Facing a formidable target of 382 runs, Afghanistan displayed resilience, with Mohammad Nabi and Azmatullah Omarzai mustering centuries after a shaky start at 55/5.
However, it was Nissanka’s unbeaten 210 that stole the limelight, marking Sri Lanka’s first ODI double century and breaking Sanath Jayasuriya’s long-standing record.
With a stunning array of shots, including 20 fours and eight sixes off just 139 balls, Nissanka’s innings also etched his name as the joint fifth-highest individual scorer in ODIs.
“We are absolutely thrilled with that performance,” remarked Sri Lankan seamer Pramod Madushan. “Great to be part of the dressing room in such a historic moment. It was tough out there but Pathum did well to soak up all the pressure and put us on top.”
Sri Lanka’s dominance was further evident with a commanding total of 381/3, with Avishka Fernando and Sadeera Samarawickrama playing significant roles alongside Nissanka.
Despite Afghanistan’s spirited effort, Madushan’s four-wicket haul and Dushmantha Chameera‘s contributions kept Sri Lanka in control. Chameera, however, left the field due to back pain midway through his spell.
Omarzai’s unbeaten 149 and Nabi’s aggressive 136 provided a late surge, but Sri Lanka’s early dominance and Nissanka’s historic innings secured a crucial victory, setting the tone for the remainder of the series.
(With inputs from AFP)