Sri Lanka survives batting collapse as Afghanistan lets one slip away
Sri Lanka has survived an embarrassing batting collapse to win a low scoring cliffhanger against Afghanistan in Cardiff.
Dimuth Karunaratne’s men were cruising at 2/144 before Afghanistan’s blowing attack intensified and struck deep, taking 8 wickets for 57 runs including three wickets in the 22nd over to Mohammed Nabi.
It was the second time the Sri Lankan batsmen failed after they were dismissed for 136 by New Zealand.
A rain delay saw Afghanistan chasing a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern adjusted target of 187 but any hopes of an easy kill were dashed after wickets tumbled early.
Afghanistan slumped to 5/57 after a deadly spell from Nuwan Pradeep, who finished the match with career-best figures of 4/31 off 9 overs.
Despite troubling early signs, Afghanistan dragged themselves back into the match thanks to a measured innings from Najibullah Zadran, whose 43 with the bat was Afghanistan’s best.
Sri Lanka survived a late charge and sealed a 34 run victory, their first of the Cricket World Cup.