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Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan AFG in SL, 3 T20Is, 2024

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1st T20I, Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Rangiri, 17 Feb, 2024

Sri Lanka

SL

160/10

(19.0) overs

Afghanistan

AFG

156/9

(20.0) overs

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 4 runs

Player Of The Match

Matheesha Pathirana,
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Summary
Scorecard
Commentary
News
Afghanistan
Sri Lanka

Commentary

Right then, that is it from this game and it is the hosts, Sri Lanka who have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan who will believe that they can make a comeback as they really got close in this game as well. Sri Lanka on the other hand will have their eyes on sealing the series in the next game. The 2nd T20I will be played at the very same ground in Dambulla on Monday, 19 February and will begin at 7 pm IST (1.30 pm GMT). However, you can catch our build-up to the game a lot sooner. Cheers!

Wanindu Hasaranga, the skipper of Sri Lanka says that it was a close game and says he feels they were 15 runs short. Adds that he didn't try to overdo anything and held onto the basics. Says that the batters should take more responsibility in the coming games. Ends up by saying that they will perform more strongly in the second game.

Ibrahim Zadran, the skipper of Afghanistan says that he doesn't like losing but it is part of the game and they gave their best on the field and will come back stronger. Reckons that it was a chasable score and they had a good Powerplay but wickets in the middle and batters not taking responsibility was the main issue. Adds that it is part of the game and no one wants to commit mistakes and credits the Lankan bowlers who bowled well and didn't have many partners to get the win. Ends by saying that he is happy with his knock but not satisfied and would want to win this type of game for his country.

The Presentation ceremony...

Afghanistan will be thinking long and hard about how they let this game slip and with just 14 runs needed off 12 deliveries, they should have really won. They were more than decent with the ball apart from one phase and all the three frontline pacers got at least a couple of wickets each but it was Fazalhaq Farooqi who was the standout with 3 wickets to his name. Qais Ahmad and Noor Ahmad were both expensive and surprisingly, Mohammad Nabi didn't bowl at all but they did well to bundle out Sri Lanka for 160. With the bat, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran started off well and just when the former got going, he went for one too many shots and gave his wicket away. The skipper stood strong and built a partnership first with Gulbadin Naib and then after they lost a few wickets, he stitched another stand with Karim Janat which got them into a position of promise. Ibrahim also brought up a stellar half-century, however, he kept on losing partners and with 3 wickets intact and two overs to go, they lost two wickets in the 19th over and Ibrahim couldn't perform under pressure in the final over.

Matheesha Pathirana is the POTM for his lethal death bowling and exceptional figures of 4/24 in his four overs. He says he is happy to contribute to the team and it feels special. Says that this was his second T20I for Sri Lanka and that he cannot control his happiness. He adds he has a little experience of playing the IPL and he says that he executed the line and length pretty well in the penultimate over.

After being put into bat first, Sri Lanka lost an in-form Pathum Nissanka early and then the top order put on a few runs but no one could really kick on. It was then a staggering knock from the skipper, Wanindu Hasaranga himself that got the Lankans into a very good position but they lost their way in the final five overs or so and could only hobble to 160 runs. With the ball though, they did get a fairly early wicket thanks to Angelo Mathews but then they conceded a stand and were under the pump. Hasaranga, Matheesha Pathirana and Dasun Shanaka all got into the wickets column soon after and got their side back in the game before another stand took the game away. In the last four overs, Pathirana bowled 2 overs and got 3 wickets at the death hardly giving away any runs as well. Binura Fernando who had an expensive outing, repaid the fate put in him by the captain by bowling four dots on the trot in the final over and sealed a famous victory.

The first-ever T20I match in Dambulla and what a cracker of a game we have witnessed here as hosts Sri Lanka have stolen it at the death in front of a jam-packed home crowd. A frantic last couple of overs but what death bowling from Matheesha Pathirana and even Binura Fernando held his nerves brilliantly in the final over leaving Afghanistan still without a win in this tour and the skipper, Ibrahim Zadran will be the most distraught man out there.

Runs Scored 6 Runs

Score after 20 overs : 156/9

I Zadran67 (55)

F Farooqi0 (0)

B Fernando4-0-44-0

19.64

FOUR! Not enough! Sri Lanka steal a sensational win by 4 runs at Dambulla. And it is fair to say that Matheesha Pathirana stood between the win and Afghanistan. Binura holds his line outside off from over the wicket and fuller in length, Ibrahim Zadran throws his bat at it and connects well through extra covers for a boundary. But it is too late. Sri Lanka take the series lead by 1-0 by winning this first T20I. What a humdinger of a contest this has been!

19.52

DROPPED! On off and full, Ibrahim Zadran tries to heave it out of the park but slices it uppishly towards deep third man. The ball lands between the two converging fielders in the deep and there's no clear call to take the catch. They run a couple of runs.

19.40

Fourth dot ball in a row! Full and wide outside off from over the wicket, Ibrahim Zadran looks to drive through the covers but he overhits it and falls on his knees but fails to connect.

19.30

What a sensational last over this is turning out to be! Another dot! Fuller in length and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran drives it to deep point but does not run again. 11 off 3 now.

19.20

Full toss and angling outside off, Ibrahim Zadran swings wildly and misses! Another dot delivery! 4 balls remaining and 11 needed still.

19.10

A crucial dot delivery by Binura Fernando! Full and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran drives hard shuffling on off towards deep extra cover but denies to take the single.

Fazalhaq Farooqi is the last man in for Afghanistan but he won't be on strike. 11 needed off the final over. It will be Binura Fernando to bowl the final over. Fernando has been expensive but can he defend 10 runs and win the game for his side? Also, there is a slight hold-up in play as there is an issue with one of the stumps again. The groundstaff fix the stump that was broken and we can now continue.

Runs Scored 3 Runs

Score after 19 overs : 150/9

Naveen1 (2)

I Zadran61 (49)

M Pathirana4-0-24-4

18.6W

OUT! BULL'S EYE! Matheesha Pathirana destroys the timber with an exceptional yorker! Guns a perfect yorker on off, Naveen-ul-Haq comes ahead a couple of steps and shuffles a bit to the leg side looking to squeeze it to the off side but exposes the stumps in that process and misses to connect the ball. The rock shatters the stumps again. Matheesha Pathirana is making the ball talk here. What a sensational penultimate over and a perfect display of death over bowling from Pathirana. Just three runs and two wickets from this over. 11 needed off the last over now. Matheesha Pathirana has made the ground staff work to replace the stumps as he has destroyed the timber thrice in this match.

18.51

On the length and outside off, Ibrahim tucks it to covers off the back foot and runs a single.

18.41

Full and slower on stumps, Naveen flicks it to mid-wicket for a single.

Naveen-ul-Haq is the new man in.

18.3W

OUT! KNOCKED HIM OVER! Matheesha Pathirana, you beauty! What a sensational delivery and what a star this bowler is! Noor has no answers to it! With a bit of an inward movement from off on a length, Noor Ahmad stands confused and is caught in two minds whether to play it on the back foot and gets squared up, and is too late to bring the bat down. The ball breaks the stumps in the blink of an eye. Matheesha Pathirana gets his third scalp.

18.20

BEATEN! Full, outside off, Noor swings and misses.

18.11

Pathirana comes into the penultimate over and bowls fuller on the middle and leg channel, Ibrahim Zadran drills it toward long on for a single.

Runs Scored 10 Runs

Score after 18 overs : 147/7

N Ahmad9 (4)

I Zadran59 (47)

M Theekshana4-0-31-1

17.62

Full and on the middle stump line, Noor Ahmad steers it towards widish long on for a brace. 10 runs from this over and Afghanistan are still in this contest. 14 needed of the last 12 balls remaining.

17.51

On full and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran drives it down the ground towards long off for a single.

17.41

Good cricket. Tossed up on stumps, Noor nudges it to square leg for a single.

17.36

SIX! Noor Ahmed strikes big! Serves a juicy half-volley on the stumps, Noor Ahmad swings hard clearing his front leg and deposits into the stands over long on for a biggie. What a pressure-releasing hit that is!

17.20

On top of off and on a length, Noor Ahmad pushes it to mid off.

Noor Ahmad is the new batter in.

17.1W

OUT! TAKEN! Theekshana provides a wicket and at what time? A juicy full toss on offer on middle but Qais Ahmed completely mistimes it making a mess of it and it takes the leading edge as he closes the bat's face pretty early. The ball lobs up in the air and Kamindu Mendis (the substitute fielder) takes an easy catch.

Runs Scored 12 Runs

Score after 17 overs : 137/6

I Zadran58 (46)

Q Ahmad7 (3)

M Pathirana3-0-21-2

16.60

On the back of a length and outside off, Ibrahim drops it down to the off side. Getting closer here the Afghans. The equation now stands at 24 runs required off 18 balls.

Commentary

We are back with the run-chase to begin! The two Umpires make their way out to the middle and so do the fielders of Sri Lanka who spread out in the field. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran are the two openers for Afghanistan. Angelo Mathews has the new ball and is all in readiness to bowl the first over of the chase. Let's play...

...The Run Chase...

Right then, Sri Lanka has posted a decent total on the board and the tourists will have to be at their A-game to chase it down. A riveting second half of the match is up on the cards. Stay tuned, folks as the chase begins shortly.

Afghanistan began fabulously as Fazalhaq Farooqi removed Nissanka in the first over and Kusal Mendis in his second. Naveen Ul Haq too, dismissed the good-looking de Silva inside the Powerplay. Noor Ahmed was brought into the attack and he too, picked a wicket in his very first over. The ball was moving a bit but not too much which helped their bowlers to exploit the conditions well, but more than that, their execution was spot on. But sooner, they lost the track and were all over the place when Hasaranga took them to the cleaners. But after the crucial wicket of Hasaranga by Naveen, they crept back into the contest as their bowlers put brakes on the runs and conceded just 21 runs in the last four overs in the slog phase and bowled Sri Lanka out in the penultimate over itself. Fazalhaq Farooqi finished with a brilliant 3-fer and was complimented well in the end by Azmat and Naveen who picked two apiece and restricted them on 160.

