Nuwan Pradeep scalped a four-wicket haul to help Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 34 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method (D/L) in their second clash of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Tuesday.
Put in to bat first, Kusal Perera (78) and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (30) provided an initial thrust to Sri Lanka by sharing a 92-run stand for the opening wicket. However, the Sri Lankan players failed to build partnership after the duo's departure and collapsed to180/8 in 33 overs before rain played the spoilsport and interrupted the play.
After the play resumed and revised to 41 overs per side, Sri Lanka only managed to survive for three overs before being bundled out for 201.
Mohammad Nabi was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan as he finished with his figures of four for 30. While Rashid Khan and Dawlat Zadran scalped two wickets each, Hamid Hassan contributed with a wicket.
In reply, Nuwan Pradeep (4 for 31) and Lasith Malinga (three for 39) ran through the Afghanistan batting line up to bundle them out for 152 in 32.4 overs. Najibullah Zadran was the top scorer for Afghanistan with his 43-run knock.
Here are some of the statistical highlights from the match:
# During the clash, third-drop Lahiru Thirimanne scored 34-ball 25 runs. En route to his knock, the Sri Lankan batsman became the third fastest player of the country to reach the 3000-run mark in ODIs. He achieved the milesin his 100 innings, thus surpassing former Sri Lankan cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in the list.
# Kusal Perera struck a 78-run knock, laced with eight boundaries, during the match. It was his 12 half-century in ODIs which he brought off just 42 balls.
# By defeating Afghanistan at Sophia Gardens, Lasith Malinga won his first-ever ODI in a Sri Lanka shirt since his side's victory over Zimbabwe on July 6, 2017.
# Sri Lanka's 34-run win over the Gulbadin Naib's side was their first in the ongoing edition of the 2019 World Cup. They lost their opening match by 10 wickets at the hands of New Zealand at the same venue.
# The victory saw Sri Lanka surge to the sixth spot in the eight-team point table, while Afghanistan are standing just one point ahead of last-placed South Africa due to better run-rate.
Sri Lanka will now take on Pakistan on June 7 while Afghanistan will take on New Zealand a day later in their next World Cup 2019 clash.