Hambantota : The Islanders bag a three-match series 2-1 after a nine-wicket win in the last game.

Half-centuries by Sri Lanka openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka made short work of Afghanistan in a nine-wicket drubbing that clinched a 2-1 ODI series win for the hosts Wednesday.

Sri Lanka eased to 120 with 34 overs to spare in Hambantota, after a fast bowling attack led by man-of-the-match Dushmantha Chameera had demolished the hapless Afghan top order.

It was just the boost Sri Lanka needed before heading off for a qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe, with two remaining slots up for grabs for the World Cup.

Afghanistan are already through to the World Cup, to be held in India from October, but skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi was left to rue '' a bad day for our batters''.

'' We lost too many wickets and that put us under pressure,'' he told reporters.

'' I still feel it was a good call to bat first but we lost too many wickets earlier on and that took the momentum away from us.''

Nissanka did not waste time when the chase began, racing to his seventh ODI half-century in 32 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

He departed on 51 after being trapped leg before by Gumbadin Naib to end an 84-run stand for the opening wicket.

Fellow opener Karunaratne, featuring in his first ODI series in more than two years, made 56 not out to ensure that Sri Lanka reached the target without another wicket falling. [AFP]


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