Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal scored centuries and shared 232 runs for the fourth wicket to take Sri Lanka to a strong position in the one-off Test against Afghanistan on Saturday. Sri Lanka reached 410-6 at stumps on the second day, giving the hosts a 212-run first-innings lead at the Sinhalese Sports Club.
Mathews made 141 before being hit wicket against leg spin bowler Qais Ahmed just before close. He spent nearly six hours at the crease, faced 259 deliveries and hit three sixes and 14 boundaries. It was Mathews’ 16th Test hundred.
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Chandimal was out earlier as the fourth wicket after scoring 107 runs off 181 deliveries for his 15th Test century. He hit a six and 10 boundaries. Their 232-run partnership took 380 deliveries and saved a potential slide after Afghanistan held Sri Lanka to 148-3 after conceding 93 runs to the opening pair.
Sri Lanka resumed on Saturday at 80 without loss in reply to Afghanistan’s first innings of 198 all out, with Dimuth Karunaratne batting on 42 with Nishan Madushka on 36. Seamer Naveed Zadran had Madushka (37) caught at leg slip by Noor Ali Zadran adding just a run to his overnight score, to have Sri Lanka at 93-1. Kusal Mendis (10) then gifted a catch to deep square leg from a bouncer by seamer Nijat Masood (1-59).
Karunaratne made 77 off 72 deliveries including 12 boundaries before being caught by Ibrahim Zadran off a full toss from leg-spin bowler Ahmed. Sri Lanka captain Dhnanjaya de Silva was run out first ball after Chandimal departed caught behind by wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhil off Zadran.
Mathews swept a short ball down the leg side for a boundary only to see his bat hitting the stumps on follow-through. Sadeera Samarawickrama was batting on 21. Zadran and Ahmed took two wickets each for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was bowled out for 198 in its first innings on the opening day Friday, with Rahmat Shah top scoring with 91 runs. This is the first Test match between the two countries since Afghanistan was admitted as a Test-playing nation in 2018.