On Friday, the first one-day international match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka was won by an overwhelming margin of 60 runs thanks to an opening batter named Ibrahim Zadran who hit 106.
In Pallekele, Afghanistan scored 294 runs after winning the toss and deciding to bat. Ibrahim contributed to several important partnerships, notably a 118-run stand for the second wicket with Rahmat Shah, who scored 52 runs.
Fast bowlers Fazalhaq Farooqi and Gulbadin Naib of Afghanistan combined for seven wickets as the foreigners bowled out Sri Lanka for 234 runs.
The Sri Lankan innings was finished by Afghanistan in 38 overs, despite the fact that Pathum Nissanka scored 85 and Wanindu Hasaranga scored a potentially game-changing 66.
However, it was Afghanistan’s batting that laid the groundwork for their dominance in the very first ever bilateral ODI series that was played between the two countries.
However, some disciplined bowling in the end checked Afghanistan, who seemed like they were going to get over 300 runs. Ibrahim led the charge with his second one-day international century, and Najibullah Zadran’s 25-ball 42 helped enhance the total.
Hasaranga’s performance was outstanding, as he recorded figures of 2-42 in his 10 overs.
Hashmatullah Shahidi’s decision to put his team in to bat first was vindicated by Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who scored 53 runs while hitting a flurry of fours and sixes.
After putting on 84 runs together, Ibrahim joined the attack, which established the tone for the batting surge that followed.
Cameos from Najibullah and Naib, who struck 22 off 24 balls, took on the bowlers towards the end, but Sri Lanka gave out just 31 runs in the final five overs and took five wickets. This was despite the fact that Sri Lanka took five wickets.
The home team got off to a strong start, but they lost many wickets at crucial moments, and Naib took two of them to shake up the top order.
Nissanka hit his fifty in 42 balls and put on 47 runs with Dasun Shanaka before the latter was taken out by Naib. Nissanka was the team captain.
Hasaranga quickly hit back after Farooqi denied Nissanka his tonne, which raised expectations that the situation could turn around.
In the 31st over, which resulted in 22 runs and saw him reach his fifty in 31 balls, he hammered Mohammad Nabi for a six and four fours.
Hasaranga was the last man out to Farooqi, who completed with figures of 4-49, as the wickets continued to tumble for the opposing team.
In light of the fact that key points for the Super League were up for grabs in the series, Sri Lanka’s chances of a direct qualifying to the 50-over World Cup in India next year were significantly hampered by the setback.
The second match will take place on Sunday at the same location as the first.