Sri Lanka bounced back to beat Afghanistan by 132 runs on Sunday to square the three-match one-day series.
It was Sri Lanka’s biggest win over Afghanistan in ODIs and makes amends for its disappointing performance in the first ODI on Friday, which it lost by six wickets.
Having set Afghanistan a stiff 324-run target, fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera dismissed the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz cheaply for two runs to give his side an early advantage. Although Afghanistan put together two strong partnerships after that, the required run rate kept climbing and the Afghans lost their way trying to keep pace.
Opening batter Ibrahim Zadran continued his good form, posting 54 runs while captain Hashmatullah Shahidi top scored with 57 runs, but once Sri Lanka dismissed the top order, there was not much resistance from the rest of the batters.
From 146 for two, Afghanistan collapsed to be bowled out for 191 runs in 42.1 overs, losing its last eight wickets for just 45 runs.
Spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva shared six wickets between them to seal a comprehensive win for the home side.
Sri Lanka’s batting put on a show, giving the team confidence ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe this month.
Afghanistan has already qualified for the World Cup and despite the heavy defeat on Sunday, will feel positive with star Rashid Khan expected to feature in the final game on Wednesday. The leg-spinner was ruled out of the first two with a back injury.
Half-centuries by Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka post its commanding total. While Mendis top scored with 78 runs off 75 balls with seven fours and one six, Karunaratne, who was recalled for this series to stabilize the batting, made 52 off 62 balls with seven fours.
Opener Pathum Nissanka contributed 43 runs while Sadeera Samarawickrama, featuring in an ODI for the first time since 2019, made 44 off 46 balls.
There was some big hitting by the lower middle-order with captain Dasun Shanaka chipping in with 23 runs while Hasaranga finished things off in style with an unbeaten 29 off 12 balls with four fours and a six.
Dhananjaya was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten 29 and three wickets.
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