Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets and registered their third win in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023. This is the first time they have won three matches in a mega event in a single edition. Sri Lanka after being invited to bat first on a good batting wicket could only score 241 runs. The Afghan bowlers performed well as they restricted the Islanders to a below-par score at Pune. They started decently but things changed after the halfway mark, a double wicket from Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman turned things around for Hashmatullah Shahid's side.
The Islanders built small partnerships during the game and Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis stabilised the inning after they lost Dimuth Karunaratne for 15 runs. They were struggling at one stage from 134/2 to 185/7 and runs from the lower order made sure they scored past 220 runs. Afghanistan bowlers were over the 1996 champions.
Kusal Mendi's side has been struggling with injuries. With their regular skipper Dasun Shanaka missing out on injury. Wanindu Hasaranga already missed the World Cup due to the injury. They have won two games so far and have lost four and sitting in the 6th position. Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled brilliantly as he was the pick of the bowlers for his side.
Afghanistan creates history
After being put into bat first Mendi's side got off to a decent start after losing their opener Karunaratne leaving them 22/1. After that Nissanka and Mendis built a decent partnership before the former was dismissed for 39 runs. The former was the highest scorer for his side with 46 runs. Two quick wickets by Mujeeb let the Islanders collapse from 134/2 to 185 for 7. Some runs from Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana let them score past 200 runs and they were bundled out for 241 runs, with Farooqi picking four wickets.
In reply, the Afghans lost their first wicket in the first over as Rahmanullah Gurbaz was sent back to the pavilion by Dilshan Madushanka. Then a crucial 73-run partnership between Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah gave them a position in the game. The latter was dismissed after scoring 62 runs. Then a skipper Shahidi's 58 runs and Azmatullah Omarzai's 73 runs took their team through.
Here's how fans reacted
Afghanistan Defeated 1992 Champions Pakistan— Cricket Freak (@Cricjunction008) October 30, 2023
Afghanistan Defeated 1996 Champions Sri lanka
Afghanistan Defeated 2019 Champions England
What Campaign Team afghanistan is having 👏❤️🔥🙌#AFGvsL #CWC23 pic.twitter.com/Wwpd5OdMKL
Had they not lost to Bangladesh, they would have been very strong contenders for the top 4 today, although they still are..!!— Anuj (@AnujDeswal013) October 30, 2023
Another stunning win for Afghanistan. Congratulations team Afgan. You deserve all credits for playing excellent cricket in this world cup. Domination over England, Pakistan and Srilanka was not easy but you did it.— Satya Prakash (@Satya_Prakash08) October 30, 2023
BIG CONGRATULATIONS. #SLvAFG #AFGvsL
Wow, what an epic victory for Afghanistan! Congratulations on the incredible performance!— Stewie (@StewzieGriffin) October 30, 2023
They are the real contenders after India for World Cup— CricXtra (@CricXtra_) October 30, 2023
Great 👍— LoSt 😞 (@Sadaqat197) October 30, 2023
Well Played Afghanistan...Afghanistan is a revelation in this world cup. Playing beautifully. Many more upsets loading...— Indian Stats & Index (@statsfeed_india) October 30, 2023
Afghanistan is ten times better team than Pakistan— Statistics of Bharat 🇮🇳 (@Stats4Bharat) October 30, 2023