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Remarkable National Athletics Championship of 1995



12 National records were established at the annual event 25 years ago

by Reemus Fernando

Sri Lanka Athletics will conduct the 98th National Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium from today. Looking back at a remarkable National Championship conducted by the athletics governing body 25 years ago. “Performance wise there has been no other National Championship at which so many national records were created” says Sri Lanka Athletics statistician Saman Kumara Gunawardena referring to the 73rd National Athletics Championship which was held from October 24 to 26, 1995 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.

The championship was held in an era which is popularly known as the golden era of track and field sports in the country. Prominent athletes including Sugath Thilakaratne, Chinthaka de Soysa, Sriyani Kulawansa, Damayanthi Dharsha and Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe, who were well known even in the Asian circuit were at their peak during this time. But neither Susanthika nor Dharsha took part in this championship which witnessed 12 national records being established.

As per the veteran athletics statistician Gunawardena, the 12 national records established at that meet is the highest number of national records established at a single national championship to date. Incidentally two athletes who created records later improved on them to have them against their names even today.

Hurdler Mahesh Perera and distance runner Keshani Samarakoon created two records each. Perera clocked 14.07 seconds to win the 110 metres hurdles in a new national record time and also had an equally remarkable 51.93 seconds performance to win the 400 metres hurdles, again in a new national record time. Perera was the runner up in the 100 metres dash won by Chinthaka de Soysa.

Keshani Samarakoon created new records in the women’s 1500 metres (4:32.19 secs) and the 3000 metres (9:41.44 secs). In both events her runner up was Sujeewa Nilmini Jayasena who would later become one of Sri Lanka’s best long distance runners of her era.

The men’s 200 metres produced a notable tape finish with Chinthaka de Soysa and Sugath Thilakaratne both breasting in a time of 21.19 seconds, a new national record. Soysa was adjudged the winner. Thilakaratne yet to win Asian Games and Asian Championship golds clocked 46.63 seconds to win his pet event the 400 metres. Two years later he would accomplish those Asian achievements and more than a decade later he would become the president of Sri Lanka Athletics.

Long distance events returned notable performances with Saman Weerawardana ( 14:21.79 secs), JMS Jayaweera (14:30.20 secs) and RMR Ramanayake (14:39.45 secs) winning first, second and third places respectively producing sub15 minute timings.

The men’s 10,000 metres witnessed JMS Jayaweera returning a time of 30:10.23 seconds to create a new national record.

Legendary marathoner SLB Rosa had clocked 29 minutes and 18 seconds in a 10,000 metres in 1975 in Arkansas City, USA but the performances achieved overseas had not been recognized even by 1995. But now Sri Lanka Athletics lists Rosa’s 1995 record as the National record.

In the men’s long jump Benildus Fernando created a new national record clearing 7.74 metres. The first and second runners up were Sujith Rohitha (7.42m) and Indika Chaminda Vithanage (7.27m). Incidentally all three athletes have held the national record during their careers.

Ruwan Pradeep Perera who towered above the rest of the field for a long period dominating pole vault established one of the national records at this meet clearing 4.41 metres.

A giant in the throwing arena, Talavou Alailima won both the shot put (16.21m) and the discus throw. The feat of 50.24 metres to win the discus throw was recorded as a new national mark. A new javelin national record was created by Pradeep Nishantha, who years later, become the coach of Sumeda Ranasinghe, the first Sri Lankan javelin thrower at the Olympics,. Incidentally, like Nishantha Jayasinghe, many athletes who won places at this 1995 National Championships went on to become coaches.

Steeplechase winner Priyantha Thantirige, pole vaulter Ruwan Pradeep Perera, triple jump winner Chandimal Niroshan, hurdlers Sriyani Kulawansa and Nayanthi Kumari Chandrasena, sprinters Dhammika Nandakumara and Tamara Saman Deepika, high jumper Imalka Ranaweera, many time shot put and discus throw national champion Padma Nandani Wijesundara and fellow throwers M.A.S.N. Manchanayake and Saluja Karawita and distance runners, R.M. Tissa Rathnayake and R.M.L.B. Rathnayake went on to become coaches.

In the women’s category Sriyani Kulawansa stood out winning both the 100 metres and the 100 metres hurdles. Her hurdles performance was a new national record. While Yamuna Jayalath Yapa took the 400 metres hurdles record under her name, Jayamini Illeperuma won the 400 and 800 metres. In a rare achievement D.A. Inoka from Walala, won the 10,000 metres.

Of the winners of this meet Chinthaka de Soysa, Benildus Fernando, Mahesh Perera, Sugath Thilakaratne and Sriyani Kulawansa made it to 1996 Olympics and many others who won also went on to clinch golds and silvers at the South Asian Games. (Statistics for this story were provided by Sri Lanka Athletics statistician Saman Kumara Gunawardena)



100 M:

1. Chinthaka De Soysa (SL Army) 10.52 secs., 2. Mahesh Perera (Track Master SC) 10.65 secs, 3. PK Sujith Rohitha (Sri Lak AC) 10.85 secs.

