Sri Lanka celebrate 10-wicket victory against Afghanistan

Published February 6, 2024
Sri Lanka’s Nishan Madushka plays a shot on the fourth day of the one-off Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) in Colombo on February 5, 2024.—AFP
Sri Lanka’s Nishan Madushka plays a shot on the fourth day of the one-off Test cricket match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) in Colombo on February 5, 2024.—AFP

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka won their one-off Test match against Afghanistan by 10 wickets with a day to spare, with their opening batsmen chasing down an easy target of 56 in Colombo on Monday.

Afghanistan were bowled out for 296 in their second innings, setting Sri Lanka the low goal, with Dimuth Karunaratne (32 not out) and Nishan Madushka (22 not out) finishing the job within 7.2 overs.

Afghanistan were playing catch-up after conceding a lead of 241 runs in the first innings, but fought back well in their second dig with Ibrahim Zadran leading the way with a maiden Test hundred.

Rahmat Shah backed up the opening batter with a half-century but once the pair were dismissed, Afghanistan folded quickly.

Sri Lanka skipper Dhana­njaya de Silva said Afghanistan did well on day two with the ball but his team stuck to their plan.

“When both Angelo [Math­ews] and I got dismissed, it might not seem that bad but that was the point that Afghanistan felt they were back in the game,” he said. “I think that was the crucial moment of the match. But our bowlers stuck to the plan all day [day 3], not giving runs away and keeping it tight.”

Prabath Jayasuriya finished with his seventh five-wicket haul in Test cricket and was named man of the match.

Afghanistan were looking good to stretch the game to the final day when they resumed on day four at 199 for one in their second innings.

However, six wickets fell in the morning session for just 52 runs as the second new ball hurt the Afghans.

Seamer Kasun Rajitha dismissed overnight batter Rahmat for 54 and then left-arm spinner Jayasuriya ran through the middle order as the new ball offered him bounce and turn.

Jayasuriya used his arm ball to good effect, foxing batsmen who were playing for turn.

Zadran, who had batted for more than six hours for his hundred, was confused by one such delivery, and was bowled through the gate.

Jayasuriya finished with 5-107, while seamers Asitha Fer­n­ando and Kasun Rajitha sha­red five wickets between them.

Jayasuriya ended the game with eight wickets, having taken three in the first innings.

Despite the loss, Afghan­istan’s fast bowlers were impressive, with Naveed Zadran picking up four wickets in Sri Lanka’s first innings on his debut.

Hundreds by former captains Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal helped Sri Lanka to their first-innings total of 439.

The pair were involved in a record 232-run stand for the fourth wicket, the highest-scoring partnership at Sinhalese Sports Club.

Afghanistan captain Hashm­atullah Shahidi said he was disappointed because they lost the game despite managing a “good comeback”.

“I think it’s the lack of experience in Test cricket and also not having a lot of opportunities to play red-ball cricket,” Shahidi said. “We’re new in Test cricket and it’s a learning process for us. I hope that we learn from this game.”

The match was not part of the World Test Championship.

Scoreboard

AFGHANISTAN (1st Innings) 198 (R. Shah 91, V. Fernando 4-51, A. Fernando 3-24. P. Jayasuriya 3-67)
SRI LANKA (1st Innings) 439 (A. Mathews 141, D. Chandimal 107, N. Zadran 4-83, N. Masood 2-76)
AFGHANISTAN (2nd Innings, overnight 199-1):

I. Zadran b Jayasuriya 114
N. Ali lbw b A. Fernando 47
R. Shah c Samarawickrama b Rajitha 54
H. Shahidi c Samarawickrama b Jayasuriya 18
N. Jamal not out 41
I. Alikhil c Mendis b A. Fernando 1
Q. Ahmad c de Silva b Jayasuriya 1
Z. Ur-Rehman b Jayasuriya 0
N. Zadran b Jayasuriya 4
N. Masood c Samarawickrama b Rajitha 0
M. Saleem c de Silva b A. Fernando 2

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-6, W-6, NB-1) 14
TOTAL (all out, 112.3 overs) 296
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-106 (Ali), 2-214 (Shah), 3-237 (Ibrahim), 4-246 (Shahidi), 5-247 (Alikhil), 6-248 (Ahmad), 7-250 (Zia), 8-271 (N. Zadran), 9-284 (N. Masood)
BOWLING: V. Fernando 14-3-37-0, A. Fernando 21.3-2-63-3 (6w), Rajitha 20-5-59-2 (1nb), Jayasuriya 47-10-107-5, de Silva 10-1-23-0

SRI LANKA (2nd Innings):
D. Karunaratne not out 32
N. Madushka not out 22
EXTRAS (LB-1, NB-1) 2
TOTAL (for no wicket, 7.2 overs) 56
DID NOT BAT: K. Mendis, A. Mathews, D. Chandimal, D. de Silva, S. Samarawickrama, K. Rajith, P. Jayasuriya, A. Fernando, V. Fernando
BOWLING: Zia 3-0-12-0, N. Zadran 3-0-30-0 (1nb), Masood 1-0-5-0, Ahmad 0.2-0-8-0
RESULT: Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets.
PLAYER-OF THE-MATCH: Prabath Jayasuria

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2024

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