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Afghanistan fight back with record partnership in Sri Lanka Test

By AFP

February 4, 2024 12:18 PM


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A record first-wicket partnership helped Afghanistan fight back Sunday against hosts Sri Lanka in their one-off Test, as they reached 97 for no loss at tea on day three in Colombo.

Afghanistan started their second innings trailing Sri Lanka by 241 runs, but openers Ibrahim Zadran and Noor Ali Zadran reduced the deficit to 144 runs by tea.

Their 97-run unbroken stand for the first wicket is a record for Afghanistan, improving vastly on the 53-run partnership between Ibrahim himself and Javed Ahmadi against the West Indies in 2019.

Ibrahim -- who had been dismissed for a second-ball duck in the first innings -- produced a solid effort to reach his fourth half-century in Test cricket. He achieved it elegantly, driving Kasun Rajitha for four.

Providing good support was Noor Ali, the 35-year-old debutant reaching 42 not out at tea.

Sri Lanka burned two reviews during the Afghan innings, as the tourists batted through the afternoon session without losing a wicket.

A caught-behind appeal against Noor Ali off the bowling of Asitha Fernando had been turned down, but Sri Lanka opted to review -- but the ball only touched the arm guard.

They reviewed again in a bid to dismiss Noor Ali, when wicketkeeper Sadeera Samarawickrama appealed for a leg-side catch, but again there was no bat involved.

Sri Lanka's fielders missed some opportunities too.

Ibrahim was on 29 when he flashed hard at Vishwa Fernando, but the ball just missed Dhananjaya de Silva at slip.

Prabath Jayasuriya then failed to hold on to a difficult return catch with Ibrahim on 39.

While attempting to catch the ball, Jayasuriya ended up hurting his spinning finger and had to retire to the dressing room. He had bowled unchanged for 14 overs.

Rajitha was drafted into the side after debutant fast bowler Chamika Gunasekara was hit on the helmet.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 439 after resuming with their overnight score of 410 for six.

Scoreboard

Afghanistan 1st innings 198 all out (R. Shah 91, V. Fernando 4-51, A. Fernando 3-24. P. Jayasuriya 3-67)

Sri Lanka 1st innings (overnight 410 for six)

  1. Madushka c Noor b Naveed                37
  2. Karunaratne c Ibrahim b Qais            77
  3. Mendis c Zia b Nijat                    10

Angelo Mathews hit wicket b Qais           141

Dinesh Chandimal c Ikram b Naveed          107

Dhananjaya de Silva run out (Hashmatullah) 0

  1. Samarawickrama c Rahmat b Naveed        27
  2. Gunasekara retired out                  16

Prabath Jayasuriya  b Naveed               2

Vishwa Fernando not out                    0

Asitha Fernando b Nijat                    0

Extras (b 5, lb 9, w 5, nb 3)              22

Total (109.2 overs all out)                439

Fall of wickets: 1-93 (N. Madushka), 2-115 (K. Mendis), 3-148 (D. Karunaratne), 4-380 (D. Chandimal), 5-380 (D. de Silva), 6-410 (A. Mathews), 7-427 (S. Samarawickrama), 8-435 (P. Jayasuriya), 9-439 (A. Fernando)

Bowling: N. Masood 19.2-3-76-2 (nb 1), M. Saleem 12.1-0-57-0 (nb 2), Naveed Zadran 22.5-4-83-4 (w 5), Zia-ur-Rehman 28-2-90-0 , Qais Ahmad 22-2-98-2, Rahmat Shah 3-0-10-0, Hashmatullah Shahidi 2-0-11-0.

Toss: Sri Lanka

Umpires: Chris Brown (NZL) and Michael Gough (ENG)

Television Umpire: Alex Wharf (ENG)

Match Referee: Chris Broad (ENG)


AFP


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