Charith Asalanka sealed Sri Lanka’s victory

Sri Lanka registered a four-wicket win over Afghanistan in the 3rd and final ODI of the series and leveled the series at Pallekele on Wednesday. Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi won the coin toss and elected to bat first. 

After winning the toss, Afghanistan posted a huge total on the board. They made 313 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their 50 overs. Sri Lankan bowlers kept things tight and took three early wickets. But Najibullah Zadran and Ibrahim Zadran made 154-run partnerships for the 4th wicket. Najibullah scored 77 runs. Ibrahim Zadran was the top scorer with a record breaking 162 runs. 

In reply, Sri Lanka chased down the target successfully with two balls to spare. Sri Lanka openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka made a 101-run partnership for the first wicket and set the platform for the great chase. Kusal Mendis scored 67 runs. Pathum Nissanka made 35 runs. However, after a good start, Sri Lanka lost three quick wickets. After that Dinesh Chandimal and Charith Asalanka rebuilt the innings and made a 48-run partnership before Chandimal got out on 33 in 32 balls. After the loss of Chandimal, Dasun Shanaka joined with Charith Asalanka and added 79 runs to the total. However, Rashid Khan turned the match in favor of Afghanistan with two quick wickets in two overs, including well-set Dasun Shanaka for 43 runs and Wanindu Hasaranga for 02 runs. Even though he lost two quick wickets, Charith Asalanka held his nerve and played a gem of an innings with a cramp. He scored an unbeaten 83 runs in 72 balls and was very well supported by the youngest, Dunith Wellalage, with an unbeaten 31 runs. Eventually, Sri Lanka made 314 runs for the loss of six wickets in 49.4 overs and leveled the series at 1-1.

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