200 M:

1. Chinthaka de Soysa (SL Army) 21.19 secs. (NSLR), 2. Sugath Thilakaratne (Track Master SC) 21.19 secs, 3. Dhammika Nandakumara (SL Army) 21.79 secs.

400 M:

1. Sugath Thilakaratne (Track Master SC) 46.63 secs, 2. SR Rathnadeepa (Sri Lak AC) 48.06 secs, 3. Suresh Dematapitiya (CT & FC) 48.25 secs.

800 M:

1. RM Tissa Rathnayake (SL Army) 1:49.85 secs, 2. RMLB Rathnayake (SL Army) 1:50.49 secs, 3. PMGA Dharmasena (SL Navy) 1:50.74 secs.

1500 M:

1. Lalith Galappaththi (Unattached) 3:56.43 secs, 2. RM Tissa Rathnayake (SL Army) 3:56.96 secs, 3. RMLB Rathnayake (SL Army) 3:58.16 secs.

5000 M:

1. Saman Weerawardana (SL Army) 14:21.79 secs, 2. JMS Jayaweera (SL Army) 14:30.20 secs, 3. RMR Ramanayake (SL Army) 14:39.45 secs.

10000 M:

1. JMS Jayaweera (SL Army) 30:10.23 secs (NSLR), 2. RMR Ramanayake (SL Army) 31:10.76 secs, 3. W Sanjeewa (SL Army) 31:19.50 secs.

110 M. Hurdles:

1. Mahesh Perera (Track Master SC) 14.07 secs (NSLR), 2. Tarique Gunasekara (Track Master SC) 14.74 secs, 3. Kenneth Perera (Sri Lak AC) 15.11 secs.

400 M. Hurdles:

1. Mahesh Perera (Track Master SC) 51.93 secs. (NSLR), 2. RC Pushpakumara (SL Army) 52.78 secs, 3. Sunimal Manamperi (SL Army) 53.96 secs.

3000 M. Steeplechase:

1. PP Thantirige (SL Army) 9:06.52 secs, 2. Ajith Ebert Silva (SL Army) 9:17.25 secs, 3. DW Prasantha (SL Army) 9:29.56 secs.

High Jump:

1. Patrick Saparamadu (CT & FC) 1.95m, 2. S Maximus Fernando (Ace AC) 1.90m, 3. Glen Wilson (CT & FC) 1.90m.

Pole Vault:

1. Ruwan Pradeep Perera (SL Army) 4.41 m (NSLR), 2. DMG Dissanayake (SL Army) 4.20m, 3. W Somarathne (SL Army) 4.15m.

Long Jump:

1. T Benildus Fernando (Sri Lak AC) 7.74 m (NSLR), 2. PK Sujith Rohitha (Sri Lak AC) 7.42m, 3. Indika Chaminda Vithanage (Track Master SC) 7.27m.

Triple Jump:

1. Chandimal Niroshan (Ace AC) 15.42m, 2. PS Senathilake (SL Army) 15.05m, 3. PA Manawadu (CT & FC) 14.96m.

Shot Put:

1. Talavou F Alailima (Track Master SC) 16.21m, 2. W. Fonseka (SL Army) 12.18m, 3. Suranga Weerasinghe (SL Schools) 12.03m.

Discus Throw:

1. Talavou F Alailima (Track Master SC) 50.24m (NSLR), 2. Ajith Jayakody (SL Army) 46.06m, 3. Alexi Gunasekara (Ace AC) 39.04m.

Javelin Throw:

1. AB Pradeep Nishantha (SL Army) 64.62 m (NSLR), 2. PK Aluvihare (Track Master SC) 62.82m, 3. APS Jayajeewa (Sri Lak AC) 60.16m.



100 M:

1. MA Sriyani Kulawansa (Ace AC) 11.92 secs, 2. Tamara Saman Deepika (SL Army) 11.92 secs, 3. Dilhani Rupasinghe (SL Army) 12.04 secs.

200 M:

1. Tamara Samandeepika (SL Army) 24.27 secs, 2. Dilhani Rupasinghe (SL Army) 25.90 secs, 3. PC Hemathilake (SL Schools) 26.68 secs.

400 M:

1. Jayamini Illeperuma (Ace AC) 55.59 secs, 2. BG Chandralatha (SL Army) 56.80 secs, 3. HH Thambaralatha (Matara DAA) 57.97 secs.

800 M:

1. Jayamini Illeperuma (Ace AC) 2:13.36 secs, 2. AG Dhammika Kumari (Kegalle DAA) 2:14.47 secs, 3. AMN Edirisinghe (SL Schools) 2:20.93 secs.

1500 M:

1. Keshani Samarakoon (SL Air Force) 4:32.19 secs (NSLR), 2. Sujeewa Nilmini Jayasena (Unattached) 4:40.38 secs, 3. Udeni Kanchanamala (Track Master SC) 4:40.84 secx.

