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Asalanka's unbeaten 97 lifts Sri Lanka to 155-run win over Afghanistan in 2nd ODI and series victory

PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Charith Asalanka narrowly missed out on a century but his unbeaten 97 propelled Sri Lanka to a 155-run win over Afghanistan in the second one-day international on Sunday.

Sri Lanka took an unassailable 2-0 lead in its three-match series.

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

Afghanistan was 128-2 at one point with the match in the balance but collapsed to 153 all out in 33.5 overs. Leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga claimed 4-27 for Sri Lanka. Fast bowlers Asitha Fernando and Dilshan Madushanka took two wickets each.

Asalanka's 74-ball knock included two sixes and nine boundaries. It 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 36-2.

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.

Asalanka was also dropped on 67.

Mendis shared 103 runs for the third wicket with Sadeera Samarawickrama (52).

Janith Liyanage scored 50 off 48 balls at No. 6, adding 111 runs with Asalanka for the fifth wicket.

Seamer Azmatullah Omarzai took 3-56 for Afghanistan.

Fernando, who hadn't played a one-day international for Sri Lanka since November 2022, struck in the 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 runs for the second wicket.

But after Fernando (2-23) had Zadran caught behind in the 27th over, Afghanistan was dismissed for only 25 more runs.

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

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket