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17-Mar-2016 18:38:00 GMT
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Super 10 Group 1, Kolkata

Dilshan Overcomes Spirited Afghanistan

Kolkata: Tillakaratne Dilshan scored his 12th T20 fifty gives Sri Lanka six wickets win over Afghanistan in the World Twenty20 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.

Captain Asghar Stanikzai's 62 from 47 balls had fired the underdogs to 153-7, having been 51-4 with nine overs left.

But Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 83 after a solid opening with Dinesh Chandimal as some poor fielding helped Sri Lanka reach their target in Kolkata.

The 2014 winners have struggled of late but won with seven balls to spare.

Sri Lanka began the chase on a positive note, as the opener in the form of Dinesh Chandimal and Dilshan, who put up a helathy 41-run opening stand, before Chandimal was dismissed in the sixth over by Mohammad Nabi, after being caught by Samiullah Shenwari.

It was followed by a brief 17-run stand between Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne, before the latter fell for mere six to Rashid Khan, who bowled him up.

At the score of 85 in the 13th over, Sri Lanka lost their third wicket in the form of Thisara Perera, who was unfortunately run out by Mohammad Shahzad for mere 12, followed by a 28-run stand between Dilshan and Chamara Kapugedara, before the latter was again unfortunately, and quite brilliantly ran out by Mohammad Nabi in the followthrough.

Earlier, skipper Asghar Stanikzai struck 62 off 47 balls as Afghanistan posted a competitive 153-7

Stanikzai, 28, hit four sixes and three fours, while Samiullah Shenwari chipped in with a handy 31 to help Afghanistan recover from a shaky 51-4.

Paceman Thisara Perera picked up 3-33 in an otherwise disappointing show by the Sri Lankan bowlers who let the Afghans off the hook after a promising start.

New Sri Lankan T20 captain Angelo Mathews gave the islanders the key breakthrough by having in-form opener Mohammad Shahzad caught at mid-on for eight.

Shahzad, who came into the match with a top-score of 61 in the qualifiers, lobbed an easy catch to Dushmantha Chameera as he tried to pull to the legside.

Shahzad's opening partner Noor Ali Zadran smacked paceman Nuwan Kulasekara for two boundaries in a row before being bowled by Rangana Herath (2-24) for a 23-ball 20.

Afghanistan suffered another blow soon after when Karim Sadiq (zero) nicked one behind off Perera, but Stanikzai steadied the innings with his quickfire knock, his best in Twenty20 internationals.

Stanikzai seemed to clear the ropes easily, twice lofting spinner Milinda Siriwardana into the stands, much to the delight of a small but noisy group of Afghan fans.

The skipper's counter-attack came to an end when he was caught by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal off Perera in the 19th over.

Brief scores
Afghanistan -
153 for 7 (Stanikzai 62, Shenwari 31, Perera 3-33)
Sri Lanka - 155 for 4 (Dilshan 883*)
Result - Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets
Points - Sri Lanka 2, Afghanistan 0
MOM - Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)

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