NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka sealed a commanding 155-run victory over Afghanistan in the second one-day international on Sunday in Kandy, securing an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Despite being set a target of 309 to level the series, Afghanistan crumbled and were bowled out for 153 within 34 overs, with leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga shining with four wickets.
While Afghanistan appeared well-positioned at 128 for one during their pursuit of the target, the dismissal of Rahmat Shah (63) and Ibrahim Zadran (54) marked a turning point, leading to little resistance from the remaining batsmen.
The duo had forged a crucial 97-run partnership for the second wicket, but Asitha Fernando, making his first ODI appearance in 15 months, made a breakthrough by dismissing Ibrahim, caught behind.
Leg-spinner Hasaranga followed up with a pivotal over, claiming two wickets as he trapped Rahmat leg before wicket and bowled captain Hashmatullah Shahidi.
Hasaranga was backed up by seamers as Dilshan Madushanka claimed two wickets in an over and Asitha Fernando, who also ended with two wickets.
Afghanistan collapsed losing eight wickets for 10 runs, as Sri Lanka dominated under lights.
It was a back to the wall unbeaten 97 by Charith Asalanka that enabled Sri Lanka to a total of over 300 runs.
The Sri Lankan vice-captain was involved in two crucial partnerships, first adding 111 runs off 98 balls with Janith Liyanage (50) for the fifth wicket.
A 50 run partnership followed for the sixth wicket with Hasaranga off 32 balls.
Asalanka scored 62 runs in 35 balls in the last 10 overs and finished unbeaten on 97, a score he hit off 74 balls with nine fours and two sixes.
Sri Lanka got off to a poor start, losing the openers with 36 runs on the board.
Captain Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama scored half-centuries, while being involved in a 103 run stand for the third wicket.
Both batsmen fell for poor strokes.
Samarawickrama hit one straight to mid-wicket, while Mendis took on the deep mid-wicket fielder but failed to clear him.
Azmatullah Omarzai was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan finishing with three wickets.
Afghanistan were sloppy on the field dropping as many as five catches, a performance that cost them dearly.
The third and final ODI will be played on Wednesday at the same venue.
The hosts won the tour’s sole Test by 10 wickets. The current series will be followed by three T20 matches, all in Dambulla.
(With inputs from AFP)


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