World Cup 2019: Pradeep, Kusal Perera star as Sri Lanka beats Afghanistan

Nuwan Pradeep's four-for helped Sri Lanka to a 34-run win over Afghanistan in a rain-hit match in Cardiff.

Nuwan Pradeep starred with the ball for Sri Lanka.   -  getty images

Nuwan Pradeep's four-wicket haul overshadowed Mohammad Nabi's heroics with the ball as Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 34 runs (DLS) in a World Cup 2019 match at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Chasing a revised target of 187, Mohammad Shahzad and Hazratullah Zazai got Afghanistan off to a brisk start before Shahzad was snapped up by Lasith Malinga. Rahmat Shah followed suit, falling to Pradeep.

His dismissal triggered a slide which saw Afghanistan slip from 42/1 to 57/5 before Najibullah Zadran's 56-ball 43, with the help of six fours, revived hopes of a win. However Pradeep nipped the chase in the bud with three more strikes.


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Nabi spins a web

Earlier, Gulbadin Naib won the toss and inserted Sri Lanka in to bat. Mohammad Nabi ran through a panic-stricken Sri Lanka top order as Afghanistan bowled its struggling opponent out for 201 in a rain-affected match in Cardiff.

Sri Lanka came out of the blocks quickly under leaden skies, reaching 144 for one before the halfway point of its innings and was on course for a morale-boosting big score against the unfancied Afghans.

But Nabi, who had earlier removed captain Dimuth Karunaratne for 30, turned the match in the Welsh capital on its head, with three wickets in five balls as Sri Lanka slumped to 146-4.

Shell-shocked Sri Lanka kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, with 35 extras the second-highest scorer.

The turning point of the match was the dramatic 22nd over.

Nabi bowled Lahiru Thirimanne for 25 before having Kusal Mendis caught by Rahmat Shah in the slips for two runs. Angelo Mathews was next to go, for a duck, also caught by Shah.

Rain intervened, forcing the players from the field, with Sri Lanka 182-8

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