The three-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan started today at Mahindra Rajapaksa Stadium. Sri Lanka, the home team, failed to get a good start in this series as Afghanistan stunned them by winning the first match. Afghanistan took the lead in the series as they defeated the home team by six wickets with 19 balls in their hands. Afghan opener Ibrahim Zadran received the Player of the Match award for his brilliant batting display.

Toss: Hashmatullah Shahidi, the captain of Afghanistan, won the toss and opted to bowl first.

Sri Lanka had a nightmare at the start

Losing the toss, Sri Lanka started their batting innings with Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne. The two openers were very careful and tried being defensive. Unfortunately, the Lankans lost an early wicket as Dimuth Karunaratne departed the crease after adding only four runs.

Kusal Mendis, the following batter, also failed to contribute much. He added 11 runs before losing his wicket to Fazalhaq Farooqi. Angelo Matthews, the former skipper of Sri Lanka, tried to settle down between the wickets. But he failed to survive long, leaving the crease with 12 runs only.

However, opener Pathum Nissanka’s effort was brilliant. He fought for his life to stay longer on the crease. But his innings came to an end in the 19.2 over, scoring 38 runs.

Charith Asalanka and De Silva to rescue Sri Lanka

Losing four wickets in 84 runs, Sri Lanka were in deep trouble. But Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva stepped forward to rescue the team. Both batters made a brilliant partnership of 99 runs for the team to handle the disaster. Charith Asalanka was heading toward a century. But he was not lucky enough. Asalanka’s brilliant innings of 91 runs ended when he lost his wicket by being run out. On the other side, Dhananjaya de Silva added 51 runs before losing the wicket. Relying on their bats, Sri Lanka ended their innings with 268 runs.

Afghans lost an early wicket but the response was fantastic

Chasing the target, Afghanistan lost an early wicket. Lankan bowler Lahiru Kumara picked up Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the 5.2 over. However, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah carried out the team close to the target. They literally ruled the Lankan bowlers throughout the match. 

Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah made a match-winning partnership of 145 runs. Although Rahmat Shah lost his wicket after getting a half-century, Ibrahim Zadran kept adding runs. He made another partnership of 40 runs with Hashmatullah Shahidi. However, Ibrahim Zadran missed the century only for two runs, losing the wicket in 98. But the other batters successfully chased down the target. Afghanistan chased 268 runs within 46.5 overs, losing only four wickets. As a result, they won the first game by six wickets.

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