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February 10, 2024
Pathum Nissanka smashes historic unbeaten ODI double ton as Sri Lanka win nail-biter by 42 runs as Afghanistan recover on tons by Azmatullah Omarzai and Mohammad Nabi

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

Opener Pathum Nissanka entered the double century record books in champagne style hammering an unbeaten 210 off 139 balls powered by 20 boundaries and 8 over the top in becoming the first Sri Lankan batsman to mount that elite summit as Sri Lanka won a high scoring nail biting day-night opening ODI against Afghanistan by 42 runs in a shootout that saw the visitors take up the gauntlet finishing on 339 for 6  recovering from a dire for 55 in 8.3 overs following centuries by Azmatullah Omarzai who struck an unbeaten 149 and Mohammad Nabi 136 putting on 242 for the sixth wicket off 225 balls at the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

The 25-year-old right-handed Nissanka, the former Isipatanian, partied in a 182-run partnership for the first wicket off 158 balls with Avishka Fernando who smote a run a ball 88 filled with 8 fours and 3 to the stands in putting behind a form slump in the recent series against Zimbabwe. Following his dismissal by Fareed Ahamad o a catch by Ibrahim Zadran, Skipper Kusal Mendis did not have the best of outings falling for 16 off 31 with a solitary boundary as the second wicket fell for225 by the second delivery of the 36th over before Sadeera Samarawickrama joined Nissanka in adding 120 for the third-wicket off 73 when the former miscued pulling Ahmad caught at mid-wicket by Omarzai. Nissanka and Charith Asalanka 7 off 8 added an unfinished 36 for the fourth wicket in the remaining 17 deliveries.

When Afghanistan batted pacer Pramod Madushanka fired out the first three wickets in his first three overs having the visitors staggering on 19 for 3 after 5.2 overs triggered by clean bowling Rahmatullah Gurbaz for a third ball single off his first delivery and second over of the match followed by Ibrahim Zadran for 4 in 7 caught by Pathum Nissanka and going on to knock captain Hashmatullah Shahidi’s stumps for 7 off 11  balls. Dushmantha Chameera in between accounted for Rahmat Shah caught behind by Mendis for 7 and Gulbadin Naib for 16 caught by Nissanka.

CHIEF SCORES:

Sri Lanka 381/3 (50 Overs)

(Pathum Nissanka n.o. 210, Avishka Fernando 88, Sadeera Samarawickrama 45,

Kusal Mendis 16, Charith Asalanka n.o. 7,Fareed Ahmad 2/79, Mohammad Nabi 1/44)

Afghanistan 339/6 (50 Overs)

(Azmatullah Omarzai n.o. 149, Mohammad Nabi 136, Gulbadin Naib 16, Ikram Alikhil n.o. 10, Pramod Madushan 4/75, Dushmantha Chameera 2/55)

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