In an impressive display of cricket prowess, Sri Lanka secured a commanding 155-run victory over Afghanistan in the second one-day international, solidifying their lead in the three-match series with an unassailable 2-0 score.
Afghanistan's Struggle and Sri Lanka's Dominance
Despite setting a target of 309 runs for Afghanistan to level the series, the Afghan team faltered, succumbing to pressure and collapsing for a mere 153 runs within 34 overs. Sri Lanka's leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga emerged as the star performer, claiming four crucial wickets and dismantling Afghanistan's batting lineup.
Disappointment for Afghanistan
Expressing disappointment in their performance, Afghanistan's skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi acknowledged his team's underwhelming display, emphasizing their belief in their capabilities as a stronger side.
Sri Lanka's Bowling Brilliance
Sri Lanka's bowlers showcased exceptional skills under the lights, with Hasaranga leading the charge by securing vital wickets. Seamers Dilshan Madushanka and Asitha Fernando provided crucial breakthroughs, contributing to Afghanistan's sudden collapse.
Sri Lanka's Batting Heroics
Despite a shaky start, Sri Lanka rallied, thanks to Charith Asalanka's resilient batting performance. Asalanka's unbeaten 97 runs, coupled with crucial partnerships with Janith Liyanage and Hasaranga, propelled Sri Lanka to a formidable total exceeding 300 runs.
Mendis and Samarawickrama's Contributions
Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama also made significant contributions, scoring half-centuries and forming a crucial partnership of 103 runs for the third wicket. However, both batsmen fell to disappointing strokes, highlighting the unpredictability of cricket.
Afghanistan's Missed Opportunities
Afghanistan's sloppy fielding, marked by five dropped catches, proved costly, denting their chances of containing Sri Lanka's formidable batting lineup. Shahidi lamented his team's fielding errors, recognizing the need for improvement in their overall performance.
With the series firmly in Sri Lanka's grasp, both teams prepare for the final showdown in the third one-day international, scheduled for Wednesday at the same venue. Despite the setback, Afghanistan remains determined to bounce back and salvage pride in the concluding match.
Following the conclusion of the ODI series, the tour will transition to three T20 matches, all set to take place in Dambulla, promising more thrilling cricket action for fans eagerly awaiting the next chapter in this captivating sporting saga