Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan

7:01 pm on 22 February 2015

Sri Lanka have beaten Afghanistan by four wickets in their Cricket World Cup group match in Dunedin.

Najibullah Zadran batting for Afghanistan in Dunedin

Najibullah Zadran batting for Afghanistan in Dunedin Photo: Photosport

Chasing 233 for victory, after bowling Afghanistan out for 232 with two balls remaining, the Sri Lankans got off to the worst possible start.

They lost opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne lbw for a platinum duck on the first ball of the innings, then their other opener Tillakaratne Dilshan also fell - for a golden duck.

That had them struggling surprisingly at two for two in the second over. Then star batsman Kumar Sangakarra was bowled for just seven, to have his team 18 for three in the sixth over.

That became 51 for four after 12 overs once Dimuth Karunaratne was caught for 23, becoming Hamid Hassan's third wicket.

But Mahela Jayawardene steadied the innings with a century and Sri Lanka made 236 for six to win with eight balls remaining.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and sent their opponents in to bat, and a half century from first drop Asghar Stanikzai helped the Cup debutants get off to a decent start.

But the wickets fell steadily once he was out for 54, with Afghanistan three for 128 at University Oval.

The first eight batsmen all got starts and up to double figures, but none really pushed on.

Angelo Matthews and Lasith Malinga both took three wickets, though there were 23 extras bowled too.

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