All-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva raised Sri Lanka’s semi final hopes with a crucial 2 points in the hat and jumping to third place from the bottom of the table in Group 1 of the T20 World Cup when he struck an emphatic 42-ball unbeaten 66 to take Sri Lanka to a 6-wicket win over Afghanistan encounter at Brisbane today. Sri Lanka breezed to 145 for 6 off 18.3 overs in overhauling Afghanistan’s 144 for 8 off 20 with Dhananjaya de Silva coming one drop taking control of the situation after the Afghans had threatened to wrest the game their way by reducing Sri Lanka to 12 for 1 claiming the wicket of Pathum Nissanka bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 10 in the very first over and then making it 46 for 2 after 7.5 overs of the power play when Kusal Mendis fell for 25 off Rashid Khan who had him caught by Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Dhananjaya hit 6 boundaries and 2 sixes in taking Sri Lanka to three figures in posting 54 runs off 31 balls for the third wicket with Charith Asalanka who Charith Asalanka who made a run a ball 19 hitting a boundary.
With Asalanka’s dismissal who was another Khan victim caught by Azmatullah Omarzzai and Sri Lanka on 100 for 3 after 13.3 overs Dhananjaya de Silva went on to add 42 for the fourth wicket with Bhanuka Rajapaksa who scored 18 off 14 inclusive of 3 boundaries off 27 at which stage Sri Lanka on 142 for 4 with de Silva appropriately hitting the winning runs..
Afghanistan was corralled by the pace-spin combination of Lahiru Kumara who took 2 for 30 and Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva 3 for 13 to take the Player of the Match award. The highest individual score Afghanistan could manage was through opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz’ 28 before he was clean bowled by Lahiru Kumara in ending a threatening first wicket partnership of 42 off 6.1 overs with Usman Ghani who made 27. Sri lanka continued to put the brakes on the Afghans when Dhananjaya de Silva bowled Ghani making it 68 for 2 after 10.2 overs. Afghanistan recovered to 90 for 3 after 12.2 overs but Dhananjaya de Silva struck in the 16th over removing Najibullah Zadran caught by Hasaranga for 18 from which point the Lankans took control.