Twitter reactions: Wanindu Hasaranga powers Sri Lanka to a stellar win over Afghanistan in first T20I

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In a high-octane cricketing battle at Dambulla, Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan in the first T20I of the three-match series. The victory also established the hosts’ lead in the series by 1-0. The Islanders outclassed the Afghans in every facet of the game, establishing their firm domination.

Wanindu Hasaranga leads charge with the willow

Invited to bat first, Sri Lanka faced early setbacks with Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis dismissals. Dhananjaya de Silva showcased a promising start but succumbed after a brief cameo of 24 runs off 17 balls, adding to the side’s predicament. Charith Asalanka‘s departure with just three runs further intensified the team’s struggle.

Skipper Wanindu Hasaranga elevated himself up the order in a pivotal move, unleashing a spectacular innings that saw him reaching a fifty in a mere 24 balls. Partnering with Sadeera Samarawickrama, who contributed 25 runs before falling victim to a run-out, Hasaranga provided a much-needed resurgence. However, Naveen-ul-Haq‘s dismissal of Hasaranga for 67 runs triggered a collapse, leading to Sri Lanka’s eventual downfall at 160 runs in 19 overs.

Bowlers shine for the Islanders

Chasing a target of 161 runs, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran set a brisk pace for Afghanistan from the second over of the innings. Despite Gurbaz’s impressive cameo of 13 runs, he departed early, leaving the responsibility to the incoming batters. Gulbadin Naib, taking the crease at number three, could only muster 16 runs off 17 balls. Although Karim Janat contributed a quick 20 off 16 balls, the lack of significant partnerships hindered Afghanistan’s chase. Zadran, fighting bravely till the end, found little support from the rest of the lineup.

With Afghanistan needing 14 runs in the last two overs, Matheesha Pathirana‘s exceptional 19th over proved to be the turning point, costing just three runs and two crucial wickets, shifting the momentum in Sri Lanka’s favour. Conversely, Afghanistan fell five runs short of their target, experiencing a narrow defeat in a closely contested match.

Also READ: Here’s how Ravichandran Ashwin’s mother shaped him into a champion spinner

Here is how Twitter reacted:

https://twitter.com/BSharan_6/status/1758905449817252265

Also READ: 3 bowlers who troubled ‘birthday boy’ AB de Villiers the most on cricket pitch



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