New Delhi: Afghanistan continued its impressive performance in the World Cup 2023, as it beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets on Monday. This was Afghanistan’s third win in the tournament, after upsetting England and Pakistan in their previous matches. Afghanistan dominated Sri Lanka in all departments of the game, bowling them out for 241 and chasing down the target with ease.
Afghanistan won the toss and opted to field first, putting pressure on the Sri Lankan batsmen from the start. The fast bowlers Fazal-Haq-Farooqui and Mujeeb ur Rahman shared six wickets between them, while the spinners Azmatullah and Rashid Khan chipped in with one wicket each. Sri Lanka could not build any big partnerships, as their top order failed to convert their starts. Pathum Nissanka was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 46 runs, followed by Mendis and Samarawickrama with 39 and 36 runs respectively. Kushal Mendis, who was leading the side in the absence of injured Dasun Shanaka, could not make an impact and fell for 25 runs.
Afghanistan’s chase was smooth and steady, as they lost only three wickets in the process. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed for a duck in the first over, but Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah steadied the innings with a 74-run stand. Zadran scored 39 runs, while Shah played a solid knock of 62 runs. After their dismissals, captain Hashmatullah Shahidi and Achmatullah Omarzai finished the job with an unbeaten partnership of 113 runs. Shahidi scored 51 not out, while Omarzai smashed 59 not out off 38 balls, hitting six fours and three sixes.
Afghanistan reached the target of 242 in 44.4 overs, winning the match by seven wickets with 32 balls to spare. Omarzai was declared the player of the match for his quick-fire fifty. Afghanistan has now moved up to the third position in the points table with six points from four matches. Sri Lanka has slipped to the seventh spot with two points from four matches.