In a thrilling clash at the ODI World Cup 2023, Afghanistan secured a seven-wicket victory against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, batting first at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, managed to score 241 runs, but Afghanistan successfully chased down the target, losing only three wickets in the process. This victory has pushed Afghanistan up to the fifth position in the points table with six points, while Sri Lanka’s path to the semi-finals has become increasingly challenging.
During Sri Lanka’s innings, no single batsman played a significant innings, but collective contributions from the team allowed them to surpass 200 runs. The highest scorer for Sri Lanka was Pathum Nissanka, followed by Kusal Mendis with 39 runs and Sadira Samarawickrama with 36 runs. Towards the end, Tikshna contributed 29 runs. Fazalhaq Farooqui was the standout bowler for Afghanistan, taking four wickets, while Mujeeb ur Rahman claimed two wickets, and Azmatullah and Rashid Khan each took one.
Chasing a target of 242 runs, Afghanistan encountered an early setback when Gurbaz was dismissed in the very first over. However, Ibrahim Zadran (39) and Rahmat Shah (62) staged a crucial partnership that brought Afghanistan back into the match. After their dismissals, Azmatullah Omarzai (73 not out) and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (58 not out) formed an unbeaten century partnership for the fourth wicket, ultimately securing victory for their team. This win marks Afghanistan’s third victory in the World Cup, having previously upset England and Pakistan, and has elevated them to the fifth spot in the points table. On the other hand, Sri Lanka faces an increasingly challenging journey to the semi-finals.