SL vs AFG, 3rd T20I: Afghanistan Win Thriller, But Sri Lanka Take Series

Feb22,2024






Afghanistan salvaged some pride on Wednesday as they pulled off a thrilling three-run win over hosts Sri Lanka in the third T20 International, the last game of their multi-format tour. It has been a disappointing tour for the Afghans – losing six matches in a row – but captain Ibrahim Zadran said he was “feeling very good” after his team won in a dramatic finish after a hard-fought match. “I'm happy with the win,” Zadran said. “Unfortunately, we lost the series.”

Sri Lanka had already won the three-match T20 series by winning the first two matches, the first by four runs and the second by 72 runs.

They also won the only Test match and the ODI series with a clean sweep of 3–0.

But Afghanistan seemed determined to win at least one match.

'under pressure'

Sri Lanka needed 36 runs from the last two overs, with Dasun Shanaka making 24 from eight balls – but was run out.

Due to this, Sri Lanka needed 19 runs in the last over.

But they could score only 15 runs and the game was mired in controversy as tension mounted on the last six balls.

Wafadar Momand's fourth ball was a high full toss, but despite protests from the batsmen, the square leg umpire did not give a no ball.

Captain Wanindu Hasaranga was seen exchanging words with the umpires.

“We played good cricket in the first two matches,” Hasaranga said.

“Credit goes to our bowlers and batsmen.”

Fighting till the end, Kamindu Mendis hit a six on the last ball of the innings, but it was not enough and Sri Lanka missed by three runs.

Mendis remained unbeaten on 65 runs in 39 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes and completed his first half-century in T20 cricket.

On a pitch prepared for batting, with no margin for error for the bowlers, Sri Lanka's openers gave them a strong start by adding 64 runs from 35 balls.

The partnership was broken when Kusal Mendis attempted to hit a boundary on the off side but failed to edge past the extra cover fielder, where Sharafuddin Ashraf back-pedaled and took a good catch.

In the process, the fielder hit his head on the turf.

Ashraf was dropped after the concussion substitute rule was implemented and leg spinner Qais Ahmed replaced him.

Afghanistan took two wickets in three balls when Noor Ahmed trapped Kusal Perera LBW for duck.

Pathum Nissanka scored his tenth T20 half-century off 27 balls, but suffered a hamstring injury soon afterwards and his movements were restricted.

He reached 60 runs by hitting a six off Noor Ahmed and retired soon after. He faced 30 balls and hit eight fours and two sixes.

Afghanistan's big score was thanks to the efforts of its opening batsmen, who scored 88 runs off 44 balls.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed after scoring 70 runs twice.

“I was under pressure but I went out today and tried to play my natural game,” Gurbaz said. “I took responsibility and I think that was the reason.”

Sri Lanka bounced back with Mathisha Pathirana taking two wickets in two balls, but it was not enough to stop Afghanistan from scoring over 200 runs.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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