Latest Match Report – Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka thirtieth Match 2023/24

Afghanistan 242 for 3 (Omarzai 73, Rahmat 62, Shahidi 58*) beat Sri Lanka 241 (Nissanka 46, Farooqi 4-34, Mujeeb 2-38) by seven wickets

For the second sport working Afghanistan showcased exemplary calm within the chase, whittling down a sub-par goal of 242 with ice-cold composure. A trio of fifties from Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai led the way in which, as Afghanistan leapfrogged Sri Lanka into fifth place on the factors desk with six factors now on the board.

Sri Lanka in the meantime are nearly out of the working for a semi-final berth, needing to primarily win all of their subsequent three video games – in opposition to India, Bangladesh and New Zealand – to face any likelihood.

For Afghanistan this was a win arrange by their bowlers, who had stifled Sri Lanka’s batters on a deck that was for all intents and functions tailored for batting, earlier than their batters ran down the goal with minimal fuss.

Fazalhaq Farooqi was the decide of the bunch ending with figures of 4 for 34, however probably the most intriguing quirk of this sport was that regardless of being afforded a real floor with an absence of lateral motion and minimal flip, each side hardly ever scored at greater than 5 an over.

Their causes nevertheless differed. Whereas Sri Lanka might be criticised for a prison lack of intent, Afghanistan have been merely following the breakdown devised for them by head coach Jonathan Trott. A number of occasions over the course of the innings the published digital camera would pan over his big whiteboard with 10-over markers clearly laid out – “50 after 10”, “100 after 20”, and so on. However regardless of it being provided up in as easy-to-digest method as potential, such was the effectivity with which Afghanistan went about their work, Sri Lanka have been powerless to do something about it.

Positive Dilshan Madushanka tailed one in on Rahmanullah Gurbaz off simply the fourth ball of the chase to dislodge center stump, however Afghanistan had their playbook and so they adopted it to a tee. Even when the wickets did fall, Afghanistan have been fast to snuff out any momentum Sri Lanka might need been seeking to derive.

Partnerships of 73, 58 and 111 – between Ibrahim Zadran and Shah, Shah and Shahidi, after which Shahidi and Omarzai – fashioned the backbone of their chase. All through that effort, boundaries have been by no means wanted however solely accepted when provided, as they have been content material to attend for free balls, hardly ever prepared – or needing – to take a threat.

Sri Lanka for his or her half started to look an increasing number of damaged because the innings wore on, working out of concepts and steam on a floor that provided them nothing and in opposition to a workforce that have been equally unforgiving.

However the tone for this sport had been set from the very starting, as having been requested to bat first – a call Kusal Mendis stated he would have taken even had he gained the toss – Sri Lanka would proceed with an uncertainty conspicuously missing of their first 5 matches.

Maybe this was borne by this being Sri Lanka’s first actual sport of the match the place an opportunity of a semi-final spot – nevertheless unlikely – was tangibly inside grasp. Inhibitions had been shed in an inconceivable chase in opposition to South Africa, and that aggressive intent had cascaded by to their subsequent sport in opposition to Pakistan. Then in opposition to Australia, the boldness continued to movement earlier than an unprecedented collapse stopped them lifeless.
Possibly it was this that pushed Sri Lanka right into a extra conservative method, however proof of any shift did not show forthcoming in video games in opposition to Netherlands and England, the place their intent, or lack thereof, wasn’t scrutinised to any nice diploma with a pair of middling chases calling extra for warning than aggression.

In opposition to Afghanistan although, on a floor which had been described as a “batter’s paradise” in the course of the pitch report, the inclusion of Dimuth Karunaratne betrayed the concern that had been driving Sri Lanka’s considering.

Sure, Kusal Perera hadn’t made an influence other than his 78 in opposition to Australia, however a floor resembling this might need proved exactly the panacea for his batting troubles. As an alternative Sri Lanka have been left pissed off as his substitute Karunaratne would play and miss a handful of shortish, broad deliveries on both aspect of the wicket – uncommon free balls in in any other case tight opening spells from Fazalhaq Farooqi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Sri Lanka would find yourself putting simply 4 boundaries within the first 10 overs.

That powerplay would additionally see Sri Lanka finish on 41 for 1, their lowest rating after 10 overs within the entirety of the match. This pronounced lack of ambition would afflict them all through an innings that solely sporadically scratched the 5 an over mark, not to mention the sixes and sevens which have been extra prevalent throughout this match.

The deference confirmed to the Afghanistan bowlers by the center overs was incongruous to say the least when in comparison with how Sri Lanka had approached these first two video games in opposition to South Africa and Pakistan.

What this meant was that when the standard deliveries that Afghanistan’s bowlers are able to inevitably arrived, Sri Lanka’s batters would fall having did not successfully capitalise on the alternatives afforded elsewhere.

Karunaratne could be the primary to go, trapped lbw by one darting in from Farooqi, the on-field not out name overturned on evaluate. A 62-run stand between Nissanka and Mendis would comply with, earlier than Farooqi would return to seize his second, jagging one in from a again of a size outdoors off and coaxing Nissanka to feather an edge by to Gurbaz behind the stumps – thus ending his streak of fifty-plus scores at 4. Gurbaz was deputising for Ikram Alikhil, who was off the sphere receiving therapy after having dislocated a finger on his proper hand whereas protecting.

Kusal Mendis was subsequent to fall whereas going for his favoured slog sweep for a fourth time in 4 video games. He would have been dissatisfied to search out the person stationed for simply such a stroke, however what was extra jarring for onlookers might need been the reticent model of Mendis that had knocked round 49 deliveries previous to that for a modest 39; regardless of the dearth of demons within the wicket, very like the remainder of his team-mates, Mendis was shackled by a demure method in an innings that noticed simply the three boundaries.

Mendis’ dismissal, which adopted a 50-run stand with Sadeera Samarawickrama, would show the catalyst for a mini collapse that may see Sri Lanka tumble from 134 for two to 185 for 7.

Samarawickrama, who had regarded his standard industrious self in his 40-ball 36, was caught within the crease by a faster one from Mujeeb that tailed in. Dhananjaya de Silva, who had placed on 28 with Charith Asalanka, was then labored over fantastically by a Rashid googly by the gate, one which had been setup over the course of a nagging over in what was Rashid’s a centesimal ODI. Asalanka would miscue a pull to mid-off shortly after, whereas a chaotic and pointless run-out – Angelo Mathews calling for a run that may have stored him off strike for the beginning of the subsequent over – would ship Dushmantha Chameera packing.

Solely a rearguard stand of 45 from 42 between Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana, the place the latter confirmed off his batting chops with some expansive stroke-play by the offside, took Sri Lanka to a complete of any respectability. However on a real floor, and in opposition to a commanding Afghanistan aspect, it was by no means going to be sufficient.


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