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RESULT
2nd T20I (N), Dambulla, February 19, 2024, Afghanistan tour of Sri Lanka
(17/20 ov, T:188) 115

Sri Lanka won by 72 runs

Player Of The Match
42* (22) & 2/9
angelo-mathews
Cricinfo's MVP
92.61 ptsImpact List
angelo-mathews
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Mathews, bowlers rout Afghanistan to seal T20I series for Sri Lanka

Mathews bashed 42* off 22 with the bat and then returned with figures of 2 for 9 in two overs as Afghanistan went down by 72 runs

Angelo Mathews removed Afghanistan openers  •  AFP/Getty Images

Angelo Mathews removed Afghanistan openers  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka 187 for 6 (Samarawickrama 51, Mathews 42*, Nabi 2-25) beat Afghanistan 115 (Hasaranga 2-19, Mathews 2-9) by 72 runs
Angelo Mathews bashed 42 not out off 22 balls, then claimed two early wickets, as Sri Lanka stormed to a 73-run win in the second T20I to seal the T20I series. There were contributions from throughout Sri Lanka's top order - Pathum Nissanka struck 25 off 11, Kusal Mendis struck 23 off 14, Sadeera Samarawickrama played an innings of substance as he hit 51 off 42, and Wanindu Hasaranga was hyper-aggressive again, hitting 22 off 9.
In response, Afghanistan never really got going. None of their top five breached 15, and though Mohammad Nabi and Karim Janat put up something of a partnership, they never seemed to have the measure of this chase. Afghanistan were all out for 115 inside the first 17 overs.
Mathews rocks it with bat
Having come in in the 15th over, Mathews didn't explode immediately - that's generally not his style. Having made four off his first nine deliveries, Mathews began to find the boundary - a four over short off Fazalhaq Farooqi to start, before bashing a four back past Naveen-ul-Haq next over. It was in the 19th over, bowled by Azmatullah Omarzai, that he really unleashed the finisher of old. He spanked Omarzai's first ball over deep midwicket, crashed the next one over deep square leg. A rattled Omarzai bowled a genuinely poor length ball outside off next ball, and Mathews punished him, launching him over long-on.
He was dropped by Mohammad Nabi before his last six was struck - again back over the bowler's head - but nevertheless, Mathews collected 33 runs off his last nine balls.
Mathews rolls it with the ball
One of Mathews' great strengths in the great Sri Lanka T20 teams of the past was his ability to deliver cheap overs with the new ball. On this occasion, he was penetrative too. Fifth ball, he had Hazratullah Zazai nicking a gentle away-seamer behind. Second ball of his next over, he took the prize wicket of Ibrahim Zadran, who eyed a slower ball and mis-hit it to mid-on. He only needed to bowl those two overs, but he conceded only nine, and took two wickets.
Sri Lanka's bowlers run through Afghanistan
At no point in the chase did it seem like the visitors were in it. After Mathews' early wickets, left-armer Binura Fernando began to strike, and later, Wanindu Hasaranga began to cause trouble, and finally Matheesha Pathirana became a menace with his extreme pace (he frequently bowled deliveries over 150kph). In addition to Mathews, Fernando, Hasaranga, and Pathirana took two wickets each. Dasun Shanaka was excellent at cover, taking two good catches.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is a senior writer at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf

Language
English
Win Probability
SL 100%
SLAFG
100%50%100%SL InningsAFG Innings

Over 17 • AFG 115/10

Naveen-ul-Haq b Pathirana 5 (9b 1x4 0x6 11m) SR: 55.55
W
Fazalhaq Farooqi c Shanaka b Pathirana 2 (3b 0x4 0x6 3m) SR: 66.66
W
Sri Lanka won by 72 runs
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