Phew, what an eventful and dynamic first half of play we've witnessed here at Dambulla. The conclusion wasn't quite what Sri Lanka had hoped for, especially after Hasaranga's aggressive onslaught during the middle overs. Sri Lanka encountered an early setback with the departure of the in-form Pathum Nissanka in the opening over. Subsequently, Kusal Mendis struggled to find his rhythm at the crease. Despite Dhanajaya de Silva's attempt to inject aggression with quick boundaries, his inning was short-lived, ending on 24. Charith Asalanka's departure with a single-digit score added to Sri Lanka's woes. However, the tide turned with skipper Wanindu Hasaranga's aggressive onslaught, breathing life back into the team. Hasaranga's explosive start, coupled with Sadeera Samarawickrama's steady support, revived Sri Lanka's innings. Hasaranga's rapid half-century off just 24 deliveries bolstered their recovery, though Samarawickrama's run-out halted their momentum. Nevertheless, Hasaranga's well-crafted 67 runs in the 16th over steered Sri Lanka away from the early collapse, as they amassed 55 runs in the middle overs. Despite their resurgence, Sri Lanka faced a slowdown in the run rate after Hasaranga's dismissal, resulting in quiet overs and a premature end to their innings, falling short of the allotted 20 overs.

Runs Scored 5 Runs

Score after 19 overs : 160/10

B Fernando0 (2)

M Pathirana5 (4)

A Omarzai4-0-30-2

18.6W

OUT! TIMBER! That's it, Sri Lanka have been bundled out. Slower one, on a fullish length and on off stump, Binura Fernando hangs back and swings across the line but is beaten by the lack of pace. The ball nips back in a bit and castles into the stumps. Sri Lanka have been bundled out for 160 runs.

18.51

Nails the yorker on middle stump, Matheesha Pathirana jams it out to cover and picks up a single.

18.44

FOUR! Much needed for Sri Lanka. Banged in well short and over middle, Matheesha Pathirana swings wildly at it and gets a top edge over short fine leg for a boundary.

18.30

Full and on leg stump, angling in, Matheesha Pathirana gets yorked and fails to get a bat on it.

18.20

Fuller in length and on the stumps, Matheesha Pathirana blocks it out.

Matheesha Pathirana is in at number 11.

18.1W

OUT! CAUGHT! Would you believe it? Dasun Shanaka has picked the fielder out to perfection. Azmatullah Omarzai steams in and serves a wide yorker well outside the off stump, Shanaka hangs back and opens the bat face to guide it away but the ball goes off the face of the bat and straight toward backward point. Gulbadin Naib pouches it in the bread basket and Sri Lanka are one wicket away from getting bundled out.

Azmatullah Omarzai to bowl the penultimate over.

Runs Scored 2 Runs

Score after 18 overs : 155/8

B Fernando0 (1)

D Shanaka6 (3)

F Farooqi4-0-25-3

17.60

Full and wide of the off stump, bowled from around the stumps, Binura Fernando looks to jam it out but is well beaten.

Binura Fernando is in at number 10.

17.5W

OUT! CAUGHT! Short of a length and over the stumps, Maheesh Theekshana stays leg side of the ball and looks to hoick it over mid-wicket. The ball gets mistimed and goes high up toward long on where Mohammad Nabi takes an easy catch. Fazalhaq Farooqi gets his third and Afghanistan get their 8th wicket.

17.40

Banged in short and around off stump, Maheesh Theekshana ducks under it.

17.31

Top fielding! Fuller delivery around off and in the slot, Dasun Shanaka hammers it away on the up but Naveen-ul-Haq puts in a big dive to his right and stops it with one hand. Just a single then.

17.21

Fuller one pitched up around middle, Maheesh Theekshana pushes it through mid on and turns the strike over.

17.10

Back of a length and around off, Maheesh Theekshana taps it off the back foot toward cover.

Fazalhaq Farooqi (3-0-23-2) comes to the attack for his final over.

Runs Scored 7 Runs

Score after 17 overs : 153/7

M Theekshana1 (2)

D Shanaka5 (2)

K Janat3-0-23-1

16.61

Good length on middle and leg, Maheesh Theekshana tucks it off his legs and plays it in front of square leg for a single.

16.50

Pacy delivery, bowled on a good length and outside off stump, Maheesh Theekshana looks to play at it but is well beaten.

Maheesh Theekshana is in at number 9.

16.4W

OUT! LBW! Excellent review and Karim Janat gets a wicket. Slightly fuller and around off, angling back in, Angelo Mathews looks to block but misses on the inside edge and gets struck on the pads. Half an appeal for LBW but it is turned down. Afghanistan have taken the review. Nothing on UltraEdge and Ball Tracking shows that the ball is hitting the stumps and the onfield decision is overturned.

16.31

Slower one, bowled a bit fuller and around off, Dasun Shanaka leans on and bunts it out in front of covers for a quick run.

16.24

FOUR! Nicely timed and the 150 comes up for Sri Lanka. Goes searching for the yorker and gets it decently full, Dasun Shanaka does well to get his hands out in front and drills it back past the bowler for a boundary.

16.11

Length ball outside off, tapped away in front of point for a single.

Dasun Shanaka is in at number 8.

Runs Scored 7 Runs

Score after 16 overs : 146/6

W Hasaranga67 (32)

A Mathews5 (4)

Naveen3-0-25-2

15.6W

OUT! CAUGHT! Excellent bowling from Naveen-ul-Haq and he gets a massive wicket. Takes pace off and bowls it on a good length around off stump. Wanindu Hasaranga gives himself a bit of room and looks to launch it over long on but ends up slicing it high over mid off. Ibrahim Zadran from long off comes in and takes a safe catch. Wanindu departs after a brilliant knock.

Afghanistan
Sri Lanka
Batter R B 4s 6s SR
I Zadran

not out

67 55 8 0 121.81
R Gurbaz

c M Pathirana b A Mathews

13 6 1 1 216.66
G Naib

b W Hasaranga

16 17 2 0 94.11
A Omarzai

c D Shanaka b M Pathirana

2 5 0 0 40
M Nabi

c W Hasaranga b D Shanaka

9 8 0 0 112.50
N Zadran

c de Silva b D Shanaka

0 1 0 0 0
K Janat

lbw b M Pathirana

20 16 2 0 125
Q Ahmad

c sub K Mendis b M Theekshana

7 4 1 0 175
N Ahmad

b M Pathirana

9 6 0 1 150
Naveen

b M Pathirana

1 2 0 0 50
F Farooqi

not out

0 0 0 0
Extras

(b 4,lb 0,w 8,nb 0,Penalty 0)

12
Total 20.0 (RR: 7.80)
156/9

Did not bat:

Fall of wickets:

(R Gurbaz, 2.5 ov) (G Naib, 7.5 ov) (A Omarzai, 9 ov) (M Nabi, 11.2 ov) (N Zadran, 11.3 ov) (K Janat, 16.1 ov) (Q Ahmad, 17.1 ov) (N Ahmad, 18.3 ov) (Naveen, 19 ov)
Bowler O M R W ER
A Mathews
2 0 16 1 8.00
B Fernando
4 0 44 0 11.00
M Theekshana
4 0 31 1 7.75
W Hasaranga
4 0 20 1 5.00
M Pathirana
4 0 24 4 6.00
D Shanaka
2 0 17 2 8.50
Batter R B 4s 6s SR
P Nissanka

c R Gurbaz b F Farooqi

6 4 1 0 150
K Mendis

c A Omarzai b F Farooqi

10 8 0 1 125
de Silva

c N Ahmad b Naveen

24 17 2 1 141.17
S Samarawickrama

run out (I Zadran)

25 24 3 0 104.16
C Asalanka

c R Gurbaz b N Ahmad

3 7 0 0 42.85
W Hasaranga

c I Zadran b Naveen

67 32 7 3 209.37
A Mathews

lbw b K Janat

6 6 0 0 100
D Shanaka

c G Naib b A Omarzai

6 4 1 0 150
M Theekshana

c M Nabi b F Farooqi

2 6 0 0 33.33
B Fernando

b A Omarzai

0 2 0 0 0
M Pathirana

not out

5 4 1 0 125
Extras

(b 0,lb 3,w 3,nb 0,Penalty 0)

6
Total 19.0 (RR: 8.42)
160/10

Did not bat:

Fall of wickets:

(P Nissanka, 0.4 ov) (K Mendis, 4.1 ov) (de Silva, 5.4 ov) (C Asalanka, 7.2 ov) (S Samarawickrama, 14.1 ov) (W Hasaranga, 16 ov) (A Mathews, 16.4 ov) (M Theekshana, 17.5 ov) (D Shanaka, 18.1 ov) (B Fernando, 19 ov)
Bowler O M R W ER
F Farooqi
4 0 25 3 6.25
Naveen
3 0 25 2 8.33
A Omarzai
4 0 30 2 7.50
N Ahmad
2 0 18 1 9.00
Q Ahmad
3 0 36 0 12.00
K Janat
3 0 23 1 7.66
Afghanistan
Sri Lanka

Commentary

Right then, that is it from this game and it is the hosts, Sri Lanka who have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan who will believe that they can make a comeback as they really got close in this game as well. Sri Lanka on the other hand will have their eyes on sealing the series in the next game. The 2nd T20I will be played at the very same ground in Dambulla on Monday, 19 February and will begin at 7 pm IST (1.30 pm GMT). However, you can catch our build-up to the game a lot sooner. Cheers!

Wanindu Hasaranga, the skipper of Sri Lanka says that it was a close game and says he feels they were 15 runs short. Adds that he didn't try to overdo anything and held onto the basics. Says that the batters should take more responsibility in the coming games. Ends up by saying that they will perform more strongly in the second game.

