Afghanistan newcomer Ibrahim Zadran scored the 98th shot in his team’s six-wicket win over hosts Sri Lanka in the first of three one-day internationals on Friday. Zadran and Rahmat Shah (55) scored the most points and took the visitors to 269-4 in 47th after they won the toss to go first in Hambantota. Earlier, Charit Asalanka scored 91 to help Sri Lanka reach 268 below parity after a shaky start pushed them to 84-3 in 20 overs.
Zadran, 21, was sacked by Kasun Rajitha, who was Sri Lanka’s most efficient bowler that day, and finished 2-49 in his 10-over spell.
Zadran lived to his half century on just 35 balls and hit 11 fours and two sixes in an innings.
Both of his sixes faced up-and-comer Matisha Patirana, who recently made a name for himself with notable performances for the recent IPL Chennai Super Kings winners.
Wayward Patirana finished 1-66 in 8.5 overs on his debut ODI.
Zadran and Shah sealed the Afghan serve after fellow rookie Rahmanullah Gurbaz fell 14 in the sixth over.
Mohammad Nabi (27) and Najibullah Zadran (7) went undefeated at the end to lead Afghanistan to victory.
Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Kumara took 1-21 in 4.3 overs while the other Sri Lankan bowlers failed to make it.
Zadran said he found it “very difficult to get out” towards the fourth century and praised his bowlers for doing a “very good job” of keeping Sri Lanka below 300.
“I wanted to finish the game and get a hundred, but that’s how it is in cricket,” he said after the game.
“Target 269 was a good result, but not that difficult. The ball was coming to that bat and we just wanted to finish the game,” he added.
Previously, the hosts were saved by a rack of 99 runs between Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva for the fifth wicket. De Silva scored 51 points before being eliminated by Naby.
Seamstress left Fazalhak Farooqi (2-58) captured the wickets of Dimut Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis in his first spell and then Farid Ahmad and Mujib ur Rahman made further raids.
After De Silva was fired, captain Dasun Shanaka added 32 runs for a sixth wicket with Ashalanka, but bowler Noor Ahmad counted the skipper as a well-disguised google.
Dusan Hemanta backed up Asalanka well in the 48-run stand for the seventh wicket. He made 22.
Asalanka hit his 91 of 95 balls with 12 fours before being eliminated in the final over.
Sri Lanka will use this series in preparation for this month’s World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan has already advanced to this year’s showcase sporting event in India and will be testing its combinations.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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