ICC World Cup 2019: Match 7, AFG v SL – Sri Lanka Player Ratings
Although not the most convincing, it was a great comeback from Sri Lanka.
Published - Jun 5, 2019 12:18 am | Updated - Jun 5, 2019 12:18 am
Sri Lanka suffered one of its worst collapses ever when they took Afghanistan on in the World Cup. In fact, this kind of collapse is a rarity at the highest level and the way their batsmen played was shambolic. The team, after being put into bat first, was cruising along quite nicely. The openers added 92 runs together before Dimuth Karunaratne walked back to the pavilion for 30. They were at 144/1 at one stage of the game.
Mohammad Nabi changed the complexion of the match in just one over. He picked three wickets in the 22nd over of the match and within no time, the side was reduced to 149/5. In the sort of a pressure situation, the middle order completely failed to apply itself. Most of the batsmen returned back into the pavilion for single-digit scores as the team was bundled out for 201/10 in 36.5 overs. The game had to be reduced to 41 overs per side due to a rain interruption. Thus, the target for Afghanistan was adjusted to 187.
Nuwan Pradeep saves the day for Sri Lanka
Even Afghanistan experienced a mini-collapse of sorts in this encounter. From 34/0, they were brought down to 57/5 and seemed to be in all sorts of trouble. Most of the top batsmen of the team were already back in the hut. At this point in time, it was the duo of Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah who yet again rose up to the occasion. The skipper scored 23 runs before he was dismissed breaking a 64-run partnership.
Sri Lanka soon forced their way back into the game by dismissing Rashid Khan for just 2 runs. Najibullah Zadran, though, still kept fighting hard. But on the last ball of the 32nd over, he tried to sneak in a quick single to keep the strike. The Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne affected a direct hit and sealed the game for his team. Sri Lanka ultimately won the match by 34 runs.
Here are the Sri Lanka Player Ratings for the match
Dimuth Karunaratne – 5.5/10
Dimuth Karunaratne influenced this game more with his captaincy and fielding than with the bat. He was excellent with his bowling changes and set aggressive fields consistently despite defending only a small total. The skipper ever ran the dangerous Najibullah Zadran out and scored 30 runs with the bat.
Kusal Perera – 9/10
Kusal Perera did a bulk of the scoring for his team in this game. He is so pleasing to the eye when he plays his best cricket. The left-hander attacked the bowlers and added 78 runs in only 81 balls. He hit 8 great boundaries during his knock. He took one catch behind the stumps.