Dilshan gives Sri Lanka a 6-wkt win

Afghanistan’s leggie Rashid Khan gave his team their second breakthrough in the ninth over when he got the scalp of Thirimanne.

Thirimanner fell for six runs after the inside edge crashed onto the stumps. Slightly flatter ball outside off from Rashid did the trick!

Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka: 155/4 (18.5/20 over)
Afghanistan: 153/7 (20/20 over)

Sri Lanka lost their first wicket after a 41-run stand when Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi sent back Dinesh Chandimal for 18 runs in the sixth over.

Chandimal went for big heave, didn’t get it off the middle and lobbed his shot straight into the hands of Shenwari at mid-wicket. Sri Lanka opener faced 17 balls and struck two fours and a six.

Sri Lanka openers exploited the power-play overs effectively and took the attack to Afghan bowlers early.

As Dilshan and Chandimal stepped on the gas, Afghanistan bowlers lost their plot, bowled some loose deliveries and were duly punished with the field up.

Earlier, Afghans managed to reach a challenging total of 153 after the end of 20 overs under the lights at Eden Gardens against Sri Lanka during the Super Ten match of ICC WT20 2016.

Asghar Stanikzai’s 62 from 47 and the 61-run fifth wicket partnership allowed Afghanistan to score quickly late in their innings and keep Sri Lankan bowlers at bay. Shenwari contributed handsomely to his team’s cause with 31 from 14.

For Sri Lanka, Thisara Perera was the most successful bowler with three wickets for 33 runs in four overs. Herath captured two while Mathews and Kulasekara took one wicket each.

Afghanistan’s gutsy fight-back after the loss of their fourth wicket produced 61 runs in quick time before Kulasekara struck in the 17th over to throw a spanner in their works.

Shenwari could not clear the fielder at long-off, and fell after scoring 31 from 14 balls. He entertained the Kolkata crowd with three fours and two huge sixes.

Afghanistan were rocked in the 11 over when Herath sent back the in-form Mohammad Nabi cheaply.

Herath’s flat ball on middle skidded on with the arm and struck Nabi plumb in front. Easy decision for the umpire.

Afghanistan were spiraling downwards…

Sri Lanka enjoyed a tighter grip on the match when Herath struck in the ninth over and gave his team the second breakthrough after a steady 32-run stand.

Noor Ali was deceived by flight and was clean bowled for 20 runs. He faced 23 balls and managed to hit three fours during his stay at the crease.

Afghanistan settled down after the loss of their first wicket, and both batsmen looked to play sensibly.

Mohammad Shehzad was the first Afghan wicket to fall, and he was dismissed by Sri Lanka skipper Mathews for 8 in the third over.

Shehzad backed away and looked for a pull, but the leading edge was easily taken at mid-on by Chameera.

 Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai opted to bat first given the conditions at Eden Gardens, Kolkata against Sri Lanka led by Angelo Mathews in the Super Ten, Group 1 match of ICC WT20 2016.

Afghanistan came through the first round of the World T20 unscathed, overpowering their closest competitors Zimbabwe with an ease that caught the attention of the rest of Group 1.

More impressively, Afghanistan have adapted, ditching their gung-ho approach for a calculated assault in conditions that will only increase their potency.

Mohammad Shahzad and Mohammad Nabi have been key contributers to Afghanistan's success so far in the tournament. While the former has been giving good starts to the side, the latter has been doing his part with both bat and ball.

In this battle, it will be mainly down to how well the Afghanistani bowlers bowl to the Sri Lankan batsmen. If they manage to keep the Lankans quiet, they can fancy their chances.

Sri Lanka are one of the finest teams in international cricket, but they haven't played to their potential in recent times. Angelo Mathews, stand-in skipper during the Asia Cup, himself hinted that people will have to be patient with their side, which is going through a transition period.

Their only win in the Asia Cup out of four games came against UAE, but even then, they only managed to scrape through.

The fact that they lost both their warm-up games, to Pakistan and New Zealand respectively, worsens things. The knee injury to Lasith Malinga, their regular skipper, has hurt them badly and he remains a doubtful starter for this game as well.

The selectors were even forced to make a few last minute changes to the side with Lahiru Thirimanne and Suranga Lakmal being drafted in.

The side depends a lot on the experienced players, especially with the bat in hand, and that puts a bit of extra pressure on the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal. Can Sri Lanka leave the past behind and start afresh here? Time will tell.

Mohammad Shahzad(Wicketkeeper), Noor Ali Zadran, Asghar Stanikzai(Captain), Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, Dawlat Zadran, Rashid Khan, Hamid Hassan, Amir Hamza, Karim Sadiq, Shapoor Zadran and Mirwais Ashraf

Sri Lanka

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal(Wicketkeeper), Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Mathews(Captain), Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dasun Shanaka, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Dushmantha Chameera, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Malinga

Source : thedailystar

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