Fri, Apr 30, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Afghanistan cruise to five-wicket win ahead of Cup debut

AFP , BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS

Afghanistan cruised to a five-wicket win over Ireland in their World Twenty20 warm-up on Wednesday, showing that they are ready for their world championship debut.

Ireland made 133-9 off their 20 overs, with John Mooney top-scoring with 42, but debutant seamer Dawlat Ahmadzai grabbed the headlines with 4-15, before Afghanistan reached their target with three balls to spare in Guyana.

When they batted, Afghanistan showed their all-round mettle, with Ashghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi adding 66 for the fifth wicket in six overs.

A fine unbeaten 61 from Chamara Kapugedera was in vain as Sri Lanka slumped to a five-wicket defeat to South Africa with three balls to spare in Barbados.

Kapugedera and veteran Sanath Jayasuriya helped Sri Lanka post 137-8, before a 61-run partnership between Mark Boucher and Johan Botha allowed South Africa to squeeze home in the final over.

Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara opted to bat first after winning the toss at the Kensington Oval, but Tillakaratne Dilshan fell first ball to Rory Kleinveldt. Charl Langeveldt then struck twice to remove Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka slipped to 22 for 3.

Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Matthews soon followed as Sri Lanka collapsed to 42-5 in the ninth over.

Jayasuriya (33) helped steady the ship, before Kapugedera gave his side a fighting chance.

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith was dismissed by Nuwan Kulasekara in the first over for 1, before Loots Bosman hit a quick 20. Botha and Boucher put South Africa on their way, scoring at more than 11 runs an over.

At the same venue, England eased past Bangladesh by seven wickets. Bangladesh were limited to 126-7, with slow left-armer Michael Yardy taking 3-20, before Ravi Bopara hit 62 from 48 balls to steer England to victory in the 18th over.

West Indies lost by seven runs to New Zealand in Guyana.

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