Sri Lanka fight back to beat Afghanistan by 34 runs in Cricket World Cup

Sri Lanka fight back to beat Afghanistan by 34 runs in Cricket World Cup
Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga celebrates bowling Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran at the Cardiff Wales Stadium in the Cricket World Cup. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 04 June 2019

Sri Lanka fight back to beat Afghanistan by 34 runs in Cricket World Cup

Sri Lanka fight back to beat Afghanistan by 34 runs in Cricket World Cup
  • Chasing a revised target of 187 from a maximum 21 overs, Afghanistan slumped

CARDIFF: Sri Lanka recovered from a dramatic batting collapse to knock over Afghanistan for 152 and seal a 34-run win for their first victory at this year's Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.
The Sri Lankans imploded from 144-1 to 201 all out in an innings delayed by nearly three hours because of rain at Sophia Gardens in the Welsh capital.
Chasing a revised target of 187 from a maximum 21 overs, Afghanistan slumped from 34-0 to 57-5 then battled back through a 64-run stand between Gulbadin Naib (23) and Najibullah Zadran (43).
Sri Lanka again responded and took the final five wickets for 31 runs, with recalled seamer Nuwan Pradeep getting 4-31.
The 1996 World Cup winners lost their opening group game to New Zealand by 10 wickets. Afghanistan have two defeats from two matches, after a loss to Australia on Saturday.
The error-strewn match in Cardiff featured 52 extras — Sri Lanka's 35 was the second-highest scorer on the scorecard — to strengthen the feeling this was a contest between the two teams likely fighting to avoid last place in the 10-team group.
The Afghans' only win at a World Cup remains the one over Scotland in 2015 but they'll feel this match slipped from their grasp, especially when Sri Lanka were reeling at 159-6 after three wickets in one over from Mohammad Nabi.
Sri Lanka, who made the fastest 10-over start to the tournament by racing to 79-0, lost their last nine wickets for 57 runs in 15.4 overs.