Sri Lanka suffered a 60 run defeat against Afghanistan in the 1st One Day International, bowled out in 38 overs.
Wanindu Hasaranga counter-attacked singlehandedly at the back end of Sri Lanka’s chase, keeping his side in the hunt but eventually ran out of partners before being the last man out.
The run rate was never an issue for Sri Lanka at any stage as they always scored at a fair clip even as wickets fell, but it’s that wickets column that hurt them badly.
Pathum Nissanka played a valiant 85 run inning but the lack of support from the top and middle-order proved fatal.
Hasaranga helped truncate the 295-run chase but it wasn’t enough.
Earlier, Ibrahim Zadran’s hundred powered Afghanistan to 294/8 in 50 overs.
Afghanistan’s top-order trio delivered the goods, with Rahmat Shah and Rahmanullah Gurbaz bashing fifties each, while Ibrahim clocked a scintillating century.
Najibullah Zadran’s ferocious inning was the icing on the cake.
Hasaranga (2/42) was the pick of the Lankan bowlers.
Later, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Gulbadin Naib brought Sri Lanka down to seal the deal.
The Afghans (294/8) also in the process registered their highest ODI score against Sri Lanka.
They bettered their previous tally of 249 in Abu Dhabi in 2018.
Nissanka clubbed an 83-ball 85, his fourth fifty in ODIs and the 24-year-old struck 10 fours before Farooqi had him dismissed in the 30th over.
Nissanka has had a good year in ODIs this year, having amassed 453 runs at 50.33 (50s: 4, 100s: 1).
He now has 539 runs at 29.94.
Meanwhile, Hasaranga notched his fourth half-century in the format.
Left-armer Farooqi snapped up his maiden four-fer in ODI cricket (4/49) and now has 17 scalps while averaging an astonishing 19.11.
Veteran Gulbadin Naib was equally enthralling, having claimed 3/34 in eight overs.