Sri Lanka Dominates Afghanistan to Clinch ODI Series Victory

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Sri Lanka Dominates Afghanistan to Clinch ODI Series Victory

Sri Lanka’s openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka, made the task look easy as they secured a convincing nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan on Wednesday, clinching a 2-1 ODI series win for the home team.

Chasing a target of 117 in Hambantota, Sri Lanka cruised to 120 with a remarkable 34 overs to spare. Afghanistan’s top order crumbled under the pressure of Sri Lanka’s fast-bowling attack, led by Dushmantha Chameera.

Pathum Nissanka wasted no time in the chase, reaching his seventh ODI half-century in just 32 balls. He struck eight boundaries and two sixes on his way to 51 runs before being dismissed lbw by Gulbadin Naib, ending an impressive 84-run partnership for the opening wicket.

Meanwhile, Dimuth Karunaratne, playing his first ODI series in over two years, remained unbeaten on 56 to ensure Sri Lanka reached the target without losing another wicket. He scored his eighth half-century in the format, smashing seven boundaries off just 45 balls.

Dushmantha Chameera, returning to the side after a seven-month absence due to ankle surgery, established Sri Lanka’s dominance early on with his fiery spells. He was rewarded with the Man of the Match award for his figures of 4-63.

Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga contributed to Afghanistan’s downfall, taking 3-7 to wrap up their innings, while fast bowler Lahiru Kumara claimed two wickets. The Afghan batsmen struggled to form substantial partnerships and were bowled out for a mere 116.

Sri Lanka comfortably reached the target in a mere 16 overs, with Kusal Mendis remaining unbeaten on 11 as they sealed the victory early.

After losing the first game by six wickets, Sri Lanka bounced back strongly to win the second game by 132 runs, ultimately securing the series win.

Next, Sri Lanka will travel to Zimbabwe for the World Cup qualifiers, aiming to secure one of the two remaining slots for the prestigious tournament scheduled to be held in India from October.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has already qualified for the World Cup and will be participating in the tournament alongside other top cricketing nations.

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