Afghanistan Clinch Thrilling Three-Run Victory Over Sri Lanka in T20I Series Finale

Afghanistan Clinch Thrilling Three-Run Victory Over Sri Lanka in T20I Series Finale

In a thrilling encounter, Afghanistan secured a narrow three-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third T20I match in Dambulla, ending the series on a high note. The match witnessed a flurry of runs and fierce knocks from both sides, with Afghanistan's Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Sri Lanka's Pathum Nissanka leading the charge.

Afghanistan, electing to bat first, got off to a blistering start thanks to Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai's aggressive batting. The duo put on an 88-run opening stand in just 48 deliveries, punishing the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground. Gurbaz, in particular, looked in ominous touch, striking a 43-ball 70, while Zazai contributed with a brutal 45 off 22 balls.

Sri Lanka's bowlers struggled to contain the Afghan onslaught, with none able to maintain an economy rate below eight. Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, and Akila Dananjaya all bore the brunt of the punishment, conceding more than 10 runs per over.

After the dismissal of Gurbaz and Zazai, Afghanistan continued to maintain a healthy scoring rate, thanks to valuable contributions from Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, and debutant Mohammed Ishaq. Ishaq, in particular, played a crucial role in the final over, striking two boundaries to push Afghanistan's total to 209 for 5.

In response, Sri Lanka got off to a solid start, with Nissanka leading the charge. The diminutive opener played a blistering knock of 60 off 30 deliveries, including six fours and three sixes, before retiring hurt due to a hamstring strain. Nissanka's departure was a significant blow to Sri Lanka's chase, but Kamindu Mendis kept them in the hunt with a valiant 65 off 39 balls.

Despite Nissanka and Mendis' efforts, Sri Lanka fell just short of the target, finishing on 206 for 5. Dasun Shanaka and Mendis put on a quick-fire 35-run stand in the final overs, but it wasn't enough to seal the victory.

In the end, Afghanistan's bowlers held their nerve, with Nabi and Rashid Khan picking up two wickets each. The win gave Afghanistan their solitary victory in the three-match series, while Sri Lanka secured the series 2-1.

Tags: #Cricket, #T20I, #Afghanistan, #SriLanka, #RahmanullahGurbaz

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