Dunedin, Feb 22:
Afghanistan were bowled out for 232 against Sri Lanka in a World Cup Pool A game at the University Oval here Sunday.
Ashgar Stanikzai (54) and Samiullah Shenwari (38) were the main contributors for the debutants. They forged a 88-run stand for the third wicket that helped Afghanistan reach a respectable total.
Afghanistan did not get the start it would have wanted as the opening partnership between Javed Ahmadi (24) and Nawroj Mangal (10) ended for just 34 runs in 8.1 overs. Mangal lost his wicket while trying to hit Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.
In the following over, Ahmadi who was looking good with a 22-ball 24 lost his wicket while trying to pull medium pacer Suranga Lakmal and was caught by Rangana Herath at midwicket.
However, they got a partnership for the third wicket that gave them a platform they necessarily needed.
Stanikzai and Shenwari stitched a 88-run stand. The 27-year-old Stanikzai hit five fours and a huge six to complete his fourth One-Day International (ODI) fifty. His 54-run knock came off 55 balls. He lost his wicket to seasoned left-arm spinner Herath.
Shenwari, who scored 42 during their tournament opener against Bangladesh, was looking good.
He played 69 balls before losing his patience and his slap off a delivery of Thisara Perera ended up in the hands of skipper Mathews at mid-off. This wicket left Afghanistan reeling at 157/4 in 32.5 overs.
Afterwards, Afghanistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Sri Lankan bowlers bowled with discipline and accuracy.
Sri Lankan pace spearhead Lasith Malinga cut Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi’s (21) run stay short as he castled through his defence.
Down the order, Mirwais Ashraf’s 32-ball 28 ensured that they cross the 200-run mark.
For 1996 Cup champions Sri Lanka, Mathews and Malinga picked up three wickets a piece, while Lakmal took two wickets. Perera and Herath shared a wicket each.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan 232 all out in 49.4 overs (Ashgar Stanikzai 54, Samiulla Shenwari 38; Angelo Mathews 3/41, Lasith Malinga 3/41, Suranga Lakmal 2/36) against Sri Lanka. (IANS)