Nissanka’s double century leads Sri Lanka to victory over Afghanistan

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka — Pathum Nissanka’s record-breaking double century propelled Sri Lanka to a 42-run victory over Afghanistan in Friday’s opening match of their three-game one-day international series.

Facing a challenging target of 382, Afghanistan finished at 339-6, with Mohammad Nabi and Azmatullah Omarzai each scoring centuries after an early setback to 55-5.

Nissanka’s unbeaten 210 marked Sri Lanka’s first ODI double hundred, surpassing Sanath Jayasuriya’s 189 against India in 2000. It also tied for the fifth-highest individual score in ODI history.

Sri Lanka’s 381-3 set a record for the highest total at the venue and ranked as the team’s fourth-highest overall.

Nissanka, playing his first ODI since the World Cup, hit 20 fours and eight sixes from 139 balls.

Afghanistan struggled at the start of their innings, losing five wickets within nine overs. Madushan claimed four wickets for 75 runs.

Dushmantha Chameera took two wickets but left the field during his eighth over with apparent back pain.

Omarzai (149 not out) and Nabi (136) mounted a 242-run partnership for the sixth wicket, Afghanistan’s second-highest for any wicket in ODIs.

Omarzai’s first hundred came from a six off Janith Liyanage.

Sri Lanka’s innings featured Avishka Fernando scoring 88 before being caught in the 27th over. Captain Kusal Mendis added 16, while Sadeera Samarawickrama contributed 44 in a 120-run stand with Nissanka.