SL vs AFG: Pathum Nissanka etched his name in Sri Lankan cricket history on Friday, February 9th, 2024, by blasting a record-breaking double century to power his team to a commanding 42-run victory over Afghanistan in the first ODI of a three-match series.
Batting first after Afghanistan elected to field, Nissanka unleashed a batting masterclass, scoring an unbeaten 210 runs. His knock was a display of power and finesse, peppered with 20 fours and 8 sixes. It was the first double century by a Sri Lankan batsman in ODIs, surpassing the previous record of 189 set by Sanath Jayasuriya in 2000. Nissanka’s innings was also the joint-fifth highest individual score in ODI history.
Sri Lanka’s Dominating Total:
Riding on Nissanka’s heroics, Sri Lanka amassed a mammoth total of 381 runs for the loss of just three wickets. This was their highest total at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and the fourth highest in their ODI history. Other notable contributions came from Dhananjaya de Silva (78) and Charith Asalanka (74).
Chasing a daunting target, Afghanistan started poorly, losing five wickets within the first nine overs. However, a spirited fightback led by Mohammad Nabi (136) and Azmatullah Omarzai (149*) kept them in the hunt. The duo stitched together a 242-run partnership for the sixth wicket, the second-highest in Afghanistan’s ODI history. However, they eventually fell short, ending their innings at 339 runs.
Significance of the Victory:
- This victory gives Sri Lanka a crucial 1-0 lead in the three-match series and boosts their confidence for the upcoming matches.
- Nissanka’s performance marks a significant moment in his career, solidifying his position as a key player for Sri Lanka.
- The match also highlighted the growing depth and talent in the Sri Lankan batting line-up.
- The second ODI of the series takes place on February 11th, with Afghanistan aiming to bounce back and level the series.
- All eyes will be on Nissanka to see if he can continue his impressive form and guide Sri Lanka to another victory.
This article provides a brief overview of the match, highlighting Nissanka’s record-breaking innings and its significance for both Sri Lanka and the young batsman himself.
DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.