Live Cricket Score: Afghanistan V Sri Lanka, Game 7, ICC World Cup 2019 > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Live Cricket Score: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka, Match 7, ICC World Cup 2019
Rashid Khan gets the big fish
Kusal Perera looks to reverse sweep Rashid but gets a glove on its way to the keeper. Sri Lanka sink further! 182-8 after 33 overs...
Kusal stands alone...
More madness from Sri Lanka. With Kual Perera at the other end, Isuru tried an ugly hoick and got cleaned up by Dawlat. 178 for 7 now.
Now a run out
Afghanistan's fielding has been good in this game. And they have now effected a run out with Thisara losing his wicket. What a turnaround this has been from Afghanistan?? From 144 for 1, Sri Lanka have slid to 159 for 6.
Thisara took a few steps to pinch a single but Kusal sent him back and he couldn't return. Good work from Shahidi and Shahzad.
On the flip side... "In his enthusiastic jump after the wicket, Hamid seems to have slightly strained his groin," Kaushik Rangarajan. However, he is still bowling with good pace.
Mayhem in Cardiff
It is mayhem in Cardiff! Sri Lankan batsmen are falling over like nine pins. Hamid Hassan has bowled a better spell in the middle overs and gets the reward with the one where he hit the seam to extract a hint of nip back in to produce the edge of Dhananjaya.The middle order batsman hung back with his back foot hardly loading and hence, the front foot didn't really move.
Nabi on a roll
Suddenly, there is drama and action in the middle!! Nabi has picked up three wickets in a single over on a seaming track! Unbelievable. Some clever flight and good control helped Nabi to run through the cream of Sri Lanka's batting order.
He tempted Mendis to prod forward with the scrambled seam off spinner, while Thirimanne chopped one on. Mathews was done in by the arm ball.
Nabi has to be the best finger spinner going around in ODIs. He has about three variations and outsmarts the batsmen with slight changes in pace and length. Lovely bowling. Afghanistan's players have found their voice again.
Lack of discipline
When pacers are hitting the good length, the track is still offering some seam movement. However, Afghanistan haven't been disciplined enough.
Kusal in top form
And Kusal has completed his fifty in style with a cracking shot through covers. The ball rocketed through at what seemed like speed of light. On the other hand, Gulbadin, the Afghan skipper, bowled a slew of no balls and wides and gave away 19 runs. Poor stuff.
Here is an exclusive interview with the former Durham and Essex's opener Jon Lewis, who is now the batting coach of the Sri Lankan setup. At his peak, he was known as a solid opener in the County circles.
Finally, Afghanistan have a wicket! And it is the wily old Nabi who provided the breakthrough by dislodging Dimuth. Tossed up delivery, tempting the Sri Lankan skipper to skip down the track but he could only spoon a catch to the fielder stationed at long on.
Afghanistan under the pump
Perera continues to explore all corners of the ground. The modern day Jayasuriya just flogged Mujeeb after waltzing down the track through mid on and stayed back to wait for the short ball and cut. Smart batting from the southpaw. Mujeeb seems to be struggling a bit with cold conditions around.
Perera on the charge
The track hasn't offered much movement as expected. On the other hand, Kusal Perera has gone blazing through the off side, peppered with the occasional pull. Karunaratne is also looking in decent touch, flicking Hamid through midwicket. Under overcast conditions, it hasn't swung. Surprisingly, little seam movement too.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's pacers - Hassan and Zadran - have been all over the place. Maybe they got too excited by seeing grass on the pitch. On such a track, discipline is the key. Afghanistan's pacers also haven't really hit the seam on a good length to extract movement off the deck.
We are ready to go. Remember, with moisture around, it isn't just about movement off the deck but the occasional delivery could stop on the batsman.
"Barely any people in the stands. One enthusiastic Afghanistan bunch - about 14 people - is trying to make noise. The hover cover is still waiting by the pitch. Scratch the previous sentence ... it's been taken off now," our man at the ground, Kaushik Rangarajan says.
Teams and captains speak
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Kusal Perera(w), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga
Afghanistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Shahzad(w), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib(c), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan
Dimuth Karunaratne: In the last game also we batted first. The batsmen have an idea how to bat here. It's (captaincy) not easy, it's a good challenge. They give me support. Jeevan Mendis is not playing. Pradeep is playing.
Gulbadin Naib: We want to bowl first. The conditions are good for the bowlers. It's a good toss to win. We struggled in the middle, we put a good total, but that wasn't good enough against a good team like Australia. Sri Lanka is a champion side. No changes.
Afghanistan have opted to bowl. Karunaratne perhaps needs to pray for luck in terms of winning tosses. The track looks soft underneath and one expects the ball to nibble around a bit. And with moisture around, there is every chance that shine (of the white ball) would be retained for longer periods.
The World Cup has come alive with Bangladesh and the unpredictable Pakistan causing upsets. Can Afghanistan follow in their footsteps by overcoming Sri Lanka?
The feisty Afghanistan side will certainly look to hunt down the Island nation. Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat, Nabi, Rashid Khan, Hamid Hassan are some of the key players in the Afghanistan set-up who need to fire on the day.
It is hard to find adjectives to describe the rise of Afghanistan in the cricketing landscape. From the humble beginnings of Afghanistan refugees taking part in tape-ball cricket matches in Peshawar in the 1990s, setting up the Afghanistan Cricket Board in 1995 to triumphs in Division Five and Division Three tournaments of WCL, qualifying for T20 WC in 2010, playing its first ODI in 2012, participating in the 2015 World Cup and Test status - the journey has certainly been a wonderful one.
What about Sri Lanka? The island nation put up a lacklustre show in seaming conditions versus New Zealand to lose by a thumping margin of 10 wickets. Can the Karunaratne-led side put behind the embarrassing loss?
From all accounts, it could turn out to be another greenish track in Cardiff.
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