Ibrahim Zadran, the skipper of Afghanistan says that he doesn't like losing but it is part of the game and they gave their best on the field and will come back stronger. Reckons that it was a chasable score and they had a good Powerplay but wickets in the middle and batters not taking responsibility was the main issue. Adds that it is part of the game and no one wants to commit mistakes and credits the Lankan bowlers who bowled well and didn't have many partners to get the win. Ends by saying that he is happy with his knock but not satisfied and would want to win this type of game for his country.

The Presentation ceremony...

Afghanistan will be thinking long and hard about how they let this game slip and with just 14 runs needed off 12 deliveries, they should have really won. They were more than decent with the ball apart from one phase and all the three frontline pacers got at least a couple of wickets each but it was Fazalhaq Farooqi who was the standout with 3 wickets to his name. Qais Ahmad and Noor Ahmad were both expensive and surprisingly, Mohammad Nabi didn't bowl at all but they did well to bundle out Sri Lanka for 160. With the bat, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran started off well and just when the former got going, he went for one too many shots and gave his wicket away. The skipper stood strong and built a partnership first with Gulbadin Naib and then after they lost a few wickets, he stitched another stand with Karim Janat which got them into a position of promise. Ibrahim also brought up a stellar half-century, however, he kept on losing partners and with 3 wickets intact and two overs to go, they lost two wickets in the 19th over and Ibrahim couldn't perform under pressure in the final over.

Matheesha Pathirana is the POTM for his lethal death bowling and exceptional figures of 4/24 in his four overs. He says he is happy to contribute to the team and it feels special. Says that this was his second T20I for Sri Lanka and that he cannot control his happiness. He adds he has a little experience of playing the IPL and he says that he executed the line and length pretty well in the penultimate over.

After being put into bat first, Sri Lanka lost an in-form Pathum Nissanka early and then the top order put on a few runs but no one could really kick on. It was then a staggering knock from the skipper, Wanindu Hasaranga himself that got the Lankans into a very good position but they lost their way in the final five overs or so and could only hobble to 160 runs. With the ball though, they did get a fairly early wicket thanks to Angelo Mathews but then they conceded a stand and were under the pump. Hasaranga, Matheesha Pathirana and Dasun Shanaka all got into the wickets column soon after and got their side back in the game before another stand took the game away. In the last four overs, Pathirana bowled 2 overs and got 3 wickets at the death hardly giving away any runs as well. Binura Fernando who had an expensive outing, repaid the fate put in him by the captain by bowling four dots on the trot in the final over and sealed a famous victory.

The first-ever T20I match in Dambulla and what a cracker of a game we have witnessed here as hosts Sri Lanka have stolen it at the death in front of a jam-packed home crowd. A frantic last couple of overs but what death bowling from Matheesha Pathirana and even Binura Fernando held his nerves brilliantly in the final over leaving Afghanistan still without a win in this tour and the skipper, Ibrahim Zadran will be the most distraught man out there.

Runs Scored 6 Runs

Score after 20 overs : 156/9

I Zadran67 (55)

F Farooqi0 (0)

B Fernando4-0-44-0

19.64

FOUR! Not enough! Sri Lanka steal a sensational win by 4 runs at Dambulla. And it is fair to say that Matheesha Pathirana stood between the win and Afghanistan. Binura holds his line outside off from over the wicket and fuller in length, Ibrahim Zadran throws his bat at it and connects well through extra covers for a boundary. But it is too late. Sri Lanka take the series lead by 1-0 by winning this first T20I. What a humdinger of a contest this has been!

19.52

DROPPED! On off and full, Ibrahim Zadran tries to heave it out of the park but slices it uppishly towards deep third man. The ball lands between the two converging fielders in the deep and there's no clear call to take the catch. They run a couple of runs.

19.40

Fourth dot ball in a row! Full and wide outside off from over the wicket, Ibrahim Zadran looks to drive through the covers but he overhits it and falls on his knees but fails to connect.

19.30

What a sensational last over this is turning out to be! Another dot! Fuller in length and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran drives it to deep point but does not run again. 11 off 3 now.

19.20

Full toss and angling outside off, Ibrahim Zadran swings wildly and misses! Another dot delivery! 4 balls remaining and 11 needed still.

19.10

A crucial dot delivery by Binura Fernando! Full and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran drives hard shuffling on off towards deep extra cover but denies to take the single.

Fazalhaq Farooqi is the last man in for Afghanistan but he won't be on strike. 11 needed off the final over. It will be Binura Fernando to bowl the final over. Fernando has been expensive but can he defend 10 runs and win the game for his side? Also, there is a slight hold-up in play as there is an issue with one of the stumps again. The groundstaff fix the stump that was broken and we can now continue.

Runs Scored 3 Runs

Score after 19 overs : 150/9

Naveen1 (2)

I Zadran61 (49)

M Pathirana4-0-24-4

18.6W

OUT! BULL'S EYE! Matheesha Pathirana destroys the timber with an exceptional yorker! Guns a perfect yorker on off, Naveen-ul-Haq comes ahead a couple of steps and shuffles a bit to the leg side looking to squeeze it to the off side but exposes the stumps in that process and misses to connect the ball. The rock shatters the stumps again. Matheesha Pathirana is making the ball talk here. What a sensational penultimate over and a perfect display of death over bowling from Pathirana. Just three runs and two wickets from this over. 11 needed off the last over now. Matheesha Pathirana has made the ground staff work to replace the stumps as he has destroyed the timber thrice in this match.

18.51

On the length and outside off, Ibrahim tucks it to covers off the back foot and runs a single.

18.41

Full and slower on stumps, Naveen flicks it to mid-wicket for a single.

Naveen-ul-Haq is the new man in.

18.3W

OUT! KNOCKED HIM OVER! Matheesha Pathirana, you beauty! What a sensational delivery and what a star this bowler is! Noor has no answers to it! With a bit of an inward movement from off on a length, Noor Ahmad stands confused and is caught in two minds whether to play it on the back foot and gets squared up, and is too late to bring the bat down. The ball breaks the stumps in the blink of an eye. Matheesha Pathirana gets his third scalp.

18.20

BEATEN! Full, outside off, Noor swings and misses.

18.11

Pathirana comes into the penultimate over and bowls fuller on the middle and leg channel, Ibrahim Zadran drills it toward long on for a single.

Runs Scored 10 Runs

Score after 18 overs : 147/7

N Ahmad9 (4)

I Zadran59 (47)

M Theekshana4-0-31-1

17.62

Full and on the middle stump line, Noor Ahmad steers it towards widish long on for a brace. 10 runs from this over and Afghanistan are still in this contest. 14 needed of the last 12 balls remaining.

17.51

On full and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran drives it down the ground towards long off for a single.

17.41

Good cricket. Tossed up on stumps, Noor nudges it to square leg for a single.

17.36

SIX! Noor Ahmed strikes big! Serves a juicy half-volley on the stumps, Noor Ahmad swings hard clearing his front leg and deposits into the stands over long on for a biggie. What a pressure-releasing hit that is!

17.20

On top of off and on a length, Noor Ahmad pushes it to mid off.

Noor Ahmad is the new batter in.

17.1W

OUT! TAKEN! Theekshana provides a wicket and at what time? A juicy full toss on offer on middle but Qais Ahmed completely mistimes it making a mess of it and it takes the leading edge as he closes the bat's face pretty early. The ball lobs up in the air and Kamindu Mendis (the substitute fielder) takes an easy catch.

Runs Scored 12 Runs

Score after 17 overs : 137/6

I Zadran58 (46)

Q Ahmad7 (3)

M Pathirana3-0-21-2

16.60

On the back of a length and outside off, Ibrahim drops it down to the off side. Getting closer here the Afghans. The equation now stands at 24 runs required off 18 balls.

16.53

Oh dear! This is a streak of fielding errors from the Lankans. On a length and around off, Qais Ahmad pushes it through covers and scampers back for the second. An overthrow at the runner's end allows them to take the third.

16.40

Kusal Mendis says that he has heard something and Wanindu Hasaranga straightaway opts a review for caught behind. This is on a length and outside off, Qais Ahmad advances down the track to go big over deep mid-wicket and misses. The UltraEdge confirms that no bat is involved. NOT OUT then.

16.41wd

WIDE! Oh no! Sri Lanka cannot afford too many extra deliveries here. Another bumper and wide outside off, Qais Ahmed throws his bat at it but it goes above. Wide called.

16.41wd

WIDE! Short and wide outside off, Qais leaves it and the Umpire signals a Wide.

16.31

On a length and on stumps, Ibrahim Zadran pushes it to mid off and sneaks a quick single.

16.32wd

Oh dear! He will have to reload that again! Down leg and the keeper fails to collect it cleanly and allows the batters to take a single. Two Wides.

16.24

EDGED AND FOUR! LUCKY! But Afghanistan will take it. On a hard length outside off, Qais Ahmad intentionally opens the bat's face but it takes the leading edge and flies to the right of the keeper who dives to his full stretch and it trickles down to the fence for a four.

Qais Ahmad walks in at number 8.

16.1W

OUT! LBW! Sharp appeal for LBW and the Umpire raises his finger again. Karim Janat reviews it after a brief discussion with Ibrahim. Pathirana bowls it on a length and on the stump line, Karim Janat stays on the back foot covering his stumps but plays it outside the line of the ball as it sneaks through his inside edge and thuds his pads. The UltraEdge comes up and shows no bat is involved as the ball passes the bat. It is followed by Ball Tracker and it confirms three reds. This time the decision stands and Afghanistan lose Karim Janat. Matheesha Pathirana provides another crucial breakthrough for his team.

Runs Scored 8 Runs

Score after 16 overs : 125/5

I Zadran57 (44)

K Janat20 (15)

W Hasaranga4-0-20-1

15.62

Fuller and on the stumps, Ibrahim Zadran flicks it with soft hands to mid-wicket and scampers back for the double. Good presence of mind here from the Afghan skipper. 36 needed off the last four overs.

