Lanka which had Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Shehan Jayasuriya, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dushmantha Chameera and Rangana Herath. Dasun Shanaka, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Malinga were in extras.

On the other hand, Afghanistan had wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Sadiq, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hassan. Those who sat on bench were Amir Hamza, Shapoor Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf and Gulbadin Naib. Afghanistan might looked an inexperienced side to many but thoughts must have changed soon after they came with the motto to set a challenging total. Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran opened innings of Afghanistan. Shahzad was soon taken by surprise when Chameera took a good catch to dismiss him on a delivery by Mathews at a score of 8. But then Afghanistan’s innings was stabilized a bit by next pair on the crease. Noor Ali Zadran hit three 4s and pocketed 20 runs off 23 balls before falling short to Herath  in the first ball of 9th over.

Asghar Stanikzai played a captain’s innings, letting Sri Lankan fielders much running on the different corners of ground. He remained on the 22 yards pitch standing strong but others continued to go back to the dressing room post short stint. Karim Sadiq threw his wicket at a naught to Perera when Chandimal made no mistake to come under the ball. The new batsman Mohammad Nabi was given legs before wicket in Herath’s over. Three runs were his contribution in the team’s total score. Samiullah Shenwari’s knock of 31 runs in 14 balls, together with three fours and a couple of sixes, shot up the pace of Afghanistan scoring. Kulasekara brought his mesmerizing innings to an end. Shafiqullah Shafiq succumbed to Perera much earlier than expected at a score of 5. It was now the time for Stanikzai to depart. 62 runs in 47 balls were of immense use for his team, making it come at a position where they could have thought of upsetting Sri Lanka. Three boundaries and four sixes from him were of great use to his Playing XI. Dawlat Zadran was not out at 5 runs and Najibullah Zadran was not out at 12 runs that came in three balls (4 x 1 and 6 x 1).

Afghanistan innings finished at a score of 153 for the loss of seven wickets. Perara was leading wicket-taker, sending three batsmen back to the pavilion. Herath had his hands in two dismissals while Mathews and Kulasekara got one wicket each. When it came to chasing the target, Sri Lankan opener Dinesh Chandimal hit two boundaries and a biggie. However, before he would have stayed there for long, Nabi dismissed at a score of 18 runs. In contrast, senior player Tillakaratne Dilshan was not out at 83 runs that came in 56 deliveries, along with eight 4s and three sixes. A good partnership was eyed by him but Lahiru Thirimanne succumbed to Rashid Khan  at 6 runs (4 x 1). Thisara Perera was run out when Mohammad Shahzad made sure the ball is collected on time and takes the bails off prior to safe entry inside the crease. 12 runs were attained by him in eight deliveries that comprised a six too.

Chamara Kapugedera was run out by Nabi at 10 runs (4 x 1). Nonetheless, Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan captain was not out at 21 runs that were achieved facing 10 balls only. Three fours from him and also a six fainted hopes of Afghanistan, who may have marked a sound presence in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 had they been able to stop runs on time and bowl well in actual line and length. Nonetheless, they bowled 5 extras that were two less from what Sri Lanka bowlers bowled. Sri Lanka won against Afghanistan by 6 wickets, attaining the target with seven balls remaining. Despite the fact that Afghanistan may have lost the game, a clear message must have been passed to other teams of Group 1 not to consider them an underdog team. They are to face South Africa in their next match, which is to be played on March 20, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. On the same day at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Sri Lanka will face off against West Indies. As the contest is progressing, it is turning more interesting. Audience is keen to see how all participants perform to rank up in the points table.

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