Batsman Pathum Nissanka made history for Sri Lanka in the first ODI against Afghanistan by becoming the first Sri Lankan ever to score a double century in the 50-over format.
His incredible innings of 210 runs remained unbeaten and included an impressive 20 fours and 8 sixes. This remarkable achievement also earned Nissanka the title of holding the highest individual score in Sri Lanka’s ODI history, surpassing the legendary Sanath Jayasuriya’s 189 runs against India in 2000.
In addition to Nissanka’s stellar performance, opener Avishka Fernando contributed 88 runs, while middle-order batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama added 45 runs to Sri Lanka’s total of 381/3. On the bowling front, Fareed Ahmad Malik was the standout performer for Afghanistan, claiming 2 wickets for 79 runs.
The match began with Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi winning the toss and opting to field first at Pallekele. Sri Lanka welcomed back opening batsman Nissanka, who had missed the previous Test due to illness. Meanwhile, Afghanistan fielded a team with four-seam bowlers, hoping to exploit the pitch conditions.
Last year, Afghanistan secured a convincing seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in a World Cup match held in India. In that encounter, Afghanistan’s batsmen, including Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Azmatullah Omarzai, propelled their team to victory with solid contributions.
Left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi played a crucial role, taking four wickets and restricting Sri Lanka to 241 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Once again, Nissanka emerged as the top scorer for Sri Lanka in that match, tallying 46 runs, while Angelo Mathews and Mahesh Theekshana provided valuable contributions towards the end of the innings. However, their efforts fell short as Sri Lanka failed to surpass the 250-run mark.