15.50

On the dragged length and on stumps, Ibrahim Zadran pushes it to the bowler.

15.44

FOUR! Shot! Short and on stumps, Ibrahim Zadran rocks back and pulls it through deep mid-wicket for a boundary. A crucial one this.

15.30

An adamant appeal for LBW from everyone in the field, and up goes the finger! Ibrahim Zadran straightaway reviews it! Hasaranga bowls it on the off-stump line and sneaks back in. Ibrahim prods ahead and plays outside the line of the ball and wears it on the pads. The UltraEdge comes up and shows that no bat is involved. Ball Tracker proves that the ball is missing the leg stump. Ibrahim survives. A good review.

15.21

Too slow and straightens after pitching full and on stumps, Karim Janat mistimes it towards mid on for a single.

15.11

Tossed up on leg and full, Ibrahim Zadran steers it to square leg for a single.

Runs Scored 13 Runs

Score after 15 overs : 117/5

K Janat19 (14)

I Zadran50 (39)

B Fernando3-0-38-0

14.64

FOUR! A boundary to finish and 13 runs come off it, Afghanistan now need 44 runs off 30 deliveries. Short of a length and on the stumps, Karim Janat flicks it away firmly and finds the gap between deep square leg and deep mid-wicket for a boundary.

14.52

Brilliantly placed and they get two again. Full on middle and leg, Karim Janat whips it away well in front of mid-wicket and picks up another brace.

14.40

Takes pace off and bowls it full and wide, Karim Janat can't get the drive past Wanindu Hasaranga at extra cover.

14.32

Good running! Full and around off stump, Karim Janat shuffles across a bit and heaves it away in between deep mid-wicket and long on for a couple of runs.

14.24

FOUR! Binura Fernando hasn't had a good game and is being put under pressure now. Full and outside off, pace on, Karim Janat stays deep in the crease and reaches out before thumping it down the ground, past the diving man at long off and into the fence.

14.10

Back of a length and angled across the off stump, Karim Janat punches it off the back foot but straight to the man at covers.

14.11wd

WIDE! Not the best of starts from Binura Fernando. Banged in well short and down the leg side for a wide.

Runs Scored 11 Runs

Score after 14 overs : 104/5

K Janat7 (8)

I Zadran50 (39)

D Shanaka2-0-17-2

13.61

Slower one, on a length and around off, Karim Janat goes deep in his crease and forces the ball down to long off for a single.

A slight halt in proceedings as there has been some glitch in the stump mic. The man runs out to the strip and he is seen replacing the stump mic. Also, the middle stump at the non-striker's end has been replaced.

13.52

Too close for comfort but Karim Janat survives! Floated up full and wide outside off, Janat goes on the back foot and punches it away to deep cover-point. The batters push for two and the throw is fired in at the keeper's end. Kusal Mendis has to fetch the ball a bit but is quick to whip off the bails. The replays roll in and whos that Janat got back home just in the nick of time.

13.41

FIFTY up for the skipper but Ibrahim Zadran will know his job isn't done yet. On the shorter side and over middle stump, Ibrahim tucks it away neatly in front of square leg for one and brings up his fifth T20I half-century, a captain's knock.

13.31

Slower again and floated up around off stump, this is played off the front foot toward long off for one and that brings up the 100 for Afghanistan.

13.31wd

WIDE! Another slower one, bowled fuller and well outside the off stump, a bit too wide for the umpire's liking.

13.21

The leg-cutter now, bowled fuller and on the stumps, Ibrahim Zadran punches it down to long on for a run and they look for two but don't go for it. Zadran moves on to 49 now.

13.14

FOUR! Hit powerfully and Ibrahim Zadran picks up a much-needed boundary for Afghanistan. Banged in well short and over middle, Zadran gets on top of the bounce and pulls it firmly along the ground and into the square leg fence for a boundary.

Runs Scored 4 Runs

Score after 13 overs : 93/5

K Janat3 (5)

I Zadran44 (36)

W Hasaranga3-0-12-1

12.60

A dot to end and only four runs come off it. Flatter one, it was the wrong'un as well, turning into middle and leg, Karim Janat blocks it off the back foot.

12.51

On the shorter side and over off stump, Ibrahim Zadran punches it off the back foot and down to long off for yet another single.

12.41

Another one that is tossed up full and around middle, Karim Janat knocks it down to long on for a run.

12.30

Tossed up, full and on middle, Karim Janat leans on and works it toward mid-wicket.

12.21

Floated up on off stump, driven away along the turf to wide long off for one more.

12.11

Loopy delivery, tossed up on middle and leg and gets it to dip late, Karim Janat gets on the front foot and drives it wide of long on for a single.

Runs Scored 6 Runs

Score after 12 overs : 89/5

I Zadran42 (34)

K Janat1 (1)

D Shanaka1-0-6-2

11.60

Hard length outside off stump, hit away on the bounce to Wanindu Hasaranga at extra cover for no run.

11.52

Good running! Slower one at 112 clicks and on a good length over middle, Ibrahim Zadran stays back and just tucks it away into the gap at mid-wicket before racing back for the second run.

11.41

Back of a length and over middle, pushed off the back foot toward mid on for a single.

11.3W

OUT! CAUGHT! Has Dhananjaya de Silva taken a stellar catch? It seems like it and that is poor cricket from Najibullah Zadran as that wasn't required at all. Dasun Shanaka takes pace off again and cleverly bowls it full and outside off stump, Zadran hangs back and has to fetch the ball as he tries to launch it over long on but gets no timing on it at all. DDS steams in from the deep and slides in to take an excellent low grab and Shanaka has picked up two wickets in three balls here.

Karim Janat is in at number 7 as Afghanistan are reeling at the moment.

11.31wd

WIDE! An attempted bumper over middle and this one bounces like a tennis ball over the batter's head. Najibullah Zadran leaves it alone for a wide.

Najibullah Zadran is in at number 6.

11.2W

OUT! CAUGHT! The bowling change has worked yet again and Afghanistan are losing their way. Slower delivery at just 100 clicks from Dasun Shanaka and this is bowled full and wide. Mohammad Nabi hangs deep in the crease and looks to power it over extra cover but doesn't get the required elevation. Wanindu Hasaranga is stationed there and he just crouches a bit before taking a sharp catch with both hands around his face and Sri Lanka are pumped up.

11.12

Starts with a gentle-paced delivery, floated full and wide, Mohammad Nabi stays deep in the crease and plays it with an angled bat wide of third man for a couple of runs as the man from deep point tidies up.

Dasun Shanaka replaces Maheesh Theekshana.

Runs Scored 7 Runs

Score after 11 overs : 83/3

M Nabi7 (6)

I Zadran40 (32)

M Pathirana2-0-9-1

10.61

Full again and on the pads, flicked away behind square leg for one more.

10.51

Another brilliant piece of fielding and Sri Lanka are building pressure on the batters as the boundaries have dried up. Fuller in length and at the stumps, Ibrahim Zadran backs away and thumps it to the right of mid off where the skipper Wanindu Hasaranga dives in and keeps it down to a tun.

10.40

Clocks in 150 KPH and bowls it full around off stump, Ibrahim Zadran backs away and hits it straight to mid off.

10.41wd

WIDE! Banged in well short and wide at fiery pace, signaled as a wide.

10.31

A bit of hesitation but fairly comfortable in the end. On a hard length and outside off, Mohammad Nabi taps it away wide of mid off and gets across for a single. The fielder misses the direct hit at the bowler's end but Nabi was well in.

10.22

Brilliant stop in the deep as that had four written all over it. Full and outside off, going away, Mohammad Nabi stays deep in the crease and slaps it away wide of third man where Sadeera Samarawickrama puts in a full-length dive and gets a big right hand on it, saves two runs as well.

10.11

Hard length over middle, Ibrahim Zadran gets right behind the line of the ball and punches it down to long on for a single.

Runs Scored 5 Runs

Score after 10 overs : 76/3

M Nabi3 (3)

I Zadran38 (29)

M Theekshana3-0-21-0

9.62

Slower and on off on a fuller length, Mohammad Nabi slices it towards backward point for a couple of runs to end the over.

9.51

A well-attempted yorker right into the blockhole on middle, Ibrahim Zadran squeezes it out to deep extra cover for one. 22 balls since the last boundary now.

9.41

Drifts it down to the leg stump on a fullish length, Mohammad Nabi drives it along the carpet for a single towards long on.

9.30

Slider on off and full, Mohammad Nabi tucks it to mid on.

9.21

On off and full, Ibrahim Zadran presents the full face of the bat and drives it along the ground toward long off for a single.

9.10

Slides in from outside off on a fuller length, Ibrahim Zadran squeezes it straight to cover.

'The President,' Mohammad Nabi walks out to bat now.

Runs Scored 2 Runs

Score after 9 overs : 71/3

A Omarzai2 (5)

I Zadran36 (26)

M Pathirana1-0-2-1

8.6W

OUT! TAKEN! The change of length now and Azmat falls prey to it! This is full and cannoned on the stumps, Azmatullah Omarzai readies himself for another bumper but it is full this time and he hits it straight to cover into the hands of Dasun Shanaka who takes a regulation grab. A brilliant trap was laid to get him out. Matheesha Pathirana strikes in his first over.

8.50

Another short-pitched bouncer outside off, Azmatullah Omarzai swings and misses at it. Is this a ploy to trap Azmat?

8.40

Bangs a steep bumper just on off, Azmatullah Omarzai aborts to play any shot at it.

8.31

Into the stump line on a fuller length, Ibrahim Zadran pushes it to long on for a single.

8.20

Wide outside off on a short length, Ibrahim Zadran slashes hard but fails to connect.

8.11

Steams in from over the wicket and pitches it short in front of the stumps, Azmatullah Omarzai stays on the back foot and pats it to point for a single.

Matheesha Pathirana has now been brought into the attack.

