Fazalhaq, Ibrahim steer Afghanistan to victory | Daily News

Fazalhaq, Ibrahim steer Afghanistan to victory

Ibrahim Zadran scored his century in 116 balls.
Ibrahim Zadran scored his century in 116 balls.

Opener Pathum Nissanka’s 85 in 83 balls (10 fours) and all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga’s 66 in 46 balls (10 fours and 2 sixes) went in vain for Sri Lanka as Afghanistan recorded a 60-run win in the first ODI cricket match played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Ibrahim Zadran hit a superb 106 off 120 balls to power Afghanistan to 294/8 in 50 overs and paceman Fazalhaq Farooki finished with figures of 4 for 49 off his nine-over spell. They lead the three-match series 1-0.

Sri Lanka openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka failed to make a good start as Mendis was the first to go out scoring only 1 run in 5 balls in the 4th over which was bowled by Yamin Ahmadzai. Dinesh Chandimal (14), Dhananjaya de Silva (16), and Charith Asalanka (10) were sent back very early, breaking the Sri Lankan top order.

Nissanka played an anchor role to build up the innings in their chase of 294 runs but skipper Dasun Shanaka once again failed to rise to the occasion as he was dismissed for 16 in 27 balls. Wanindu Hasaranga struggled to repair the innings as Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooki and Gulbadin Naib (3/34) ensured that the home team were bowled for 234 in 38 overs.

The opener Ibrahim Zadran was named Man of the Match.

Ibrahim the 20 year old right hander built up his innings with confidence while he associated in a superb 84 run opening partnership with Rahmanullah Gurbaz who scored a solid knock of 53 in 55 balls to give a good start for the visitors. In fact when Gurbaz was on 13 when Dhananjaya de Silva missed a catch at slip off the bowling of Lahiru Kumara which was a costly miss for Sri Lanka. Gurbaz finally was out for 53 in the 15th over when Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was able to get the first wicket of the innings when he was given out LBW after referring to the third umpire.

Ibrahim once again was involved in a remarkable 118-run second wicket stand with deputy skipper Rahmat Shah who scored 52 in 64 balls with two fours and paceman Lahiru Kumara took Rahmat's wicket with wicket-keeper KusalMendis taking a smart catch.

In the 39th over Afghanistan were 202 for 2 wickets and heading for the 300 mark but Sri Lankan bowlers fought back strongly to restrict their innings to 294 for 8 wickets in 50 overs. The centurion Ibrahim Zadran was out after making his second ODI’ century in the 42nd over bowled by mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana when long on fielder Wanindu Hasaranga took a fine catch to end his innings.

Najibullah Zadran made a quick fire knock of 42 in 25 balls and struck five fours and a six while Gulbadin Naib struck 22 in 24 balls was finally out in the 49th over which was bowled by newcomer Dhananjaya Lakshan who finished with 1 for 43 in his six-over spell.

Wanindu Hasaranga was Sri Lanka's most successful bowler taking 2 for 44 in his ten-over spell while Theekshana was disappointing taking only one wicket for 62 and paceman Kasun Ranjitha also ended with 1 for 54 ended their ten over quota.

Sri Lanka recalled Dinesh Chandimal while Dhananjaya Lakshan the bowling all rounder got a chance to play his second ODI of his career which was his first one at Pallekele. Sri Lanka will meet Afghanistan in their second ODI of the three-match series tomorrow at the same venue.

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