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Asalanka 97no guides Sri Lanka to big win over Afghans

AP PHOTO

Charith Asalanka has narrowly missed out on a century but his unbeaten 97 has propelled Sri Lanka to a huge 155-run win over Afghanistan in the second one-day international.

It gave Sri Lanka an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Captain Kusal Mendis won the toss and elected to bat first, with the hosts going on to score 6-308 in their 50 overs at Pallekele.

Afghanistan were 2-128 at one point with the match in the balance, but they then collapsed to 153 all out in 33.5 overs.

Legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga claimed 4-27 for Sri Lanka, while fast bowlers Asitha Fernando and Dilshan Madushanka took two wickets apiece.

Asalanka's 74-ball knock included two sixes and nine boundaries and was his 11th half-century in ODI cricket.

Sri Lanka lost opener Pathum Nissanka (18) early and the dismissal of Avishka Fernando (5) left Sri Lanka on 2-36.

The tourists let the momentum slip when Gulbadin Naib dropped Mendis on 12 off seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi. Mendis went on to score 61, his 28th ODI half-century.

Mendis shared 103 runs for the third wicket with Sadeera Samarawickrama (52), while Janith Liyanage scored 50 off 48 balls, adding 111 with Asalanka for the fifth wicket.

Seamer Azmatullah Omarzai did the best job for Afghanistan's under-siege attack, taking 3-56.

Fernando, who hadn't played a one-day international for Sri Lanka since November 2022, then struck first ball, having Afghanistan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (8) caught behind by Mendis with the total on 31.

Ibrahim Zadran (54) and Rahmat Shah (63) added 97 for the second wicket but after Fernando (2-23) had Zadran caught behind in the 27th over, Afghanistan folded tamely for only 25 more runs.

The third and final ODI will be at the same venue on Wednesday.