Sri Lanka overwhelms Afghanistan with 155-run victory in second ODI

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka clinched a commanding 155-run win over Afghanistan in the second One Day International (ODI) on Sunday, with the team’s middle-order batters shining brightly.

Sri Lanka amassed a formidable 308 for 6, buoyed by half-centuries from Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Janith Liyanage. Asalanka’s standout performance, featuring a 74-ball 97, was pivotal in pushing the team’s total past 300. His rapid 50-run stand with Wanindu Hasaranga in the latter stages was particularly crucial after a period of Afghan bowling dominance.

The Sri Lankan innings was anchored by two century partnerships, first between Mendis and Samarawickrama, followed by Liyanage and Asalanka. This foundation set the stage for Asalanka and Hasaranga’s explosive finish, with Sri Lanka scoring 96 in the final 10 overs.

Afghanistan’s fielding lapses, notably three dropped catches off Fazalhaq Farooqi’s bowling, aided Sri Lanka’s cause. Azmatullah Omarzai emerged as the top Afghan bowler with 3 for 56. Farooqi, Noor Ahmad, and Qais Ahmad each claimed a wicket.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Sri Lanka’s Pathum Nissanka started aggressively but was dismissed early by Omarzai. Avishka Fernando also departed quickly, reminiscent of his struggles in the recent series against Zimbabwe.

Afghanistan’s response was lackluster, collapsing from 143 for 2 to 153 all out in just 4.5 overs. The downfall was triggered by Fernando’s dismissal of Zadran, which opened the door for Sri Lanka’s bowlers. Hasaranga’s performance, following his recent success against Zimbabwe, was again a highlight.

Sri Lanka’s comprehensive bowling display, led by Hasaranga, ensured Afghanistan’s chase never gained momentum. This defeat is a significant setback for Afghanistan, who will reflect on their missed opportunities.

The presentation ceremony will follow shortly.