ICC World Cup 2015: Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka - Player ratings
This was a match which Afghanistan won despite losing and Sri Lanka lost despite winning. If there was anything that Sri Lanka possessed more than Afghanistan, then it was sheer experience. If you think Associates are here to just make up the numbers, then you have been proved wrong not once, not twice but thrice. Afghanistan batted well and posted 232 runs and then had Sri Lanka 4 down for 51 runs. However, Mahela Jayawardene’s experience, Angelo Mathews’ maturity and Thisara Perera’s flare helped Sri Lanka pip Afghanistan to the post by 4 wickets.
Here are the player ratings for today’s match:
The right-handed Afghan opener did not score many, but he ensured that Afghanistan got off to a good start. Put into bat under overcast conditions on a treacherous surface, Ahmadi scored 24 runs off 23 balls, with 16 of the runs coming in boundaries.
Mangal didn’t last too long like his partner but made sure Afghanistan didn’t lose a wicket until the 9th over. Mangal, despite difficulties, saw off the new ball, helping their No.3 score big.
The Afghan No.3 gave Sri Lanka a run for their money as he raced to 54 off 57 balls, building a partnership worth 88 for the third wicket, thereby giving his team the chance to post a mammoth total. His innings included a six and 5 fours.
Despite playing a sluggish innings, Samiullah helped Stanikzai dictate terms in the middle by anchoring the Afghan innings. He faced 70 balls to get to his 38, but the time he spent in the middle was crucial.
The skipper scored 21 off 27 balls before being castled by Lasith Malinga. Though he looked good for more, Nabi played a rash shot in the batting powerplay to let go of the chance to up the ante.
Zadran was one of the two victims during the batting powerplay as he fell to a hoick in an attempt to increase the run rate. The only highlight of his innings was the six he hit against Rangana Herath over midwicket.
The wicketkeeper of the Afghan team, Afsar Zazai, managed only 19 off his 38 balls, depriving Afghan’s batting of the momentum they desperately needed. His wicketkeeping was also dodgy as he failed to collect the ball tidily on numerous occasions.
A bowler by trade, Mirwais played out of his skin to help his team find some fire towards the tail end of the innings. With the ball in hand, although he failed to pick up a wicket, he bowled economically despite carrying a niggle.
The bustling right-hander produced a Jaffa to dismiss Lahiru Thirimanne off the first ball of Sri Lanka’s innings. The ball swung in and seamed away hitting Thirimanne plumb in front. He set the tone for what followed next: a complete wrecking of Sri Lanka’s top order. He finished with 1 wicket for 44 runs.
The hero of Afghan’s bowling today, Hamid Hassan picked up the prized wicket of both Sangakkara and Jayawardene. He worked up very good pace and looked like getting a wicket every ball.
Despite a knee injury, the lanky bowler produced an absolute beauty to dismiss Tillakaratne Dilshan off his first ball and then continued his good work by troubling the batsmen throughout his spell.