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Lanka Takes an Unbeatable Lead in the Afghanistan T20 Series Thanks to Mathews

DAMBULLA: On Monday, Sri Lanka won the second round of their three-match T20 series against Afghanistan by a margin of 72 runs thanks to a brilliant innings of 42 from all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who also claimed two wickets. In front of a full house at Dambulla on Monday, Sri Lanka completed the series with one game remaining.

After the game, Afghanistan’s captain, Ibrahim Zadran, remarked, “It is all about the mind.” “You cannot win if your plans are not carried out.” Due to hamstring stiffness, former captain Mathews was iffy for the afternoon’s match. However, the 36-year-old hammered an undefeated 42 off 22 balls with four sixes and two fours. In the penultimate over, he hit Azmatullah Omarzai three times in a row for sixes, demonstrating his extreme harshness.

Mathews stated, “I am willing to adapt myself according to the situation and do whatever the team asks of me.” With 34 runs in the final two overs, Sri Lanka concluded with a total of 187 for six in 20 overs thanks to his powerful hitting, which provided much-needed momentum.

“Because of the batters”

The game’s lone half-century was made by Sadeera Samarawickrama, who shared a 66-run sixth-wicket partnership with Mathews. Samarawickrama’s career-best score in this format is 51, which he scored in 42 balls with five fours. “The batters deserve the credit,” stated skipper Wanindu Hasaranga.

He praised Mathews and Samarawickrama for their “excellent batting” and said, “They finished well to get to a big score.” After that, Mathews got the new ball and put the Afghans on the back foot by dismissing both of the openers in his first two overs.

Binura Fernando took two wickets in an over after Maheesh Theekshana trapped Rahmanullah Gurbaz leg before wicket, bringing Afghanistan to 31 for five in five overs. Afghanistan were behind by half the time Man of the Match Matheesha Pathirana was brought on to the attack, indicating that they were in serious difficulty.

Before Dasun Shanaka made the breakthrough in his opening over, Mohammad Nabi attempted to recover some pride by scoring 27 off 17 balls and putting on 39 runs for the sixth wicket with Karim Janat. Afghanistan’s highest score was 28 runs in 23 balls from Karim Janat, and they were bowled out for 115 in 17 overs. One of the game’s highlights was when Wanindu Hasaranga destroyed Najibullah Zadran to record his 100th wicket in T20 internationals. After reaching the 100-wicket mark in 63 games, he became the second-fastest bowler in the history of the game.

In T-20 Internationals, only Lasith Malinga has claimed 100 wickets for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka won the one-off Test match before winning the three-match ODI series. They went on to win all three formats of the series. First of the three-match Twenty20 series, Sri Lanka prevailed by four runs. With the third Twenty20 match on Wednesday, Afghanistan will now look to win their first match of the tour. -AFP

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