ICC World Twenty20: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan - As it happened...
In Match 16 of ICC World Twenty20 defending champions Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan at Eden Gardens.
Riding on unbeaten knock of opener Dilshan, Sri Lanka crushed Afghanistan in their WT20 opener.
Over 18.5 | Score 155/4 (Dilshan 83, Mathews 21)
Dilshan slapped Hamid Hassan's fifth ball towards square leg for a boundary. And with that hit Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by six wickets with seven balls to spare.
Over 18 | Score 143/4 (Dilshan 72, Mathews 20)
Mathews has decided to up the ante. He first hit Rashid Khan for a boundary and a six and then smashed two consecutive boundaries off Dawlat Zadran. 23 runs came off the last two overs.
Over 16 | Score 120/4 (Dilshan 69, Mathews 1)
Smart work by Nabi off his own bowling as he ran Kapugedera out. It can still be anyone's game. Skipper Mathews has come to the middle. But Dilshan is the key here.
Over 13 | Score 92/3 (Dilshan 50, Kapugedera 2)
Eventful over by Shenwari as he picked the wicket of Perera. In the same over opener Dilshan completed his fifty as well. SL need 62 runs from 42 balls.
NLTC Perera run out 12 (8b)
Over 11 | Score 77/2 (Dilshan 39, Perera 10)
Dilshan and Perera are playing sensibly in the middle. Afghanistan need a wicket or two here to put SL under some pressure. 17 runs came in the last two overs.
Over 9 | Score 60/2 (Dilshan 35, Perera 1)
17-year-old leggie gave AFG their 2nd breakthrough. Poor shot selection by Thirimanne and it cost him his wicket. Minnows are fighting hard. Perera is the new man in.
HDRL Thirimanne b Rashid Khan 6 (13b)
Over 8 | Score 54/1 (Dilshan 32, Thirimanne 2)
Opener Dilshan is looking in good nick. In the 8th over he hit Nabi for a boundary as SL crossed the 50-run mark.
Over 6 | Score 41/1 (Dilshan 23, Thirimanne 0)
Mohammad Nabi straight away gave minnows a breakthrough. Dilshan would be the wicket minnows should look for. It's a wicket maiden by the offie.
LD Chandimal c Shafiqullah b Mohammad Nabi 18 (17b)
Over 4 | Score 35/0 (Dilshan 22, Chandimal 13)
Dilshan is on song. He hit Hamid Hassan for two consecutive boundaries to reach to 22 off 13 balls. Afghanistan are still looking for their first breakthrough.
Over 3 | Score 25/0 (Dilshan 13, Chandimal 12)
Dawlat Zadran bowled the 3rd over and Dilshan hit the bowler for two sixes. 13 from the over.
Over 1 | Score 10/0 (Dilshan 0, Chandimal 10)
Karim Sadiq to start the bowling proceedings for Aghanistan. Ten from the over as Chandimal hit the bowler for a boundary and a six.
Over 20 | Score 153/7 (N Zadran 12, D Zadran 5)
Najibullah Zadran smacked Kulasekara for a boundary and a six as Afghanistan collected 17 runs in the over to put up 153 in front of SL.
Over 19 | Score 136/7 (Zadran 0)
Finally, Stanikzai's outstanding knock came to an end as Perera picked up his third wicket. Before that Perera also got the better of Shafiqullah.
Asghar Stanikzai c Chandimal b Perera 62 (47b)
Shafiqullah c Thirimanne b Perera 5 (7b)
Over 18 | Score 124/5 (Stanikzai 51, Shafiqullah 4)
Stanikzai took a single to complete his fifty. A matured knock by the big hitter. He hit two boundaries and three sixes to reach the mark.
Over 17 | Score 118/5 (Stanikzai 49, Shafiqullah 1)
After throwing the kitchen sink at Sri Lankan bowlers, Shenwari cameo came to an end as Kulasekara picked up his wicket. Stanikzai picked a boundary in the last ball to reach to 49.
Samiullah Shenwari c Perera b Kulasekara 31 (22m 14b)
Over 16 | Score 105/4 (Stanikzai 43, Shenwari 25)
Perera with his 3rd over. Shenwari hit him for two back-to-back boundaries in the last two balls as he reached to 25 and Afghanistan crossed the 100-run mark. 11 from the over.
Over 15 | Score 94/4 (Stanikzai 41, Shenwari 16)
Stanikzai has started dealing in sixes. He took Herath to the cleaners by hitting him for two massive sixes in the 15th over to up the ante.
Over 13 | Score 75/4 (Stanikzai 31, Shenwari 8)
Herath picked up his 2nd wicket as he sent Nabi back in the hut. But in the 13th over bowled by Siriwardana, Stanikzai hit the bowler for two consecutive sixes to collect 16 from the over.
Mohammad Nabi lbw b Herath 3 (4b)
Over 10 | Score 47/3 (Stanikzai 13)
Herath and Perera have picked a wicket each in the last two overs as Afghanistan are reduced to 47/3.
Karim Sadiq c Chandimal b Perera 0 (7b)
Noor Ali Zadran b Herath 20 (23b)
Over 7 | Score 42/1 (Stanikzai 11; Zadran 20)
Spinner Rangana Herath into the attack. Stanikzai charged him and collected a boundary towards cow corner. Six from the over.
Over 6 | Score 36/1 (Stanikzai 6; Zadran 19)
Bowling change! Dushmantha Chameera into the attack. Decent over first up by the seamer. Six from the over.
Over 5 | Score 30/1 (Stanikzai 2; Zadran 17)
Zadran is not slogging, but playing proper cricketing shots and hitting boundaries at regular intervals. He collected his 3rd boundary off the 2nd ball by Mathews, towards square leg. Eight from the over.
Over 4 | Score 20/1 (Stanikzai 0; Zadran 12)
Zadran hit Kulasekara for two consecutive boundaries as he collected ten from the over.
Over 3 | Score 12/1 (Stanikzai 0; Zadran 2)
Skipper Mathews gave SL their first breakthrough in the form of Shahzad. He went for a big hit over long on but got the leading edge and was caught inside the circle.
Mohammad Shahzad c Chameera b Mathews 8 (12b)
Afghanistan have won the toss and elected to bat first.
After a good show in the qualifiers, the challenge ahead for Afghanistan is to put a good show against quality opponents.
Asghar Stanikzai and his boys have done well against top teams in the past and there is no reason why they cannot upset the Lankans, who are struggling to find their rhythm.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka haven't been in the best of form and the defending champions need to click as a unit to start their campaign off with a victory
In the absence of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal will have to do the bulk of the scoring.