In the first One-Day International (ODI) between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Friday, the visitors registered a cracking 60-run victory to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Chasing 295, opener Pathum Nissanka was brilliant with his outstanding knock of 85 runs off 83 balls, but the middle-order completely failed to stand up as Nissanka never really got the support he would’ve expected to cruise through.
The wickets kept on falling at one end, and Nissanka held his fort to keep the Lankans in the game until the 30th over when Fazalhaq Farooqi cleaned him up. The hosts looked done and dusted, but Wanindu Hasaranga kept them in the hunt with his vital half-century.
However, like in the case of Nissanka, Hasaranga too ran out of partners and didn’t get enough support from other batters, eventually becoming the final wicket to get dismissed at a well-made 66 from 46 deliveries. It was Farooqi yet again the saviour for Afghanistan as he got rid of Hasaranga too, finishing with four scalps while conceding 49 in nine overs.
Earlier, Ibrahim Zadran‘s stunning century, respective fifties from Rahmat Shah and Rahmanullah Gurbaz and a cameo by Najibullah Zadran took Afghanistan to a respectable total of 294/8 in their allotted 50 overs.
Zadran was the chief architect with his batting brilliance, playing a crucial role in the 84-run opening partnership with Gurbaz and another 118-run stand for the second wicket with Rahmat. While Zadran scored 106 off 120 balls, Gurbaz (53) and Rahmat (52) also made valuable contributions. Najibullah also chipped in with a quickfire 25-ball 42, with the help of five fours and a six.
“I’m really happy with my innings. Glad that I performed well. We wanted to bat first if we won the toss, and it was a good toss to win. Pitch was good for batting, read the surface and took my time, and it worked. The track remained the same throughout, we wanted to get to 320, and that was the plan. Our bowlers did a great job,” said Zadran in the post-match presentation.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) November 25, 2022
Afg don't rely on just their spinners to win anymore. They've a quality batting line up and firepower in the pace attack. So there are multiple ways they can beat you. Today their top 4 got runs & pacers got 9/10 wkts. Congratulations on a memorable win @ACBofficials 👏🏽 #SLvAFG pic.twitter.com/VR4wFmkJdU
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) November 25, 2022
Afghanistan secure a win their first ever match against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.#SLvAFG
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) November 25, 2022
Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by 60 runs in the first ODI.
This was the first-ever Bilateral ODI between both teams.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 25, 2022
— Sri Lanka Tweet 🇱🇰 (@SriLankaTweet) November 25, 2022
WHAT A WIN FOR AFGHANISTAN! 🙌#AfghanAtalan put on a clinical all-round performance as they backed up a disciplined batting performance with a superb bowling effort to beat @OfficialSLC by 60 runs in the 1st game and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. #AFGvSL pic.twitter.com/yetWIF8qL0
— Afghanistan Cricket Board (@ACBofficials) November 25, 2022
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) November 25, 2022
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) November 25, 2022
— Salih Mohammad Salih (@salihyam) November 25, 2022
Ibrahim Zadran @IZadran18 is without a doubt next generation’s @imVkohli. Though it’s too early to compare him with the king at this stage,he really need to look after himself and make Justice to his talent pic.twitter.com/xTdPF0d3Zs
— Shafiq Stanikzai (@ShafiqStanikzai) November 25, 2022
— Shafqat Tweet (@mirshafqat67) November 25, 2022