Runs Scored 3 Runs

Score after 8 overs : 69/2

A Omarzai1 (1)

I Zadran35 (24)

W Hasaranga2-0-8-1

7.61

Follows another wrong'un on a short length, Azmatullah Omarzai rocks back and pulls it to mid-wicket for a single to get off the mark. A successful over for Sri Lanka as they saw the back of Gulbadin Naib.

Azmatullah Omarzai is the new man in.

7.5W

OUT! BOWLED'EM! The skipper shines and now with the bowl as he breaks a brewing partnership! Bowls a wrong'un on off which slides into the batter after pitching and fuller in length, Gulbadin Naib sits on his knee to slap it over the leg side but ends up play all over it and it goes through his defence before breaking into the stumps. Gulbadin Naib departs and Afghanistan are two down now.

7.40

Overpitched and on the stumps, Gulbadin Naib flicks it to short mid-wicket.

7.30

Drags his length drifting down leg, Naib misses to flick.

7.21

Just short and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran rocks back and punches it off the back foot to covers for a single.

7.11

Over the wicket on a full toss and in front of the stumps, Gulbadin Naib slogs it towards long on for one.

Runs Scored 9 Runs

Score after 7 overs : 66/1

G Naib15 (13)

I Zadran34 (23)

M Theekshana2-0-16-0

6.61

Slides back in from off on a fuller length, Gulbadin Naib steers it with wrists to deep square leg for one.

6.51

Drifting down leg on a fuller length, Ibrahim Zadran tucks it to long on for a single.

6.41

Another misfield. Sri Lanka have been quite sloppy tonight. On full and on stumps, Gulbadin Naib flicks it to mid on where the fielder fails to stop. They cross for one towards long on.

6.31

On a dragged length and around off, Ibrahim Zadran punches it to widish long off for a single.

6.21

Brings it back in from off on a fuller length, Naib loses his shape and gets squared up getting an inside edge and onto the pads. It rolls to the off side. But again, a poor display in the field as they offer one more overthrow run.

6.14

FOUR! Glorious! Starts off with a leg-break outside off on a fuller length, Gulbadin Naib covers his off stump and uppishly swings it hard over covers for a boundary.

Runs Scored 5 Runs

Score after 6 overs : 57/1

I Zadran32 (21)

G Naib8 (9)

W Hasaranga1-0-5-0

5.60

Flighted ball on the stumps, Ibrahim Zadran lunges ahead and blocks it out to end the over. Just 5 from it. End of the Powerplay and Afghanistan are 57/1.

5.50

Length delivery around off, Ibrahim Zadran punches it off the back foot to covers.

5.41

In the air...but safe! On off and on a length, Gulbadin Naib mistimes the pull shot which lands somewhere between mid-wicket and mid on. One taken.

5.30

Outside off on a fuller length, Gulbadin Naib tries to sweep again but misses as the ball keeps straight.

5.24

FOUR! Swept away! Full and looped up on the stumps, Naib sits on his knee and sweeps it uppishly towards deep square leg for a boundary.

5.10

The skipper starts off with a tossed-up leg-spinner on a fuller length sliding down leg, Gulbadin Naib looks to go big at it but meets only thin air and the ball sneaks through the gap between bat and pad.

Wanindu Hasaranga brings himself into the attack now.

Runs Scored 16 Runs

Score after 5 overs : 52/1

I Zadran32 (19)

G Naib3 (5)

B Fernando2-0-25-0

4.64

FOUR! A boundary to end the over and 16 runs come off it. This is bowled full and on middle and leg, Ibrahim Zadran gets the front leg out of the way and clips it a bit aerially in front of square leg for yet another boundary.

4.51

Hard length around off, punched away in front of cover for another quick single.

4.45

Oh, dear! Sri Lanka are gifting runs away to Afghanistan now. Shorter and at the body, dabbed down to mid-wicket for a quick run. Wanindu Hasaranga picks up the ball and has a shy at the bowler's end but the throw is more into the surface. Dasun Shanaka who is backing up gets a bad bounce and the ball eludes him to roll into the boundary. The bowler won't be one bit pleased with that.

4.34

FOUR! This is excellent batting from the Afghanistan skipper. Slightly short and over off and middle, Ibrahim Zadran yet again makes a bit of room and hammers it on the up through covers for a blazing boundary.

4.21

Hard length over middle and jagging back in sharply, Gulbadin Naib gets caught on the back foot and gets hit on the pads as the ball rolls away on the off side. The batter pick up a run as there was a bit of an inside edge.

4.11

Slower and shorter, following the batter down leg, Ibrahim Zadran gets a bit cramped and manages to push it wide of mid on for a quick single yet again.

Runs Scored 11 Runs

Score after 4 overs : 36/1

G Naib1 (3)

I Zadran18 (15)

M Theekshana1-0-7-0

3.60

Doesn't carry! Seemed like the carrom ball and Gulbadin Naib gets all squared up and gets an outside edge that falls in front of Dhananjaya de Silva at backward point.

3.51

Floated up around the off stump, Ibrahim Zadran pushes it out to covers and scampers through for a quick run.

3.44

FOUR! Hammered away! Flatter one on middle stump, Ibrahim Zadran backs away well and cuts it hard in front of square on the off side to pick up yet another boundary and Afghanistan are off to a quick start.

3.34b

FOUR BYES! Through everyone! The inswinger from Maheesh Theekshana, bowled on a length and angled back in sharply. Ibrahim Zadran goes past the leg stump to open up the off side but is beaten and the keeper is beaten too. The ball rolls away into the fine leg fence.

3.21

Should have been put away! A juicy full toss on the leg peg, Gulbadin Naib decides to just flick it away in front of square leg and picks up a single.

3.11

Starts with a quicker and flatter delivery, shaping it into the body, Ibrahim Zadran backs away and heaves it away to deep mid-wicket for a single.

Time for spin early on as Maheesh Theekshana replaces Binura Fernando from the other end.

Runs Scored 13 Runs

Score after 3 overs : 25/1

G Naib0 (1)

I Zadran12 (11)

A Mathews2-0-16-1

2.60

A bit fuller and on off stump, Gulbadin Naib blocks it off from inside the crease.

Gulbadin Naib is in at number 3.

2.5W

OUT! TAKEN! Angelo Mathews has the last laugh here and picks up a big wicket. Floated up on a length and on the stumps, shaping away a bit. Rahmanullah Gurbaz gives charge and looks to heave it across the line but gets a top edge over short third man. Matheesha Pathirana settles under the swirling ball and grabs a brilliant catch. The keeper was also running to it but left it alone and it was the right call in the end.

2.44

FOUR! That is a poor delivery and Rahmanullah Gurbaz has duly punished it as well. Short and just angling down leg, Gurbaz gets enough on it to beat short fine leg and the ball races away into the fence.

2.36

SIX! Picked up and dispatched! Pitched up on the stumps and in the hitting arc, Rahmanullah Gurbaz holds his shape and flicks it high and handsome over deep square leg for a biggie.

2.22

Oh, that could have been much worse! Short ball over middle, Rahmanullah Gurbaz nails the pull shot toward deep mid-wicket and the ball bursts through the hands of Pathum Nissanka there. Nissanka though recovers well and manages to save the boundary and the batters pick up a couple of runs.

2.11

Short of a length and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran tries to fetch and pull but gets it off the toe end toward mid on. The batters scamper through for a single.

Runs Scored 9 Runs

Score after 2 overs : 12/0

I Zadran11 (10)

R Gurbaz1 (2)

B Fernando1-0-9-0

1.61

Good length on the pads, tickled down to fine leg for an easy single to end the over.

1.50

Slower one from Binura Fernando, a bit fuller and around off, Ibrahim Zadran just pushes it away to cover.

1.44

FOUR! Superb timing! Good length on the stumps, Ibrahim Zadran backs away well and slaps the ball away through the cover region for a second boundary in the over.

1.30

Well bowled! Binura Fernando sees Ibrahim Zadran making room again and follows him with a shortish ball, Zadran gets cramped for room and has to block it off.

1.24

FOUR! Makes room and gets enough on it. Short of a length and over the stumps, Ibrahim Zadran stays leg side and forces it over wide mid on for a boundary.

1.10

Good length, angling across the right-hander, Ibrahim Zadran gets an outside edge on the bounce to the fielder at short third man.

Runs Scored 3 Runs

Score after 1 overs : 3/0

I Zadran2 (4)

R Gurbaz1 (2)

A Mathews1-0-3-0

0.61

Banged in a bit shorter and outside off, Ibrahim Zadran stays on the back foot and pats it away through cover-point for a single to end the over. Just 3 singles off the first over of the chase.

The ball is getting a bit of movement. It will be interesting to see how the Afghanistan batters negotiate the Powerplay.

0.51

Excellent running! Pitched up on off stump, Rahmanullah Gurbaz makes a bit of room and taps it straight to mid off for a quick single.

0.40

Nice and full in the channel outside off, gently swinging away from the right-hander. Rahmanullah Gurbaz just watches it go through to the keeper.

0.31

Ibrahim Zadran and Afghanistan are underway! Short and outside off, tapped away off the back foot and squarer through covers for a single.

0.20

More than half an appeal for LBW but it is turned down and it did seem just a bit too high. Short of a length and over the middle, definitely not short enough to pull. Ibrahim Zadran looks to play a cross-batted shot and misses and wears it on the thigh pad.

0.10

Starts off on a good length and in the channel around off stump, Ibrahim Zadran stands tall and punches it sweetly but straight to the man at extra cover.

Commentary

We are back with the run-chase to begin! The two Umpires make their way out to the middle and so do the fielders of Sri Lanka who spread out in the field. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran are the two openers for Afghanistan. Angelo Mathews has the new ball and is all in readiness to bowl the first over of the chase. Let's play...

...The Run Chase...

Right then, Sri Lanka has posted a decent total on the board and the tourists will have to be at their A-game to chase it down. A riveting second half of the match is up on the cards. Stay tuned, folks as the chase begins shortly.

