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Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan ODI Series: All you need to know

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(Last Updated On: February 8, 2024)

Afghanistan will lock horns with Sri Lanka on Friday, February 9, at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, in the first of three ODIs, just days after coming off a 10-wicket loss to their hosts in the one-off Test.

This is part of Afghanistan’s tour to Sri Lanka, which included the one-off Test earlier this week and a three-match T20I series that’s still to come.

Afghanistan’s star spinner Rashid Khan will not however take to the field as he is still recovering from back surgery. Qais Ahmad will fill in for him.

This will be the team’s first ODI series since the ICC World Cup 2023.

Sri Lanka meanwhile are coming off a 2-0 ODI series win over Zimbabwe in January.

For Afghanistan, reserve players in World Cup 2023, Gulbadin Naib and Fareed Ahmad, have made the squad for this series. Naveed Zadran, the pacer who did well in the Test against Sri Lanka, is also part of the squad as an uncapped player.

However, Najibullah Zadran is a notable absentee.

The two sides have played 12 times in ODIs, with Sri Lanka winning seven and Afghanistan four. One game ended without a result.

The last time the two sides locked horns in ODIs was in the ICC World Cup 2023, where Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets.

ODI schedule:

Match 1 – Friday February 9
Match 2 – Sunday February 11
Match 3 – Wednesday February 14

Ariana Television will broadcast the matches live from Friday. More details can be found on our social media platforms.

Squads:

Afghanistan
Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), Rahmat Shah (vice-capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ikram Alikhil (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran, Farid Ahmad

Reserves: Sharafuddin Ashraf, Shahidullah, Abdul Rahman, Bilal Sami

Sri Lanka
Kusal Mendis (c), Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Sahan Arachchige, Chamika Karunaratne, Janith Liyanage, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Akila Dananjaya, Wanindu Hasaranga

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Head of Sports Administration attends opening ceremony of Kazan’s ‘Games of Future’

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

The General Director of Physical Education and Sport of Afghanistan (GDPES) Mawlavi Ahmadullah Wasiq participated in the opening ceremony of the Games of Future competition hosted by Tatarstan-Kazan.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Wasiq also met with the Ministers of Sports of Russia and Tatarstan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials also participated in the opening ceremony, GDPES said in a post on X.

According to GDPES the competition started on February 21 and will continue until March 3.

Nearly 2,000 athletes from 107 countries will take part in the games and will compete in 21 sports.

The Next Generation Sports competition is a new series of sports competitions, which for the first time officially starts in Kazan.

The combination of these sports includes digital and classical sports, GDPES said.

Putin said during his opening speech that sport is meant to create unity between countries and nations and should not become political.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Wasiq meanwhile met with the minister of sports of Russia, Oleg Matisin, and the minister of sports of Tatarstan, Vladimir Leonov.

Cooperation in sport and sport development was discussed.

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Afghanistan win three-run thriller, but Sri Lanka take T20 series

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

Afghanistan salvaged some pride on Wednesday when they secured a nail-biting three-run win over hosts Sri Lanka in the third T20I, the last game of their multi-format tour.

It has been a wretched tour for the Afghans — losing six matches in a row — but skipper Ibrahim Zadran said he was “feeling great” after his team held their nerve in a dramatic close with a hard-fought win.

“I am happy with the win,” Zadran said. “Unfortunately, we lost the series.”

Sri Lanka had already secured the three-match T20 series after winning the first two games, the first by four runs, and the second by 72 runs.

They had also won the one-off Test match and the one-day international series in a 3-0 clean sweep.

But Afghanistan seemed determined to win at least one match.

‘Under pressure’

Sri Lanka required 36 off the last two overs, with Dasun Shanaka bringing the chase down to 24 off eight balls — but was run out.

That left Sri Lanka with 19 runs needed off the last over.

But they could manage only 15, with the game marred by controversy as tensions spiked in the last six balls.

The fourth ball from Wafadar Momand was a high full toss, but the square leg umpire didn’t call a no ball despite batters’ protests.

Captain Wanindu Hasaranga was seen exchanging words with the umpires.

“We played good cricket in the first two games,” Hasaranga said.

“Credit goes to our bowlers and the batters”.

Fighting to the end, Kamindu Mendis hit a six off the last ball of the innings, but it was not enough and Sri Lanka fell short by three runs.

Mendis was unbeaten on 65 off 39 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, achieving his maiden half-century in T20 cricket.

On a pitch tailor-made for batting, giving little room for error for the bowlers, Sri Lanka’s openers gave them a rousing start adding 64 runs in 35 balls.

The partnership was broken when Kusal Mendis attempted a boundary on the off-side but failed to clear the extra cover fielder where Sharafuddin Ashraf back-peddled and took a good catch.

In the process, the fielder banged his head onto the turf.

Ashraf was replaced as the concussion substitute rule came into effect and leg-spinner Qais Ahmad took his place.

Afghanistan took two wickets in three balls when Noor Ahmad trapped Kusal Perera leg before wicket for a duck.

Pathum Nissanka posted his tenth T20 half-century, off 27 balls, but soon after hurt his hamstring and his movements were restricted.

He moved to 60 with a six off Noor Ahmad and retired soon afterwards. He faced 30 balls and hit eight fours and two sixes.

Afghanistan’s big total was thanks to the efforts of their openers, posting 88 runs off 44 balls.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz went on to make 70 after being dropped twice.

“I was under pressure but I tried to go in today and play my natural game,” Gurbaz said. “I took responsibility and I think that was the reason.”

Sri Lanka battled back with Matheesha Pathirana claiming two wickets in two balls, but it was not enough to stop Afghanistan from scoring over 200 runs. – AFP

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Afghanistan, Sri Lanka set for 3rd and final T20I

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(Last Updated On: February 21, 2024)

The third and final game of the T20I series between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will be played on Wednesday, February 21, at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

This is also the final match in Afghanistan’s tour of Sri Lanka, which included a one-off Test, three ODIs and the T20I series.

So far, Sri Lanka have taken the lead 2-0 in the T20I series.

Afghanistan have failed to win a single game on this tour so far and will be hoping to finish on a winning note.

Sri Lanka have a clear edge over Afghanistan when their head-to-head record in the shortest format is considered. The Lankans have won five games as opposed to one for Afghanistan in their six meetings so far.

Matches played: 6

Sri Lanka won: 5

Afghanistan won: 1

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Pitch Report

The surface at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium looks a good one to bat on. There will be plenty of runs on offer for batters once they get their eye in. The pacers can use slower deliveries while bowling on this deck as it has been effective as seen in the series so far.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Weather Forecast

Clear skies will greet both sides on Wednesday. The temperature in Dambulla is expected to range between 22 and 33 degrees Celsius.
Watch the match live!

Ariana Television Network will broadcast Wednesday’s match live on Ariana Television from 6pm.

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