Azmatullah produces joint-best unbeaten knock in ODI losing causes

Scintillating efforts from Pathum Nissanka and Pramod Madushan trumped hundreds from Mohammad Nabi (136 off 130) and Azmatullah Omarzai (149* off 115) who had shared a 242-run stand to keep Afghanistan in the hunt after they had been reduced to 55/5 inside the first ten overs. Unfortunately, the target of 382 proved out of reach, which was bound to be the case after the kind of start they endured.

Pathum Nissanka’s double century (210* off 139), the first by a Sri Lankan in ODIs, was built on uninhibited acceleration once he blazed off the blocks. He was the chief architect of Sri Lanka’s 42-run victory over Afghanistan in the first game of the three-match ODI series in Pallekele on Friday.

Sri Lanka’s spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana bowled tidily even though they didn’t have any wickets to show for it.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 381/4 in 50 overs (Pathum Nissanka 210*, Avishka Fernando 88; Fareed Ahmad 2-79) beat Afghanistan 339/6 in 50 overs (Azmatullah Omarzai 149*, Mohammad Nabi 136; Pramod Madushan 4-75) by 42 runs

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