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Nissanka Soars to Double Century, Afghanistan Fights Back

Nissanka Soars to Double Century, Afghanistan Fights Back

Pathum Nissanka Soars to Double Century as Sri Lanka Holds Off Afghanistan in Run-Fest

What a remarkable day for Pathum Nissanka who etched his name in Sri Lankan cricket history on Friday, becoming the first player from his nation to score a double century in a One Day International (ODI).

His unbeaten 210 propelled Sri Lanka to a mammoth 381-3, but a valiant chase led by centuries from Azmatullah Omarzai and Mohammad Nabi fell short as Afghanistan were bowled out for 339, handing Sri Lanka a thrilling 42-run victory.

Nissanka, celebrating his 50th ODI, unleashed an array of eight sixes and 20 boundaries in his 139-ball innings, surpassing the previous Sri Lankan ODI record of 189 set by Sanath Jayasuriya in 2000.

Jayasuriya was present in the stands when his record for highest score in ODIs for Sri Lanka was surpassed by 25-year-old classy batter.

Nissanka shared a 182-run opening stand with Avishka Fernando (88) to lay a solid foundation, before adding another 120 runs with Sadeera Samarawickrama (45) for the third wicket.

Nissanka’s 20th boundary which was a four sliced through point in the 50th over sealed his historic double ton, placing him joint fifth in the all-time list of highest individual scores in ODIs.

Afghanistan’s chase began disastrously, slumping to 55-5 inside nine overs thanks to a fiery spell from Sri Lankan seamer Pramod Madushan (3-46). It looked like a things will go one-sided but Afghanistan staged an incredible fightback.

Young all-rounder Omarzai (149* off 115) and the President Nabi (136 off 130) staged a remarkable fightback, stitching together a 242-run partnership that threatened to snatch victory from Sri Lanka’s grasp.

Omarzai’s maiden ODI century was studded with six sixes and 13 boundaries, while Nabi’s second ton included three sixes and 15 boundaries.

Despite their valiant efforts and a mammoth partnership, the required run-rate got out of hands in last few overs which led to Nabi’s dismissal by Madushan, effectively ending Afghanistan’s hopes.

The remaining batsmen could not sustain the pressure, and Sri Lanka secured a hard-fought victory to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second match will be played on Sunday.

This match not only witnessed Nissanka’s historic feat but also a reflection of how devoted a team Afghanistan has become in white ball cricket. Nobody thought that after being 55 for 5, Afghanistan will even cross 150 but clinically they went on to post 339 runs.

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