Sri Lanka kicked off their three-match series against Afghanistan with a bang, securing a commanding 42-run victory in the opening One Day International (ODI) clash at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. The star of the show was none other than Sri Lanka’s opener, Pathum Nissanka, who registered his name into the record books with a sensational maiden double hundred in ODIs, propelling his team to a formidable total of 381/3.
The stage was set when Afghanistan’s skipper, Hashmatullah Shahidi, opted to field first after winning the toss, anticipating favorable conditions on the placid Pallekele pitch. However, what followed was a masterclass in batting from the Sri Lankan openers, as Nissanka and Avishka Fernando unleashed a relentless onslaught on the Afghan bowlers.
The duo stitched together a scintillating opening partnership of 182 runs in just 27 overs, leaving the visitors reeling and Shahidi ruing his decision to field first. While Fernando played a blistering knock of 88 runs at a run-a-ball pace, it was Nissanka who stole the limelight with his sublime strokeplay and unwavering resolve at the crease.
Despite a brief hiccup with Kusal Mendis struggling to find his rhythm, managing only 16 runs off 31 deliveries, Sri Lanka’s innings remained on course, courtesy of Nissanka’s sheer brilliance with the bat. By the time Mendis departed, Nissanka had already surpassed the coveted century mark, laying the foundation for a monumental total.
Nissanka’s innings was a proof to his class and composure under pressure, as he displayed a wide array of strokes to dismantle the Afghan bowling attack. His double hundred not only propelled Sri Lanka to a commanding position in the match but also announced his arrival on the international stage in emphatic fashion.
Twitter Hails Pathum Nissanka For Being The First Sri Lankan To Score A Double Century In ODI’s
As the series progresses, Sri Lanka will be buoyed by Nissanka’s stellar performance, while Afghanistan will be left pondering their strategy ahead of the crucial encounters that lie ahead. For now, Sri Lanka can savor a well-deserved victory, with Nissanka’s heroics serving as the crowning glory of a memorable opening encounter.
The moment Pathum Nissanka became the first Sri Lanka to smash an ODI double century. 🔥pic.twitter.com/4R2PA6XD6Z
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) February 9, 2024