SL VS AFG 1ST T20I

1st T20I, Rangiri, February 17, 2024, 07:00 PM

Sri Lanka
160/10(19.0ov)
Afghanistan
156/9(20.0ov)

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan by 4 runs

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.
In over# 20
4
2
0
0
0
0
Binura Fernando 44/0(4)
19.6
4
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!
19.5
2
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.
19.4
.
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.
19.3
.
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.
19.2
.
Full toss and angling outside off, Ibrahim Zadran swings wildly and misses! Another dot delivery! 4 balls remaining and 11 needed still.
19.1
.
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.
In over# 19
0W
1
1
0W
0
1
Matheesha Pathirana 24/4(4)
18.6
W
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.
18.5
1
On the length and outside off, Ibrahim tucks it to covers off the back foot and runs a single.

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