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February 18, 2024
Wanindu Hasaranga, 67 off 32, hits Sri Lanka out of trouble to dramatic victory

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

In a game that batting is all abut the daring in dictating outcomes, particularly in the biff bang T20 format, Wanindu Hasaranga lived up to his reputation of the derring-do in as few outings in wearing the big boots to a typically captain marvel anointment hitting Sri Lanka out of trouble from 55 for 4 to a nerve wracking 4-run victory over Afghanistan by a characteristic firing from the hip scintillating 32-ball 67 packed with 7 boundaries and 3 over the top to go 1-up in the 3-match series on Sunday at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.

The Hasaranga impact ultimately prevailed in a dramatic run-shootout of see sawing fortunes as a threatening Afghanistan sitting pretty on 68 for 2 after 7.5 overs was checked by fast man Matheesha Pathirana, a find who stepped in from a conspicuous role of impermanency in the Lankan  cast who more or less thrived on his IPL Chennai Indians reputation by a spectacular 4 for 27 take to pipping his captain to the Player of the Match award in pinning the opponents to 156 for 9 in their allotted overs despite a fighting unbeaten 67 off 55 containing 8 boundaries by the Afghanistan skipper Ibrahim Zadran.  

Indeed, Hasaranga walked the hype of an odds against electrification with Afghanistan in control at that stage in a decimation of the top order four. Pathum Nissanka went for 6, Kusal Mendis 10, both of whom removed by the hostile Fazalhaq Farooqi.  Dhananjaya de Silva was the only one of them to get to a substantial 24 while Charith Asalanka fell for 3, back in the pavilion in the space of 7.2 overs. The Lankan skipper blasted

 72 off 41 deliveries for the fifth-wicket, 52 of which from his bat, together with Sadeera Samarawickrama who rose to the task in an ever growing Mr. Reliable role run a ball 25 with 3 boundaries. He continued his dominant role accounting for 33 of 39 off just 11 for the sixth-wicket together with Angelo Mathews whose contribution was just 6 in completing a glorious task of bringing his side right back into contention to the ultimate 160 exiting with the score on 146 in 16 overs.

Next man in, the recalled Dasun Shanaka former captain contributed 6 as Sri Lanka’s innings ended one short of the 20 overs, but the Lankan skipper had accomplished his winning task, the magnitude of his herculean role illustrated by the fact that five of the specialist batsmen of 6 failed to reach double figures. 


Sri Lanka 160 (20 Overs)

(Wanindu Hasaranga 67, Sadeera Samarawickrama25, Dhananjaya de Silva 24, Kusal Mendis 10, 

Fazalhaq Farooqi 3/25, Naveen-ul-Haq 2/25)

Afghanistan 156/9 (20 Overs)

(Ibrahim Zadran n.o. 67, Karim Janat 20, Gulbadin Naib 16, Rahmatullah GurbazMatheesha Pathirana 4/24, Dasun Shanaka 2/17, Angelo Mathews 1/16, Wanindu Hasaranga 1/20, Maheesh Theekshana 1/31) 




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