After 10 matches, World Cup finally saw a close game. From the jaws of defeat 1996 World Cup winner and consecutive finalists of last two World Cup, Sri Lanka managed to defeat the first-timer Afghanistan in a modest chase of Group A match.
2015 World Cup: Schedule & Results
- MOM: Mahela Jayawardene
1st Afghan bowler, Hamid Hassan to get 50 wickets in ODI.
First-ball Ducks for both the Sri Lankan openers, 2nd time in the history of ODI.
19th ODI century.
4th century in World Cup makes him joint third behind Tendulkar (6) and Ponting (5).
4th Sri Lankan to aggregate 1000 runs in World Cup, behind Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva and Sangakkara.
- 100 by Mahela.
54 by Stannikzai.
Unbeaten 26-ball 47 by Thisara Perera was the winning knock.
- Most Successful: 3/41 by Malinga, Mathews.
3/45 by Hamid Hassan.
Most Economic: 3.60 Lakmal, 3.79 Mirwais Ashraf
Maidens: 1: Malinga, Lakmal, Shapoor Zadran
Afghanistan Struggles to Reach 232
Sent to bat first at Dunedin, Afghanistan were bowled out for 232 with 2 balls remaining in their innings. Opener Mangal (10) was the first to fall. His partner Javed Ahmadi (24) followed in 10th over. Stanikzai (57-ball 54) added 88 runs for third wicket with Samiullah Shenwari (38). Captain Nabi (21), Najibullah Zadran (10), Afsar Zazai (19), Mirwaiz Ashraf (28), Dawalat Zadran (4) and Hamid Hassan (0) could somehow take them past to a modest score.
Sri Lankan bowlers were reckless throwing 16 wides and a no ball. Lakmal (2/36) was the best, while Angelo Mathews (3/41) and Malinga (3/41) were most successful. Thisara Perera (1/54) and Herath (1/41) were also among the wickets. Jeevan Mendis (0/13) bowled 3 overs.
Mahela, Mathews and Thisara Save Sri Lanka the Blushes
Nobody thought Sri Lanka, who are generally merciless against Associates, would face any challenge. But, golden ducks for openers THirimanne and Dilshan, and then quick dismissal of Sangakkara (7) left them at 3/18. Karunaratne (23) soon made it 51/4 in 12 overs.
From there on seasoned Mahela and Captain Mathews (44) had to work hard as they added 126 runs for 5th wicket to take Sri Lanka to 177/5 in 40.3 overs. As Mahela (120-ball 100 runs) went in next over, they were again in trouble at 178/6 needing 55 runs. Thisara Perera (unbeaten 27-ball 47 runs) with Jeevan Mendis (9*) saved them the blushes though as they won with 10 balls in hand.
Inexperience costed Afghans the match. Hamid Hassan (3/45) was the most successful. Dawlat Zadran (1/44) and Shapoor Zadran (1/48) were successful while opening the bowling. Shapoor bowled a maiden too and broke the bat of Mahela. Mirwais Ashraf (0/31) was the most economical. Captain nabi (0/28 in 5.2) and Samiullah Shenwari (0/32 in 6) could not match effectiveness of other bowlers though.
Sri Lankans finally survived to open their account in the World Cup.