Dunedin entertains Sri Lanka and Afghanistan for another important game in Group A. England will be paying a lot of attention as shock results could throw the group into turmoil.
Comments on this game before the big one in Melbourne, which will be the subject of another thread.
SL won the toss and field. Nabi said he’d have fielded too. Some earlier rain and early wickets falling in the previous match the reasons cited. SL drop Kulasekera and bring in Perera so play four seamers (including Mathews).
There needs to be an emergency statue passed to stop Dominic Cork being allowed anywhere near a microphone when an associate is playing. His mixture of ignorance and contempt is making seethe.
Robbie Savage of cricket.
Afghanistan 86-2 off 20 overs. Gutsy and intelligent effort having been put in – they haven’t tried to overpress with the ball seaming and bouncing (if not swinging much).
Stanikzai the standout player so far – especially an 86m six off Mathews.
Stanikzai just got himself out. 128/3 after 27.1 overs. Decent platform still to work with.
Let’s hope Afghanistan can make a real game of this. If their bowling fires anything above 250 could prove interesting.
SL 73/4 chasing 232.
They couldn’t, could they?
178-6. Mathews after the world’s worst 44 ran himself out and Jayawardene ramped one straight to third man after reaching his century (4th oldest man to score one in WCs).
Thisara Perera has to turn up here.
Hamid Hassan is bloody brilliant.
Perera turns up and SL get home. He went out swinging (mainly through the off-side) and it came off. Afghanistan lost it when they managed only 63 from their last 15 overs with wickets in hand.
Good news for England that SL look out of sorts and didn’t improve their RR.
Bad news for England that beating Afghanistan is no foregone conclusion. Their main three seamers are better than several test-playing nations.
Undoubtedly, if a change is made, it will be a pre-qualifying tournament, just like the T20 WC.
At least it would have one slight advantage: you actually have to qualify in similar conditions to the actual tournament. But of course it would not be good enough (yay, Ireland and Afghanistan getting one game each against BD / Zim / WI every 4 years).