Afghanistan secured their third World Cup victory in a resounding fashion, dominating Sri Lanka and ultimately winning by seven wickets. Their batting lineup, led by the outstanding performances of Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Azmatullah Omarzai, demonstrated their mettle at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Additionally, the return of the talented left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi proved to be a game-changer as he took four pivotal wickets, effectively limiting Sri Lanka to a total of 241 runs.
Pathum Nissanka emerged as Sri Lanka’s highest run-scorer in this contest, contributing a crucial 46 runs to their innings. Despite brief, impactful cameos from Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana towards the end, their combined efforts fell short of pushing Sri Lanka past the 250-run mark.
Afghanistan’s strategic choice to field first after winning the toss played a significant role in their victory. The outcome of this highly anticipated match carried substantial ramifications, with the winning team keeping their semi-final aspirations alive, while the losing side would face a notable blow to their confidence.
Notably, Afghanistan opted to make a key change in their lineup by benching Noor Ahmad, a pivotal player in their previous win against Pakistan, and introducing the returning Fazalhaq Farooqi. In contrast, Sri Lanka made adjustments by including Dimuth Karunaratne and Dushmantha Chameera in their starting XI, replacing Kusal Perera and Lahiru Kumara, respectively, in a bid to strengthen their performance.