Incredible Omarzai-Nabi comeback overshadowed by heroic Pathum Nissanka double century as Sri Lanka took a 1-0 lead

At the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Friday, February 9, Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan thanks to an amazing double hundred from opener Pathum Nissanka. The hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series thanks to a 42-run victory secured by Nissanka’s outstanding effort.

at just 136 balls, Nissanka achieved his first double century at Pallekele on Friday. Nissanka became the third-fastest double centurion in the history of the game and just the 10th player overall to accomplish the feat. When the batter reached 189 runs, he shattered the record held by Sanath Jayasuriya, the previous highest scorer for Sri Lanka in an ODI match.

SL takes 1-0 lead in the odi series

Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi sent Sri Lanka to bat first, and they amassed 381 runs at a cost of three wickets during the innings. Alongside Avishka Fernando, Nissanka was the star of the show, putting up a patient innings. Before Fernando got out for a run-a-ball 88, the openers amassed 182 runs in 26.2 overs. After that, Nissanka changed tactics and humiliated the Afghan team, finishing unbeaten at 210 off just 139 balls.

Thanks to the quick bowlers Pramod Madushan and Dushmantha Chameera, Sri Lanka grabbed an early lead in the second innings of the match. In the game’s opening ten overs, the hosts all but assured victory by dismissing the Afghan top order in quick succession.

But the side had some hope thanks to an amazing sixth wicket combination between Mohammad Nabi and youthful Azmatullah Omarzai.

SL takes 1-0 lead in the odi series

The pair, one in the latter stages of his career and the other in the early stages, combined for 242 runs, the second-highest partnership for the sixth wicket in ODI cricket history. Each scored a century on their own, offering Afghanistan some optimism.

Players from Afghanistan believed they were still in the game even though the pursuit seemed improbable. But Madushan’s last over, in which he removed Nabi (136 off 130) with a leg-cutter, halted that. After that, the challenge became too much, and the squad managed to score 339 in the second innings despite losing six wickets. Omarzai scored 149 from 115 balls without conceding a run.

Speaking during the post-match ceremony, Hashmatullah Shahidi explained that he had chosen to bowl first because to the dew effect. The Sri Lankan openers, who were without Rashid Khan and Mujeed Ur Rahman, feasted on the team’s bowling order, causing Shahidi’s choice to backfire.

The dew element played a role in the decision. In the second inning, the pitch was favorable for batting. Simply put, we gave up too many runs. We fell short during the powerplay overs. There, we handed them the game. They formed alliances and continued,” Hashmatullah Shahidi lamented the errors made in the opening inning.

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