CricketZadran’s 98 Gives Afghanistan Lead In ODI Series As Sri Lanka Loses 8 Of Last 9 ODIs
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All eyes were on Matheesha Pathirana as Sri Lanka faced Afghanistan in the first of three ODIs at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota. However, it was Ibrahim Zadran from the visiting side who stole the show, delivering a heroic innings of 98 runs and leading Afghanistan to a 1-0 series lead.

Zadran’s remarkable knock not only secured victory but also showcased his immense talent and potential in the limited-overs format. He batted maturely throughout the chase but only fell two runs short from second ODI century of his ODI career.

Fresh from his successful maiden IPL campaign, where he played a crucial role in Chennai Super Kings’ title triumph under the leadership of MS Dhoni, Pathirana was expected to make a strong impact in national colors.


However, it didn’t go according to the plan. On a good batting surface, Sri Lanka couldn’t post a commendable total on this board, thus, bowlers were under pressure from get go and the debutant was most affected by it.

Zadran who emerged as the true hero of the match as he guided th team to the much needed win to take 1-0 lead in the series. Zadran’s explosive innings not only helped his team chase down a target of 269 but also broke Shubman Gill’s ODI record along the way.

Zadran’s impressive run in ODIs began a year ago during Afghanistan’s series against Zimbabwe. He displayed his prowess by smashing an unbeaten 121 in the second game, followed by magnificent scores of 106 and 162 during the tour of Sri Lanka in November.

Despite a six-month hiatus from the format, Zadran effortlessly continued his sublime form against Sri Lankan bowlers. Facing a target of 269, Afghanistan lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz early in the chase. However, Zadran single-handedly dominated the Sri Lankan bowlers, particularly handling the challenge of deliveries exceeding 145 kmph from Pathirana.

He reached his half-century in just 35 balls, enabling Rahmat Shah to settle in before the duo forged a stunning 146-run partnership. Zadran narrowly missed out on a well-deserved century as he was dismissed for 98 by Kasun Rajitha.

Nevertheless, Afghanistan required less than 100 runs in the remaining 20 overs to seal victory, which they accomplished in the 47th over. Zadran’s outstanding performance earned him the well-deserved Player of the Match award.


In addition, he became the second-fastest player to reach 500 ODI runs, achieving the milestone in just nine innings. While South Africa’s Janneman Malan holds the record with seven innings, Zadran equaled the feat of Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq and surpassed India’s Shubman Gill, who achieved the milestone in 10 innings.

Zadran’s consistency has been a defining feature of his career, evident in both domestic and international cricket. Zadran burst onto the scene in List A cricket during the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Regional One Day Tournament six years ago, and he later made an impact in the Shpageeza Cricket League.

His breakthrough came during the 2018 U-19 World Cup, where he emerged as Afghanistan’s leading run-scorer. In 2019, he made his debut in a one-off Test against Bangladesh, becoming one of the youngest players to score a fifty on debut with his 87 in the second innings in Chattogram.

Subsequently, he earned opportunities in ODIs and T20Is, cementing his spot as an opener following Mohammad Shahzad’s departure from the game. Zadran’s exceptional display against Sri Lanka further solidifies his reputation as a talented and consistent cricketer across formats.

As Afghanistan aims to secure the series against Sri Lanka, Zadran’s contributions will be crucial in their quest for victory in the remaining matches.