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Sri Lanka clinches ODI series with dominant win over Afghanistan

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Sri Lanka secured a commanding victory over Afghanistan in the second One Day International (ODI), triumphing by 155 runs on Sunday, to take the series by 2-0.

With stellar contributions from Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Janith Liyanage, Sri Lanka posted a formidable total of 308 for 6. Asalanka’s remarkable innings, marked by a blistering 97 off 74 balls, played a pivotal role in propelling the team beyond the 300-run mark. His dynamic partnership with Wanindu Hasaranga in the latter overs proved vital, especially after a period of Afghan bowling dominance.

Sri Lanka’s innings was characterized by two century partnerships, first between Mendis and Samarawickrama, and then between Liyanage and Asalanka. These partnerships laid a solid foundation for Sri Lanka, setting the stage for a late surge, during which they amassed 96 runs in the final 10 overs.

Afghanistan’s fielding woes, including three dropped catches off Fazalhaq Farooqi’s bowling, further aided Sri Lanka’s cause. Azmatullah Omarzai emerged as Afghanistan’s leading bowler with figures of 3 for 56, while Farooqi, Noor Ahmad, and Qais Ahmad also chipped in with a wicket each.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka’s Pathum Nissanka started aggressively but fell early to Omarzai’s bowling. Avishka Fernando’s dismissal followed swiftly, reminiscent of his struggles in the recent series against Zimbabwe.

Afghanistan’s batting response faltered, collapsing from 143 for 2 to 153 all out in just 4.5 overs. Fernando’s crucial breakthrough by dismissing Zadran triggered the collapse, allowing Sri Lanka’s bowlers to seize control. Hasaranga’s performance, building on his recent success against Zimbabwe, stood out once again.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers, led by Hasaranga, put up a comprehensive display, preventing Afghanistan’s chase from gaining any momentum. Hasaranga grabbed figures of 4 for 27, while Asitha Fernando – playing his first ODI in over a year – and Dilshan Madushanka had two apiece. Pramod Madushan too finished with one to his name.

The third and final ODI will be played on Wednesday, also in Kandy.

The hosts won the tour’s sole Test by 10 wickets. The current series will be followed by three T20 matches, all in Dambulla.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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