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World Cup: Sri Lanka fight back to beat Afghanistan by 34 runs

CARDIFF: Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga starred with the ball as Sri Lanka fought again to weigh down Afghanistan's hopes of a memorable World Cup victory on Tuesday.


Afghanistan, bidding for just their moment win in a World Cup fit and their first over a Test country were in command midway via a dismal day in Cardiff after disregarding Sri Lanka for 201,.

But faced with a rain-revised goal of 187 in 41 overs, their batting allow them to down again as they were bowled out for 152.

Victory saw Sri Lanka bounce again from a 10-wicket thrashing through New Zealand of their World Cup opener.

Pradeep took a career-best four for 31, while Malinga (three for 39) struck at both ends of the innings, finishing the fit with a hallmark yorker that bowled Hamid Hassan.

Afghanistan had slumped to 57 for 5, with Thisara Perera conserving a brilliant working catch in the deep to disregard Hazratullah Zazai on the hook for 30.

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib (23) and Najibullah Zadran (43) then started to turn the fit again with a sixth-wicket stand of 64.

But paceman Pradeep struck twice, having Naib lbw ahead of bowling Rashid Khan to go away Afghanistan 123 for seven.

And when Najibullah used to be run out through a right away hit from Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Afghanistan were all but beaten at 9 down.

Earlier, Sri Lanka got here out of the blocks temporarily against the unfancied Afghans, who suffered a seven-wicket loss to champions Australia of their tournament opener, and were set for an imposing total at 144 for one.

But they lost their ultimate 9 wickets for 57 runs, Mohammad Nabi taking three in 5 balls after Gulbadin received the toss.

Shell-shocked Sri Lanka saved on dropping wickets at regular durations, with 35 extras the second-highest scorer of the innings in the back of Kusal Perera's 78.

A dramatic 22nd over saw Nabi bowled Lahiru Thirimanne for 25 ahead of having Kusal Mendis stuck through Rahmat Shah in the slips for 2.

Angelo Mathews used to be subsequent to go, for a duck, also stuck through Shah.

Leg-spinner Rashid Khan eventually were given in on the act when he had opener Kusal Perera, who had seen wickets tumble on the other end, stuck in the back of.

Rain then intervened, forcing the avid gamers from the field, with Sri Lanka 182-Eight.

The lengthen meant the fit used to be lowered to 41 overs an aspect but Sri Lanka folded temporarily after the resumption, dropping Malinga and Pradeep for the addition of just 19 extra runs.

Afghanistan, taking part in in best their moment World Cup, beat Sri Lanka soundly in ultimate 12 months's Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates, but for the second one fit in a row this World Cup their batting allow them to down.

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