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22-Feb-2015 05:52:00 GMT
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Group A, Dunedin

Jayawardene Ton Drives Sri Lanka to Win

Dunedin: Mahela Jayawardene scored 100 and Thisara Perera quick fire unbeaten 47 as Sri Lanka defeated Afghanistan by four wickets in Dunedin on Sunday.

Chasing 233, Sri Lanka were 51 for four at one stage before Mahela Jayawardene, who hit exactly 100, and Angelo Mathews put on 126 for the fifth wicket.

Jaywardene's crucial innings was his 19th ODI century and one of his most valuable as Sri Lanka, losing finalists at the last two World Cups, were in trouble before he set about taming the bowling.

This was Sri Lanka's first win in two games this tournament following a 98-run defeat by New Zealand, but the plaudits went to World Cup debutants Afghanistan, who only let themselves down with a slow run-rate in the second half of their innings.

Sent in to bat in spicy, overcast conditions they reached 169 for four before the the last 15 overs saw six wickets go down as they were dismissed for 232 with two balls remaining.

Dawlat Zadran had Thirimanne leg before wicket with the first ball of the innings and Dilshan was caught behind off the first ball he faced from Shapoor Zadran in the second over.

The slump did not end there as Hamid Hassan continued the demolition of the Sri Lankan top order.

He bowled Kumar Sangakkara for seven and Dimuth Karunaratne was caught behind for 23 as Sri Lanka reeled at 51 for four against an Afghanistan side beaten in their tournament opener by Bangladesh.

After leaving the field to address problems with his boots, the flamboyant Hassan came back to end Jayawardene's stand and finished with figures of three for 45.

Sri Lanka were 178 for six, requiring 54 runs in under nine overs, when Thisara Perera eased their nerves with a decisive and quickfire unbeaten 47.

Afghanistan may be regarded as rank outsiders but Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran and Hassan taught Sri Lanka a lesson on how to utilise the conditions.

With cloudy skies following overnight rain, and with the ground renowned for early swing, Mathews did not think twice about fielding when he won the toss.

However, Lasith Malinga and Suranga Lakmal were too loose to threaten Afghanistan openers Javed Ahmadi and Nawroz Mangal, who eventually engineered their own dismissals playing rashly at innocuous deliveries.

Their removal united Asghar Stanikzai (54) and Samiullah Shenwari (38) in the middle to produce a well-crafted 88-run partnership for the fourth wicket, Afghanistan's best stand against a top-eight side.

Mirwais Ashraf chimed in with 28 as for the first time in their six-year, 47-game ODI history, Afghanistan's top eight batsmen all reached double figures.

Mathews and Malinga both took three for 41.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and put Afghanistan in to bat.

Both sides have made one change with all-rounder Thisara Perera replacing Nuwan Kulasekera in the Sri Lanka line up and Afghanistan have brought in Dawlat Zadran for Aftab Alam.


Sri Lanka:
Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath

Afghanistan: Afsar Zazai (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Nawroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi (capt), Dawlat Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Shapoor Zadran, Hamid Hassan.

Brief scores
Afghanistan -
232 (Stanikzai 54, Malinga 3-41, Mathews 3-41)
Sri Lanka - 236/6 (Jayawardene 100, Perera 47*, Mathews 44, Hamid Hassan 3-45)
Result - Sri Lanka won by 4 wickets
Points - Sri Lanka 2, Afghanistan 0
MOM - Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)

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