Brisbane (Commonwealth Union)_With a lot to lose for both teams, today’s intense match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan had the fans on their toes until Sri Lanka secured victory, moving to the third rank in the group 1 standings, while Afghanistan is officially headed towards elimination.
After a little dormancy in the previous games, Wanindu Hasaranga was back with his power packed performance, casting a 3 for 13 wicket spell that undoubtedly was the reason behind Sri Lanka’s victory today.
Whilst Sri Lanka is known for their chase, they had a wobbly start this time, with Pathum Nissanka heading for the stands early on. The team was able to score only 28 runs in power play. Mujeeb Ur Rahman delivered excellent overs, however Dhananjaya De Silva kept a look out for opportunities, slowly building a stable partnership with Kusal Mendis, ensuring that the top order didn’t fall flat early on in the game. He then grew comfortable in the game scoring boundaries alongside Bhanuka Rajapakse and Charith Asalanka, finishing with 66 not out of 44.
Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman were the only wicket takers for Afghanistan, taking two each. For them, this loss means being eliminated from the semi-finals. Sri Lanka’s chances too are not looking that great. For them to go through, they need to win against England, and of course pray that the other matches work in their favour.
There is a lot that could happen, but for now let’s marvel at Hasaranga’s comeback magic. He was awarded Man of the Match and with good reason. His 3 for 13 wicket haul was crucial for Sri Lanka’s win and the best part was that he did not concede a single boundary! Would you believe me if I said he was the same bowler who gave 17 runs per over just two matches ago?
Anything can happen, and we cannot wait to see what more is yet to unfold as the series progresses!