Fast bowler Dushmanta Chamira stormed back into the Sri Lankan team to augment their 132 victory over Afghanistan in Hambantota on Sunday and equalize in a three-legged one-day international series. Hitting a target of 324, the Sri Lankan bowlers beat the tourists by 191 in 43 overs, their biggest ever ODI victory over Afghanistan. Chamira, having returned to the team after a seven-month hiatus following ankle surgery, landed a couple of hostile spells and finished with two out of 18.
Sri Lanka will be encouraged by the return of their main bowler as they will travel to Zimbabwe immediately after the series to play in the World Cup qualifiers.
“We are very happy that Chamira is back: an injury has kept him out of action for a while, but I am glad that he is working to his full potential,” said skipper Dasun Shanaka.
“Dimut Karunaratne is also back and he has added stability to the game – and obviously he is very experienced. These are good signs that we are looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers.”
There are no such problems for Afghanistan, they have already qualified for the World Cup at the end of this year in India.
Chamira was well backed by part-time Dhananjaya de Silva, who finished with three wickets, including match one hero Ibrahim Zardan.
Spinner Vanindu Hasaranga polished the tail, scoring three out of 42.
Zardan, who scored the most points in the first ODI with 98, was again among the runs with 54.
But the pressure on the scoreboard took its toll as he deflected a cutoff attempt that Kusal Mendis parried well from behind the stumps.
Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 57 points before de Silva was trapped.
Thereafter, the Afghan batters put up little resistance as they lost six wickets in 23 runs.
“I don’t think it was our best performance, we were a little careless on the pitch,” Shahidi said after the match. “We have one more game to play and we’ll try to bounce back.”
Sri Lanka entered the game with four substitutions, losing the first ODI on Friday by six wickets.
First players Dimut Karunaratne and Patum Nissanka added 82 runs to the first wicket, and Karunaratne did well in the comeback tryout, scoring 52 out of 62.
Kusal Mendis then picked up the pace with a superb counter-attack, breaking 78 of 75 balls with seven fours and one six.
A third-wicket stand between Mendis and Sadira Samaravikrama, who was playing his first ODI in over three years, provided a much-needed boost to the pitch. The pair added 88 runs in 86 balls.
Sri Lanka’s bottom middle rank was the driving force behind their total of 323, with the hosts scoring 109 over the last ten overs.
Farid Ahmad and Mohammad Nabi were selected by the players from Afghanistan, taking two wickets each.
The third and final ODI will take place on June 7th also in Hambantota.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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