Sri Lanka wins T20 series despite Afghanistan"s 3-run victory in last game

| | Dambulla
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Sri Lanka wins T20 series despite Afghanistan"s 3-run victory in last game

Thursday, 22 February 2024 | AP | Dambulla

Sri Lanka wins T20 series despite Afghanistan

Fast bowler Wafadar Momand held Kamindu Mendis to defend 19 runs in the last over and hand Afghanistan a three-run win over Sri Lanka in the third and final Twenty20 international.

Sri Lanka won the series 2-1.

Afghanistan captain Ibrahim Zadran won the toss, elected to bat first, and they made 209-5 in 20 overs.

In the last over, Mendis hit Momand for two fours in the first and third deliveries and the bowler was lucky to escape a waist-high no-ball in the fourth which the leg umpire failed to spot.

Needing 10 off the last two balls, Mendis failed to score off the second-to-last ball and then hit a six to fall three runs short.

Mendis remained unbeaten on 65 off 39 deliveries with two sixes and seven boundaries.

Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga sharply criticized Sri Lankan umpire Lyndon Hannibal for not spotting a ball higher than the waist saying he is unfit to officiate international games.

“This cannot happen in an international match," Hasaranga said. “If it was close it would have been OK but it was so high it was close to striking the batsman's head. If he cannot see such a thing, this umpire is unfit for international matches and it is better for him to find another job.”

Earlier, Afghanistan openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz got off to a brisk start scoring 72 runs in the first five power play overs without losing a wicket.

Zazai made 45 off 22 deliveries and Gurbaz ended a lean patch by scoring 70 off 43 deliveries.

Gurbaz was named player of the match.

Spinner Akila Dananjaya and fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana took two wickets each for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's opening batter Pathum Nissanka left the field at 60 because of an injury.

He and Kusal Mendis shared 64 runs for the first wicket giving Sri Lanka a solid start. Kusal Mendis' (23) dismissal and Kusal Perera getting out without scoring with the total on 65 slowed Sri Lanka's momentum.

After Nissanka left the field at 83, Sadeera Samarawickrama (23) and Kamindu Mendis shared 53 runs for the fourth wicket brining Sri Lanka back into the match.

Despite late innings efforts from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan managed their first victory of the tour having lost the only test match and the three-match one-day international series 3-0.

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