Lions Feast

Lions Feast: Afghanistan tour of Sri Lanka 2024

By: Shazeen Ifamy

Afghanistans all format tour of Sri Lanka wasn’t a David vs Goliath story rather it was a lions’ feast as Sri Lanka dominated the tour with six (6) wins out of the seven matches across formats. The tour was expected by many to be a closely fought contest given Afghanistan’s recent success against Sri Lanka and in Sri Lanka but many didn’t factor in the new resilient and revolutionised Sri Lankan team which came out attacking playing the Sri Lankan brand of fearless cricket to catch the Afghanistan team. That said, let’s now take a deeper analysis on the feast the lions had, shall we?

Let’s begin with the one-match test series where Sri Lanka flexed its seniority and experience to blow Afghanistan away with a 10-wicket victory set up by 100s from veterans Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal along with the bamboozling spin of Prebath Jayasuriya. That said, however, the dismantling didn’t start till day four (4) as it was on day four (4) that the pitch opened up and Prebath Jayasuriya had the Afghanistan batter guessing around as he took them out one by one. After the dismantling of Afghanistan in the test match, the tour moved into the limited-overs leg where the feast continued. 

The first of the three ODIs really showed Sri Lanka flex its muscles as they posted a massive 381 on the back of Pathum Nissanka’s brilliant history-making 210 not out where he sent the ball flying to all parts of the ground to give Sri Lanka the series lead. Moving on, the second ODI was a similar story in which Sri Lanka yet again batted first and posted a fighting 308 on the back of counter-attacking knocks from Janith Liyanage and Charith Asalnka. The fighting batting display was followed by a slaughtering of the Afghan batters by the Lankan bowler as they dismantled Afghanistan from 146-4 to 153 all out within the span of just five (5) overs to give Sri Lanka the series win with a game to follow. The last and final ODI changed things up compared to the first two as Afghanistan batted first and posted a fighting total of 266 only for Sri Lankas’ opening pair of Nissanka and Fernando to wipeout half the total in 22 overs with their opening partnership of 172 to set up a comfortable win for Sri Lanka with less 88 balls left.

The T20I series followed the ODIs and many thought it would finally give the Afghans some relief as it is their strongest format but yet again it didn’t prove to be as the Lions won the series 2-1. However, the T20Is were much more competitive as two of the three games went down to the wire with Sri Lanka winning the first match by just four (4) runs and Afghanistan getting a consolidation yet controversial win in the third and final games of the tour by three (3) runs.

Overall, Afghanistan’s 2024 tour of Sri Lanka wasn’t as competitive as many thought it would be. Nevertheless, Afghanistan being the team they are, they fought all the way through despite having their backs against the wall most of the time. Sri Lanka on the other hand, will be immensely pleased with their performance throughout the tour both as a team and individually. The Lankans after years finally are playing the farewell brand of cricket Sri Lanka is known for with results going their way. In conclusion, both teams played well but the Lions had the final and only say throughout the tour as they enjoyed their feast!


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