Nabi's 4/30 folds Lanka at 201 in rain-hit contest

Nabi's 4/30 folds Lanka at 201 in rain-hit contest


Cardiff, June 4, 2019

Despite a good start, the Sri Lankan middle-order failed to convert it into an impressive total as Afghanistan off-spinner Mohammad Nabi rattled their top-order to restrict them to 201 runs in the rain-affected match in the World Cup at the Sophia Gardens here on Tuesday.
Rain played spoilsport in the clash as the contest was reduced to 41 overs and Afghanistan were handed a revised 187-run target.
Nabi was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 4/30, while Dawlat Zadran and Rashid Khan picked a couple of wickets each.
Opener Kusal Perera was the lone fighter and top scorer for his side with a valiant 78 runs off 81 balls, while all his other teammates succumbed before the minnows' bowling attack. Perera, who departed in the 33rd over, smashed eight boundaries in his innings.
Put in to bat first, Dimuth Karunaratne (30 off 45) and Perera took the island nation to a flying start as their scorecard read a decent 52 for no loss in the initial five overs. The duo then steadily took their side near the three-digit mark. However, when Sri Lanka were at 92 runs, the whole scenario changed as Karunaratne, while trying to clear the boundary, mistimed Nabi's delivery and ended up handing a catch to Najibullah Zadran at long-on in the 14th over.
Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne (25 off 34) were then involved in a short 52-run partnership for the second wicket. However, the latter's stay was cut short by Rashid Khan in the 22nd over. Thirimanne's fall saw Sri Lanka suffering a batting collapse as they lost the three wickets of Kusal Mendis (2), Angelo Mathews (0) and Dhananjaya de Silva (0) for the addition of just 15 runs.
Perera tried his best to keep the scorers busy but lacked support from the others as incoming batsman Thisara Perera (2) also threw his wicket, leaving Lanka reeling at 159/6. Dawlat Zadran added more sorrows to Lankan camp when he packed back Isuru Udana (10) before Perera also became a victim of Rashid before rain stopped play.
After the rains stopped, Sri Lanka could only manage another 21 runs as unbeaten Suranga Lakmal chipped in with 15 runs, while Lasith Malinga contributed with four runs.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 201 all out in 36.5 overs (Kusal Perera 78, Lahiru Thirimanne 25; Mohammad Nabi 4/30) vs Afghanistan

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