Afghanistan began fabulously as Fazalhaq Farooqi removed Nissanka in the first over and Kusal Mendis in his second. Naveen Ul Haq too, dismissed the good-looking de Silva inside the Powerplay. Noor Ahmed was brought into the attack and he too, picked a wicket in his very first over. The ball was moving a bit but not too much which helped their bowlers to exploit the conditions well, but more than that, their execution was spot on. But sooner, they lost the track and were all over the place when Hasaranga took them to the cleaners. But after the crucial wicket of Hasaranga by Naveen, they crept back into the contest as their bowlers put brakes on the runs and conceded just 21 runs in the last four overs in the slog phase and bowled Sri Lanka out in the penultimate over itself. Fazalhaq Farooqi finished with a brilliant 3-fer and was complimented well in the end by Azmat and Naveen who picked two apiece and restricted them on 160.

Phew, what an eventful and dynamic first half of play we've witnessed here at Dambulla. The conclusion wasn't quite what Sri Lanka had hoped for, especially after Hasaranga's aggressive onslaught during the middle overs. Sri Lanka encountered an early setback with the departure of the in-form Pathum Nissanka in the opening over. Subsequently, Kusal Mendis struggled to find his rhythm at the crease. Despite Dhanajaya de Silva's attempt to inject aggression with quick boundaries, his inning was short-lived, ending on 24. Charith Asalanka's departure with a single-digit score added to Sri Lanka's woes. However, the tide turned with skipper Wanindu Hasaranga's aggressive onslaught, breathing life back into the team. Hasaranga's explosive start, coupled with Sadeera Samarawickrama's steady support, revived Sri Lanka's innings. Hasaranga's rapid half-century off just 24 deliveries bolstered their recovery, though Samarawickrama's run-out halted their momentum. Nevertheless, Hasaranga's well-crafted 67 runs in the 16th over steered Sri Lanka away from the early collapse, as they amassed 55 runs in the middle overs. Despite their resurgence, Sri Lanka faced a slowdown in the run rate after Hasaranga's dismissal, resulting in quiet overs and a premature end to their innings, falling short of the allotted 20 overs.

Runs Scored 5 Runs

Score after 19 overs : 160/10

B Fernando0 (2)

M Pathirana5 (4)

A Omarzai4-0-30-2

18.6W

OUT! TIMBER! That's it, Sri Lanka have been bundled out. Slower one, on a fullish length and on off stump, Binura Fernando hangs back and swings across the line but is beaten by the lack of pace. The ball nips back in a bit and castles into the stumps. Sri Lanka have been bundled out for 160 runs.

18.51

Nails the yorker on middle stump, Matheesha Pathirana jams it out to cover and picks up a single.

18.44

FOUR! Much needed for Sri Lanka. Banged in well short and over middle, Matheesha Pathirana swings wildly at it and gets a top edge over short fine leg for a boundary.

18.30

Full and on leg stump, angling in, Matheesha Pathirana gets yorked and fails to get a bat on it.

18.20

Fuller in length and on the stumps, Matheesha Pathirana blocks it out.

Matheesha Pathirana is in at number 11.

18.1W

OUT! CAUGHT! Would you believe it? Dasun Shanaka has picked the fielder out to perfection. Azmatullah Omarzai steams in and serves a wide yorker well outside the off stump, Shanaka hangs back and opens the bat face to guide it away but the ball goes off the face of the bat and straight toward backward point. Gulbadin Naib pouches it in the bread basket and Sri Lanka are one wicket away from getting bundled out.

Azmatullah Omarzai to bowl the penultimate over.

Runs Scored 2 Runs

Score after 18 overs : 155/8

B Fernando0 (1)

D Shanaka6 (3)

F Farooqi4-0-25-3

17.60

Full and wide of the off stump, bowled from around the stumps, Binura Fernando looks to jam it out but is well beaten.

Binura Fernando is in at number 10.

17.5W

OUT! CAUGHT! Short of a length and over the stumps, Maheesh Theekshana stays leg side of the ball and looks to hoick it over mid-wicket. The ball gets mistimed and goes high up toward long on where Mohammad Nabi takes an easy catch. Fazalhaq Farooqi gets his third and Afghanistan get their 8th wicket.

17.40

Banged in short and around off stump, Maheesh Theekshana ducks under it.

17.31

Top fielding! Fuller delivery around off and in the slot, Dasun Shanaka hammers it away on the up but Naveen-ul-Haq puts in a big dive to his right and stops it with one hand. Just a single then.

17.21

Fuller one pitched up around middle, Maheesh Theekshana pushes it through mid on and turns the strike over.

17.10

Back of a length and around off, Maheesh Theekshana taps it off the back foot toward cover.

Fazalhaq Farooqi (3-0-23-2) comes to the attack for his final over.

Runs Scored 7 Runs

Score after 17 overs : 153/7

M Theekshana1 (2)

D Shanaka5 (2)

K Janat3-0-23-1

16.61

Good length on middle and leg, Maheesh Theekshana tucks it off his legs and plays it in front of square leg for a single.

16.50

Pacy delivery, bowled on a good length and outside off stump, Maheesh Theekshana looks to play at it but is well beaten.

Maheesh Theekshana is in at number 9.

16.4W

OUT! LBW! Excellent review and Karim Janat gets a wicket. Slightly fuller and around off, angling back in, Angelo Mathews looks to block but misses on the inside edge and gets struck on the pads. Half an appeal for LBW but it is turned down. Afghanistan have taken the review. Nothing on UltraEdge and Ball Tracking shows that the ball is hitting the stumps and the onfield decision is overturned.

16.31

Slower one, bowled a bit fuller and around off, Dasun Shanaka leans on and bunts it out in front of covers for a quick run.

16.24

FOUR! Nicely timed and the 150 comes up for Sri Lanka. Goes searching for the yorker and gets it decently full, Dasun Shanaka does well to get his hands out in front and drills it back past the bowler for a boundary.

16.11

Length ball outside off, tapped away in front of point for a single.

Dasun Shanaka is in at number 8.

Runs Scored 7 Runs

Score after 16 overs : 146/6

W Hasaranga67 (32)

A Mathews5 (4)

Naveen3-0-25-2

15.6W

OUT! CAUGHT! Excellent bowling from Naveen-ul-Haq and he gets a massive wicket. Takes pace off and bowls it on a good length around off stump. Wanindu Hasaranga gives himself a bit of room and looks to launch it over long on but ends up slicing it high over mid off. Ibrahim Zadran from long off comes in and takes a safe catch. Wanindu departs after a brilliant knock.

15.51

Banged in short and over middle, Angelo Mathews pulls it away firmly to deep mid-wicket and turns the strike over.

15.42

Good stop! Hard length outside off, Angelo Mathews stands tall and hits it on the up toward cover where the fielder dives to his left and gets a hand on it. The batters scamper for a brace.

15.31

This is full and wide again, Wanindu Hasaranga opens the bat face and slaps it on the full toward third man for another single.

15.31wd

WIDE! Full and wide outside off, Wanindu Hasaranga looks to swing at it but misses. Wide called.

15.21

Pitched up around off and angling in, Angelo Mathews makes a bit of room and taps it in front of covers for a risky single.

15.11

Hard length around the top of off, Wanindu Hasaranga stays back and dabs it down to short third for a single.

Runs Scored 12 Runs

Score after 15 overs : 139/5

W Hasaranga65 (29)

A Mathews1 (1)

K Janat2-0-16-0

14.61

Wide yorker on off, Wanindu Hasaranga jams his bat in time and squeezes it to backward point for a single to end the over. A good over from Sri Lanka despite loosing a wicket. 12 from it.

14.54

FOUR! Clever, very clever from the Lankan skipper here. Offers a good amount of width outside off on a length, Wanindu Hasaranga guides it through the gap between point and short third man for a boundary.

14.46

SIX! MASSIVE! Full and on stumps, Wanindu Hasaranga stands tall and heaves it over long on for a maximum. What a powerful strike that is!

14.30

Full, outside off, Wanindu Hasaranga gets beaten in an attempt to drive it hard.

14.21

Off the mark in his 200th T20 match.Yorker on middle, Angelo Mathews clips it to mid-wicket for a single.

Angelo Mathews is the new man in.

14.1W

OUT! RUN OUT! Oh dear, that's a mess! Bowls it on a length and around off, Sadeera Samarawickrama pushes it towards covers and looks to sneak a single and provide the strike to his skipper. Hasaranga comes a couple of steps ahead but sends him back. Sadeera Samarawickrama is already halfway down the track, and Ibrahim Zadran, the Afghan skipper hits the bull's eye on the striker's end to get rid of Sadeera Samarawickrama. A streak of errors there. Afghanistan have got a breakthrough after long.

Runs Scored 22 Runs

Score after 14 overs : 127/4

S Samarawickrama25 (23)

W Hasaranga54 (25)

Q Ahmad3-0-36-0

13.61

Playing a perfect anchor here Sadeera Samarawickrama. Short and on stumps, he pulls it to mid-wicket for a single to end the over.

13.51

Slides in on leg on a length, Wanindu Hasaranga rocks back but gets an inside edge to short fine leg for a single.

13.44

FOUR! What a wonderful knock from the skipper when his team needed the most. FIFTY for Hasaranga, Qais Ahmad bowls short and just on top of off, Wanindu Hasaranga rocks back and slaps it through cover-point for a boundary and brings up his half-century in style in just 24 rocks.

13.36

SIX! Hasaranga has opened the floodgates now! Offers a fullish length ball on the stumps and into the slot, Wanindu Hasaranga clears his front foot and hits it over the bowler's head for a maximum.

13.26

SIX! Hasaranga says thank you for that gift! Serves a loopy half-volley on off, Wanindu Hasaranga sits again on his knee and aerially slogs it over deep mid-wicket for a maximum.

13.14

FOUR! Hasaranga won't stay silent for long. Outside off on a fuller length, Wanindu Hasaranga sits on the knee and ramps it towards deep mid-wicket for a boundary.

