CWC 2019- AFG vs SL Review: Lankans prevail in rain curtailed fixture

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Image Courtesy: India Today
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Sri Lanka fended off the hungry Afghanistan side in a fixture that was cut short due to rain. The Lankans’ bowling helped them defend a paltry total.

Image Courtesy: India Today

 

Both sides headed into Sophia Gardens in Cardiff in a bid to register their maiden points in the tournament. Naming a solitary change in the form of Nuwan Pradeep instead of Jeevan Mendis, the side had to bat first after losing the toss.

A splendid start was laid out by the new opening pair for the 1996 World Cup Champions,  the side raced away to 144-1 in 20 overs before all hell broke loose. In an astronomical collapse, Sri Lanka lost four wickets in a matter of 2 overs. The middle order was sent back to the pavilion in no time.

Kusal Perera hung around for a well made 76, before rain played spoilsport. Due to the time lost, the match was reduced to 41 overs. Sri Lanka stuttered to 201 with 35 off them being extras. The revised target for Afghanistan as per the D/L method was 187.

The chasing side got an explosive start as well, but Nuwan Pradeep was the chief architect as the bowling side cleaned up the top half of the batting line-up. Reduced to 57-5, Najibullah and Naib were once again entrusted with the job of rebuilding. The duo took things close, but the lower order could not sustain Malinga’s yorkers and eventually succumbed to a 34 run defeat.

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