Friday, June 14, 2024

ICC: Sri Lanka and Afghanistan claim warm-up victories

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Photo Credit: ICC

Sri Lanka and Afghanistan concluded their preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 with victories on the penultimate day of warm-up matches.

Dasun Shanaka took four wickets in Sri Lanka’s 41-run win against Ireland, while Gulbadin Naib’s rapid half-century powered Afghanistan to a 55-run triumph over Scotland.

India and Bangladesh play a warm-up match tomorrow, with the tournament then getting underway later in the day as USA take on Canada in Dallas.

Shanaka shines as Sri Lanka beat Scotland

Sri Lanka made a steady start with the bat in Florida but lost two wickets in the fourth over as Josh Little claimed a quickfire double breakthrough, Kusal Mendis followed back to the pavilion by namesake Kamindu.

Captain Wanindu Hasaranga (26) and Shanaka (23) made starts but Ireland’s attack remained disciplined and Sri Lanka were wobbling on 125 for seven when the latter fell to Barry McCarthy (2/31).

Angelo Mathews called on all his experience with an unbeaten 32 to steer his side to a competitive total which proved comfortably enough despite a positive start from Andy Balbirnie (16) and Paul Stirling (21).

The pair both fell with the score on 39 before Hasaranga (2/40) and Shanaka helped disrupt Ireland’s momentum in the middle overs.

Curtis Campher top-scored with a run-a-ball 26 but Ireland ultimately fell short, Shanaka wrapping it up as he finished with four for 23 from 3.2 overs.

Gulbadin in fine form for Afghanistan

Afghanistan elected to bat against Scotland and Gulbadin was quickly into his stride, scoring 20 from the second over of the innings.

The opener brought up his half-century from just 21 deliveries and one of six maximums took Afghanistan into three figures from the final ball of the eighth over.

Gulbadin was eventually caught at cover for 69 but Azmatullah Omarzai kept up the momentum with a 36-ball 48.

Scotland put the squeeze on after his departure, with just 14 runs scored in five overs, and Chris Sole picked up his third wicket in the final over as Afghanistan finished on 178 for eight.

George Munsey made 28 from 18 balls in reply but he was the only member of Scotland’s top six to make it into double figures as they slipped to 44 for five in the eighth over, Mujeeb Ur Rahman taking two early scalps.

Mark Watt displayed defiance with 34 from 25 deliveries but Karim Janat (2/13) helped Afghanistan seal a comfortable victory to set them up nicely for their opener against Uganda on June 3.

Scores in brief

Ireland v Sri Lanka – Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida

Sri Lanka 163/8 in 20 overs (Angelo Mathews 32 not out; Barry McCarthy 2/31); Ireland 122 in 18.2 overs (Curtis Campher 26; Dasun Shanaka 4/23)

Result: Sri Lanka won by 41 runs

Scotland v Afghanistan – Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Afghanistan 178/8 in 20 overs (Gulbadin Naib 69; Chris Sole 3/35); Scotland 123/9 in 20 overs (Mark Watt 34; Karim Janat 2/13, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 2/23)

Result: Afghanistan won by 55 runs


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