Runs Scored 4 Runs

Score after 13 overs : 105/4

W Hasaranga33 (20)

S Samarawickrama24 (22)

K Janat1-0-4-0

12.61

Wide of off and on a length, Wanindu Hasaranga throws his bat at it and slices it towards deep point for a single to end the over. Just four from it. Afghanistan have managed to contain Sri Lanka in the last couple of overs.

12.51

On the back of a length and on the middle, Sadeera Samarawickrama guides it towards deep mid-wicket for a single.

12.41

A full toss almost on the waist height but a bit low outside off, Wanindu Hasaranga shuffles across off a bit and slashes it towards deep backward point for a single.

12.31

On the length and angling in from off, Sadeera Samarawickrama tucks it to deep mid-wicket for a single.

12.20

A quicker full toss on off, Sadeera Samarawickrama is late on the shot and slices it back to the keeper on a couple of bounces.

12.10

Janat starts off his spell from over the wicket and on a fuller length, just outside off, Sadeera Samarawickrama attempts to drive but misses. The ball zips past his outside edge and carries through to the keeper.

Runs Scored 9 Runs

Score after 12 overs : 101/4

S Samarawickrama22 (18)

W Hasaranga31 (18)

Q Ahmad2-0-14-0

11.61

Straightens it on off and full, Sadeera Samarawickrama turns it to long on for a single to end the over.

11.51

100 up for Sri Lanka! Flighted delivery on off, Wanindu Hasaranga mishits it towards long on for a single.

11.41

Just on off and on a fuller length, Sadeera Samarawickrama lunges ahead pushes it against the spin to widish mid-wicket for a single.

11.31

Just outside off on a fuller length, Wanindu Hasaranga slogs it towards deep mid-wicket for a single.

11.21

On the stumps and full, Sadeera Samarawickrama pushes it to mid-wicket for a single.

11.14

FOUR! Handsomely played! Tossed up outside off on a fuller length, Sadeera Samarawickrama cashes on the width and uppishly drives inside out over the covers for a boundary.

Runs Scored 10 Runs

Score after 11 overs : 92/4

W Hasaranga29 (16)

S Samarawickrama15 (14)

N Ahmad2-0-18-1

10.64

FOUR! Wanindu Hasaranga on the charge! This is tossed up around off stump, Hasaranga makes room and opens up the off side, hammering it through cover for a boundary.

10.50

This is fired in on the stumps, Wanindu Hasaranga hits it straight back to the bowler.

10.42

Flatter one around off stump, Wanindu Hasaranga backs away and flat-bats it past the bowler to the right of long off for a couple of runs more.

10.31

Very full on middle and leg, Sadeera Samarawickrama clears the front leg and pushes it toward wide long on for a single.

10.21

Fuller and outside off, Wanindu Hasaranga heaves it toward mid-wicket for a single.

10.12

Full and on the stumps, Wanindu Hasaranga clears his front leg and runs it down to long on for a couple.

Runs Scored 5 Runs

Score after 10 overs : 82/4

W Hasaranga20 (11)

S Samarawickrama14 (13)

Q Ahmad1-0-5-0

9.61

Bowls it fuller on off, Wanindu Hasaranga drives it to the covers for a single.

9.51

Shorter and outside off, Sadeera Samarawickrama cuts it to deep cover for a single.

9.40

A tad short on length and on middle and leg, Sadeera Samarawickrama pulls it straight to the fielder at fine leg.

9.31

Goes fuller and on middle and leg, Wanindu Hasaranga tucks it to long on for a single.

9.21

Floats it up but down leg, Sadeera Samarawickrama flicks it to deep fine leg for a single.

9.11

On a length at the stumps, Hasaranga punches it down the long-on for a single.

Qais Ahmad is brought into the attack now replacing Noor Ahmad.

Runs Scored 14 Runs

Score after 9 overs : 77/4

S Samarawickrama12 (10)

W Hasaranga17 (8)

A Omarzai3-0-25-0

8.64

FOUR! A bit sloppy and allows 3 extra runs for Sri Lanka. A slower delivery pitched on a fuller length angling down leg, Sadeera Samarawickrama flicks it to the right of fine leg. The fielder throws a dive to his left but fails to stop it. The ball goes through to the fence for another boundary of the over.

8.51

A touch fuller in length and on middle and leg, Wanindu Hasaranga makes room and punches it to deep cover for a single.

8.42

Just short of a length on middle and off, Wanindu Hasaranga taps it with soft hands towards the vacant mid-wicket area and gets a couple of runs.

8.34

FOUR! That's a top shot! Omarzai drops the length short and hits the deck hard over off, Wanindu Hasaranga stays deep in the crease and upper cuts it fine of third man for a boundary.

8.22

Angles it in on a good length, on leg, Wanindu Hasaranga makes room and punches it to sweeper cover for a couple of runs.

8.11

Bangs it short and over off, Sadeera Samarawickrama pulls it off the bottom part of the bat towards deep square leg for a single.

Runs Scored 8 Runs

Score after 8 overs : 63/4

W Hasaranga8 (4)

S Samarawickrama7 (8)

N Ahmad1-0-8-1

7.60

Great comeback delivery that! Turn it away from middle and off on a fuller length, Wanindu Hasaranga gets beaten trying to wack it through covers.

7.54

FOUR! A counterattack by the skipper. Tossed up on off and slower, Wanindu Hasaranga makes some room and lofts it inside out over covers for another boundary.

7.44

FOUR! Off the mark in style. A shorter delivery outside off, Wanindu Hasaranga rocks back and cuts it past point for a boundary.

7.30

Bowls it nice and full on middle, Wanindu Hasaranga taps it back to the bowler.

Wanindu Hasaranga is in at number 6 as Sri Lanka are in a bit of a jiffy here.

7.2W

OUT! CAUGHT BEHIND! Noor Ahmad picks up a wicket in his first over and Charith Asalanka the big fish walks back. Sri Lanka is in all sorts of trouble. A shorter delivery angling down leg from middle, Charith Asalanka stays in the crease and tries to work it on fine on the leg side. He ends up getting a feather into the gloves of Rahmanullah Gurbaz the keeper. Rahmanullah Gurbaz opts for a review instantly as he is confident that it has taken a faint edge off the blade. UltraEdge confirms the same. OUT.

7.10

Starts from over the wicket and bowls the wrong one on a fuller length, on off, gets the ball to turn back in. Charith Asalanka gets an inside edge onto his pads trying to push it through covers.

Noor Ahmad is into the attack.

Runs Scored 4 Runs

Score after 7 overs : 55/3

C Asalanka3 (5)

S Samarawickrama7 (8)

A Omarzai2-0-11-0

6.61

Third slower ball on middle and le, on a fuller length, Charith Asalanka tucks it to mid-wicket for a single.

6.50

Bowls this one slower too on middle and off, Charith Asalanka chops it back onto the deck.

6.40

Slower and a touch fuller outside off, Charith Asalanka gets deceived by the pace off and gets beaten on the outside edge trying to cut it square on off.

6.31lb

A half-hearted appeal for LBW! Angles it in on a good length on middle and leg, Sadeera Samarawickrama misses out on the wack towards leg and gets hit on the front pad.

6.21

Pitches it on a length on middle and leg, Charith Asalanka tucks it to mid-wicket for a single.

6.11lb

Bangs it on a length over middle and leg, Sadeera Samarawickrama tries to flick it but gets beaten onto the front pad. The ball brushes him high on the thigh and rolls wider of fine leg for a single called as leg byes..

Azmatullah Omarzai is into the attack.

Runs Scored 8 Runs

Score after 6 overs : 51/3

S Samarawickrama7 (6)

C Asalanka1 (1)

Naveen2-0-18-1

5.61

Ends the Powerplay with a single. On full and angling in, Sadeera Samarawickrama flicks it to mid on for another quick single. After the first Powerplay, Sri Lanka are 50/3.

5.51

Fuller and on the middle and leg channel, Charith Asalanka flicks it confidently towards widish mid on and gets off the mark with a quick single. Also, 50 comes up for the hosts with that single.

5.51wd

WIDE! Short and down leg, Asalanka misses to pull. But it is given Wide anyways.

Charith Asalanka walks out to bat next for Sri Lanka.

5.4W

OUT! TAKEN! Naveen strikes now and removes the good-looking Dhananjaya de Silva. Surprises him with a steep bumper slanting into the body from off, Sadeera Samarawickrama swivels to pull but does not quite get the timing right on that one and pulls it uppishly straight into the hands of Noor Ahmad who is patrolling the deep square leg boundary. He reverse cups it and takes it easily. Sri Lanka and three down now.

5.31

Bowls a deceptive slower one and nipping into the batter from outside off on a length, Sadeera Samarawickrama dabs it to short third man for a single.

5.20

Short and outside off, Sadeera Samarawickrama punches it with no timing to short cover.

5.14

FOUR! Fantastic shot! On the back of a length and just on top of off, Sadeera Samarawickrama stands tall on the bounce and places the ball with precision through the gap between cover and point for a boundary.

Runs Scored 7 Runs

Score after 5 overs : 43/2

de Silva24 (16)

S Samarawickrama1 (2)

F Farooqi3-0-23-2

4.60

Back of a length and slower one shaping away, Dhananjaya de Silva gets beaten looking to poke at it.

4.56

SIX! That sails away into the crowd! A slight loosener on offer on a short length and on the leg stump line, Dhananjaya de Silva readies himself for a pull and helps it sail over the deep square leg for a maximum. He didn't try to hit it too hard.

4.40

A beautiful seam presentation on a fuller length on off, Dhananjaya de Silva overhits it straight to the bowler with the bottom end of the blade.

4.31

Off the mark. Around the wicket comes does Farooqi and pitches it on the short length outside off, Sadeera Samarawickrama punches it towards mid off and shoots off for a single. A direct hit there would have been curtains for Sadeera Samarawickrama here.

4.20

On the back of a length and angling away outside off, Sadeera Samarawickrama punches it off the back foot to cover.

Sadeera Samarawickrama walks out to bat next for Sri Lanka.

