Pathum Nissanka became the first Sri Lankan to score an ODI double century, leading the hosts to a huge 381 against Afghanistan at Pallekele in the series opener on Friday. The first match ended unbeaten on 210 to break the island nation’s old record of 189 by Sanath Jayasuriya against India in 2000. It was also the joint fifth highest individual score in ODIs. Sri Lanka’s 381-3 was also the highest on the field and the fourth highest recorded by the team.
Nissanka’s unstoppable knock included 20 fours and eight sixes off the 139 balls he faced in his first ODI since the World Cup. Avishka Fernando was dismissed for 88 after Ibrahim Zadran caught him at backward point in the 27th over.
Captain Kusal Mendis took the next spot but failed to make an impact and fell for 16. Sadeera Samarawickrama smashed 44 off 36 deliveries in his 120-run partnership with Nissanka.
Fareed Ahmad claimed the wickets of Samarawickrama and Fernando as the bowlers’ pick with 2-79.
Earlier, Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bowl on the first Friday in the first match of their three one-day internationals against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.
The visitors opted to play four seamers for the match and all-rounder Rashid Khan was left out of the team last month to recover from back surgery.
Sri Lanka’s Pramod Madushan was picked ahead of bowling all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne.
The hosts won the only Test of the tour by 10 wickets and the current series will be followed by three T20 matches, all in Dambulla.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis (captain, week), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Pramod Madushan.
Afghanistan: Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Alikhil, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rahmat Shah, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Fareed Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Noor Ahmad.
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