(CTN News) – Afghanistan won on Monday at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India, as they crushed Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the 30th match of the International Cricket Council World Cup 2023 by seven wickets in a comfortable run chase.
The men of Hashmatullah Shahidi managed to win back-to-back matches for the first time in the history of the tournament, as before this year’s mega event, they had won only one match in two World Cups – 2015 and 2019.
The Afghanistan played with remarkable temperament, just like they did in their last victory against Pakistan when they chased down 282 with eight wickets to spare, and they did not play rash or sloppy shots during the match.
Rahmat Shah and Ibrahim Zardan provided the much-needed stability to the batting of the side despite the fact that they were dealt an early blow with Rahmanullah Gurbaz being removed by Dilshan Madushanka in the first over.
As the right-handed batter Shah proved to be the key to Afghanistan’s run chase as he scored 62 runs off 74 balls with seven fours as he played an important knock off 74 balls.
In the aftermath of Shah’s removal by Kasun Rajitha, skipper Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzi put together a match-winning partnership of 111 runs and led their side to a win that will mean a lot to them.
As a result of Shahidi’s 58 runs and Omarzai’s 72 runs, their side chased down the 242-run target in 45.2 overs as they helped their side achieve the victory.
In their first innings as batsmen, the Sri Lankan batsmen were troubled by the Afghanistan bowlers, as none of the batters, except Pathum Nissanka, who scored 46 runs, were able to make any significant contributions.
Within a short period of time, the Afghanistan bowlers were able to take a series of wickets at regular intervals over a period of time, and they were able to all out the team for 241 runs in a short span of time.
For the Islanders, Kusal Mendis (39) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (36) were the top scorers in the second and third place, respectively.
With four wickets taken for 34 runs in 10 overs, Fazalhaq Farooqi was the pick of the Afghan bowlers. The left-handed pacer caused all kinds of problems for Kusal Mendis’ men as he took four wickets for 34 runs in 10 overs.
As a result, Afghanistan will now take on the Netherlands on November 3 in Lucknow, which will be an important match for Shahidi’s men as they will look to stay alive in their bid to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup.
In the meantime, Sri Lanka is set to take on the unbeaten Indian side in Mumbai on November 2 as part of their tour.