4.1W

OUT! TAKEN! Trying to be extra innovative costs Mendis his wicket here. Varies his pace seeing Mendis shuffling across off to ramp it does Fazalhaq Farooqi, he bowls a slower one outside off, Kusal Mendis is early on his shot and takes the leading edge that flies straight towards Azmatullah Omarzai stationed at short third man who makes no mistake to grab it. Kusal Mendis' frustrating stay at the crease ends. Fazalhaq Farooqi gets his second.

Runs Scored 9 Runs

Score after 4 overs : 36/1

de Silva18 (13)

K Mendis10 (7)

A Omarzai1-0-9-0

3.60

Full and on the middle and leg channel, Dhananjaya de Silva defends it to the off side to end the over.

3.51

On the back of a length and outside off, Kusal Mendis square cuts it uppishly towards deep point for a single.

3.41

Short and angles it away on a hard length, Dhananjaya de Silva cuts it to backward point for a single.

3.31

Back of a length outside off, Mendis works it to short third and runs a single.

3.26

SIX! Just for a fraction of time did Noor feel that he has got an opportunity to catch that but it sails away with the breeze. On the short length on the bodyline of Mendis, Kusal Mendis plays it close to the body and pulls it over square leg with no real timing on it but it sails away for a maximum.

3.10

Beauty! A little bit of movement right on for Omarzai. On a length and just around off, Kusal Mendis gets squared up to drive and the ball whispers the outside edge before carrying to the keeper.

Azmatullah Omarzai comes into the attack.

Runs Scored 9 Runs

Score after 3 overs : 27/1

de Silva17 (11)

K Mendis2 (3)

F Farooqi2-0-16-1

2.64

FOUR! Shot! On a fuller length on the stumps, Dhananjaya de Silva drills it with the inner half of the blade but it has enough steam to race away to the fence beating mid on.

2.50

Slants it across off on a shade short length, Dhananjaya de Silva stands put and gets squared up. The ball flirts with his outside edge and carries well to the keeper. Almost identical to that of Nissanka's wicket.

2.41lb

A nasty bumper on the bodyline of Mendis, Kusal Mendis looks to pull it hard over the leg side but it crashes into the grill of the helmet taking the inside edge and flies toward gully. They do run a leg-bye single. The physio is out in no time to check the mandatory concussion test. Kusal Perera exchanges his helmet and looks good to go.

2.31

On the back of a length on the pads, Dhananjaya de Silva whips it off his hips towards deep square leg for a single.

2.22

On a fuller length outside off, Dhananjaya de Silva places it towards deep point for a brace.

2.11

In the air...and safe! On a shortish length on the stumps and angles across, Kusal Mendis miscues the pull shot hitting from the high end of the bat. The ball lands behind the mid-wicket fielder and they cross for a single. Kusal got a bit cramped up for room as he played it way too close to the body and also got beaten with the extra pace.

Runs Scored 10 Runs

Score after 2 overs : 18/1

K Mendis1 (1)

de Silva10 (7)

Naveen1-0-10-0

1.61

Off the mark in an edgy way! The breeze helps the ball to sneak further into the batter from off on a length, Kusal Mendis prods ahead to drive and inside edges towards square leg for a single to open his account.

1.51

Almost chopped on! Angles it further in and quicker on the middle stump line, Dhananjaya de Silva looks to defend but inside edges it towards widish short fine leg for a single.

1.44

FOUR! Wow, he didn't get the first two right but makes it correct this time! On a length and just shade outside off, Dhananjaya de Silva gets in line of the ball and extends his arms before lofting it over mid off for a boundary. Good timing on that one by de Silva.

1.32

Angles it in but keeps it outside off on a fuller length, Dhananjaya de Silva looks to drive it through covers but ends up slashing it over point for a couple of runs. Qais Ahmad in the deep does well with the dive and restricts it to just two.

1.22

Full and outside off which angles into the batter, Dhananjaya de Silva drives it through the cover-point gap for a couple of runs.

1.10

On a length and outside off, Dhananjaya de Silva drives it straight to the cover fielder.

Naveen-ul-Haq to share the new ball from the other end.

Runs Scored 8 Runs

Score after 1 overs : 8/1

de Silva1 (2)

K Mendis0 (0)

F Farooqi1-0-8-1

0.61

On the back of a length on pads, Dhananjaya de Silva flicks it to backward square leg for a single to get off the mark.

0.50

Fuller in length on the off stump line, Dhananjaya de Silva drives it back to the bowler.

0.4W

OUT! CAUGHT BEHIND! A fantastic catch by Gurbaz to remove the man in-form Pathum Nissanka. Afghanistan get their first wicket in the very first over. Fazalhaq Farooqi bowls it wide outside off and invites Pathum Nissanka to poke at it on a length which nips wildly away from the batter, Pathum Nissanka does try to slash it off throwing his hands at it with no footwork at all and it takes the outside edge. Rahmanullah Gurbaz takes a brilliant catch diving to his right. The third Umpire checks and confirms that Gurbaz has taken a clean catch. A big wicket early on.

Dhananjaya de Silva walks out to bat at number 3 for Sri Lanka.

0.41wd

WIDE! Back of a length down leg. Wided.

0.34

FOUR! The man in-form hits the first boundary. Farooqui bowls it on the leg stump line on a good length, Pathum Nissanka whips it off his hips towards deep fine leg for a boundary. A good effort from Naveen but all in vain.

0.22

Across off and on a length now, Pathum Nissanka dabs it to deep backward point for a double. Sri Lanka and Nissanka are underway.

0.10

Starts off right on the money from over the wicket. A little bit of inswing from the middle stump line on a fuller length, Pathum Nissanka presents the full face of the bat and drives it to the mid on fielder.

We are done with the pre-match formalities and it's now time to let the action begin at Dambulla. The two Umpires are out in the middle and the fielders of Afghanistan stroll out before spreading to their respective field positions. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis are the two openers for Sri Lanka and it will be Fazalhaq Farooqi to bowl the first over of the first T20I for Afghanistan. Let's play...

The teams have lined up for their respective national anthems. It will be Afghanistan's anthem first and Sri Lanka's anthem will follow next.

PITCH REPORT - Tino Mawayo is down for the pitch report and says it is 24 degrees and there is a lovely flow of breeze across the stadium. He adds that there is a nice grass cover which is thin and dry and might not help the seamers a lot and the few cracks might cause the ball to misbehave a bit later on. He concludes that it looks like a nice batting deck and the bowlers will have to bowl well later on.

Wanindu Hasaranga says they would have bowled first too but they have a well-balanced team and it won't matter a lot. He adds that they have played 3 good games and will look to do the same. He concludes that Binura Fernando and Matheesha Pathirana come into the squad.

Ibrahim Zadran, the skipper of Afghanistan won the toss and chose to BOWL first. He says that they have little idea about the wicket so it's safe to bowl first. Says no new guys in the team, the boys have been playing different leagues but now they are back.

Afghanistan (Playing XI) - Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran (C), Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq.

Sri Lanka (Playing XI) - Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (WK), Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga (C), Maheesh Theekshana, Binura Fernando, Matheesha Pathirana.

TOSS UPDATE: Afghanistan won the coin flip and elected to BOWL first.

Afghanistan on the other hand put up a valiant fight in the second Test match and also on a couple of occasions in the ODIs but the T20 format is their strongest suit and they will be looking to get a win of two against their Asian counterparts. Their talisman, Rashid Khan is still a big miss but they have some great individuals who can turn the game on its head. Let's see which side takes the early lead in the series. Toss and team news in a bit.

The hosts Sri Lanka had a good outing in the only-Test but they absolutely dominated with the bat in the three-match ODI series with Pathum Nissanka scoring a couple of tons including a double century. Wanindu Hasaranga will be hoping to lead his side to a series win and get the preparations underway for the T20 World Cup in a few months time.

Hello and a warm welcome to our coverage of the 1st T20I between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in Dambulla. This is the final leg of Afghanistan's tour to Sri Lanka and the visitors will be looking to end the tour on a high whereas the hosts will look to make it three series wins out of three.

... MATCH DAY ...

After Sri Lanka's comprehensive clean sweep in the ODI series, the attention now shifts to the T20I series, the most consequential leg of Afghanistan's tour of the island nation with the T20 World Cup on the horizon. Sri Lanka will eye to replicate their success in the ODI series, whereas Afghanistan will take to the field to avenge the whitewash inflicted on them. Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla will play host to all three games of the T20I series. The change in format has brought a change in leadership for the Lankans, with Wanindu Hasaranga assuming the charge. Pathum Nissanka will aim to translate his ODI form into the shorter format of the game. Other than him, the onus will be on Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, and Charith Asalanka. The all-rounder contingent consists of skipper Wanindu Hasaranga, Angelo Mathews, and Dasun Shanaka as the experienced names. As he does in both white-ball formats, Maheesh Theekshana will lead the spin department, with Akila Dananjaya and Kamindu Mendis as the other specialist spin options. Dilshan Madushanka will spearhead the pace attack, and he will have Binura Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, and Matheesha Pathirana for company. As far as Afghanistan are concerned, Ibrahim Zadran will continue to be the captain of their ship, and he will be hoping to lead the way with the bat, something he could not do in the previous T20I series against India. The move to promote Gulbadin Naib to the top order has done wonders for them, and he is likely to retain his batting spot at number 3. Rahmanullah Gurbaz stands out in the batting unit, and his performances will be decisive in the outcome of the series. As witnessed in the ODI series, Azmatullah Omarzai and Mohammad Nabi pack a punch with both bat and ball and continue to do so in this format as well. The absence of Mujeeb Ur Rahman is a big blow for the Afghans, and Noor Ahmad and Qais Ahmad will be expected to fill that void. On the pace bowling front, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq are the usual suspects and will play a key role up front as well as at the death. Unlike the ODI series, the T20I series promises to be highly competitive and we are in for three mouthwatering games. Who are you backing to take the lead in the series?