Second ODI at Pallekele washed out; Afghanistan maintain 1-0 lead

Afghanistan maintained their 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka after rain forced the abandonment of the second ODI in Pallekele on Sunday (November 27).  
A strong comeback with the ball from Sri Lanka resulted in Afghanistan getting bowled out for 228. But only 2.4 overs of play was possible in the second innings, with Sri Lanka reaching 10/0, when rain forced the players off the field and persisted long enough for the umpires to call the game off.
The abandoned game also dented the home side’s hopes of automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup, as they picked up only five Super League points.

Earlier, after opting to bat, Afghanistan got a strong platform through a 113-run second wicket stand involving Rahmanullah Gurbaz (68) and Rahmat Shah (58). But they failed to capitalise on it as they lost their last nine wickets for the addition of only 93 runs, with Mohammad Nabi scoring 41 of those.

Despite losing Ibrahim Zadran early, Afghanistan managed a steady start as Gurbaz and Shah kept finding the fence at regular intervals. Both batters targeted Lahiru Kumara who went for 31 off the first three overs he bowled. Having managed 52 off the first 10 overs, Gurbaz and Shah continued positively as they took on the spinners. They were not always in complete control of their shots but their intent-filled approach ensured Afghanistan maintained a steady scoring rate. Gurbaz brought up a 49-ball half-century with his third six of the innings, lofting a Dhananjaya de Silva delivery over long-off. Shah took 63 balls for his half-century, and Gurbaz’s six off Theekshana in the 25th over extending the partnership past 100.

Sri Lanka staged a fightback with quick wickets as Afghanistan lost their way after a good start. Gurbaz miscued an attempted big hit, Shah missed a sweep to be out leg-before while Najibullah Zadran was also dismissed lbw after a missed sweep. Gulbadin Naib, who struggled to get going, became the fifth to fall when he too missed a slog sweep and was bowled. Mohammad Nabi (41) tried to resurrect the innings but wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Kasun Rajitha, who dismissed Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the same over, also accounted for Nabi while Kumara picked up the final wicket as Afghanistan were bowled out in the 49th over.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 228 in 48.2 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 68, Rahmat Shah 58; Kasun Rajitha 3-31, Maheesh Theekshana 2-29) vs Sri Lanka 10/0 in 2.4 overs (Pathum Nissanka 3*). No result.

Source - Cricbuzz