3000 M:

1. Keshani Samarakoon (SL Air Force) 9:41.44secs (NSLR), 2. Sujeewa Nilmini Jayasena (Unattached) 9:44.36 secs, 3. Udeni Kanchanamala (Track Master SC) 10:12.26 secs.

10000 M:

1. D.A. Inoka (SL Schools) 39:15.88 secs, 2. Deepa Priyangani (Matara DAA) 40:45.02 secs, 3. WM Irin (Kegalle DAA) 41:23.76 secs.

100 M. Hurdles:

1. MA Sriyani Kulawansa (Ace AC) 13.53 secs (NSLR), 2. Inoka Umayani (SL Army) 15.63 secs, 3. Nayanthi Kumari Chandrasena (Track Master SC) 16.18 secs.

400 M. Hurdles:

1. Yamuna Jayalath Yapa (Sri Lak AC) 62.79 secs (NSLR), 2. Anusha Jayweera (SL Schools) 63.25 secs, 3. Viyanka Welpahla (SL Navy) 63.89 secs.

High Jump:

1. Muditha Hiripitya (Sri Lak AC) 1.64m, 2. DG Rajapaksha (SL Navy) 1.61m, 3. Imalka Ranaweera (Sri Lak AC) 1.58m.

Long Jump:

1. Anusha Kariyawasam (Sri Lak AC) 5.87m, 2. KM Indrani (Matale DAA) 5.62m, 3. PES Fernando (Sri Lak AC) 5.58m.

Triple Jump:

1. R. Thushari Ariyaratne (SL Army) 12.00m, 2. Padma Nandani Wijesundara (Track Master SC) 11.90m, 3. PES Fernando (Sri Lak AC) 11.45m.

Shot Put:

1. Padma Nandani Wijesundara (Track Master SC) 11.31m, 2. LR Siribaddana (Track Master SC) 11.02m, 3. M.A.S.N. Manchanayake (Track Master SC) 10.36m.

Discus Throw:

1. Padma Nandani Wijesundara (Track Master SC) 41.60m, 2. L Saluja Karawita (SL Schools) 38.30m, 3. Suneetha Iranganie (Puttalam DAA) 34.86m.

Javelin Throw:

1. MA Priyanka Nishani (Sri Lak AC) 43.74m, 2. Rosemary Fernando (Sri Lak AC) 40.76m, 3. Chamani Ridma Fernando (SL Schools) 38.60m.

4X100 M. Inter Club Relay:

1. SL Army 49.31secs, 2. Ace AC 50.13 secs, 3. Track Master SC 51.15 secs


New Sri Lanka Record -NSLR

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Anuga, Rajindu shine with centuries



Under 17 Division I Cricket  

by Reemus Fernando  

Wesley’s Anuga Pahansara and Rajindu Thilakaratna of S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia scored match defining centuries as their schools reached the quarter-finals of the Under 17 Division I cricket tournament yesterday.

In the pre-quarter-finals played yesterday, St. Joseph’s, De Mazenod, St. Anthony’s (Wattala), Moratu Vidyalaya, S. Thomas’, Wesley, Mahanama, Gurukula, St. Benedict’s, Mahinda and St. Peter’s registered victories to confirm their places in the quarter-finals of the Division I tournament.

Anuga Pahansara’s century was crucial in setting up the stage for Wesley to post 240 runs before off spinner Rashmika Amararathna and left-arm spinner Jathon Wieman joined to reduce St. Sebastian’s to 117 runs at Moratuwa.

For S. Thomas’ Thilakaratna anchored the batting line up with an unbeaten century (101 runs in 132 balls, 13x4s, 1×6) and put on a fourth wicket stand of 116 runs with Dineth Goonawardena for them to record a five wickets win over President’s College at Kotte.

The day’s lowest score came in the match between St. Joseph’s and Holy Cross as paceman Maanasa Madubashana and spinner Yenula Dewthusa rattled the visitors for 43 runs at Darley Road.

Match Results  

St. Joseph’s beat Holy Cross at Darley Road  


Holy Cross 43 all out in 28.2 overs (Akash Gamage 15; Maanasa Madubashana 4/16, Yenula Dewthusa 3/09) 

St. Joseph’s 46 for 2 in 8 overs (Sahan Dabare 22)  

De Mazenod beat St. Servatius’ at Kandana

St. Servatius ’ 139 all out in 44 overs (Risinu Kithnuka 36, Raveen Kavintha 28n.o.; Jude Shenal 3/37, Thareen Sanketh 3/25) 

De Mazenod 143 for 1 in 30 overs (Kenul Dhananjaya 82n.o., Janith Karindra 22, Hasintha Dasunpriya 30n.o.) 

St. Anthony’s (Wattala) beat St. Sylvester’s at Lake View Scores: 

St. Anthony’s Wattala 148 all out in 48.3 overs (Shehara Dewthilina 21,  Chamod Sandeepa 47, Dilanka Madushan 29; Kashyapa Dissanayake 2/35, Thimira Liyanage 4/24, Nimesha Silva 3/31) 

St. Sylvester’s 126 all out in 30.3 overs (Yoshitha Isuranga 47, Dilanka Madushan 3/36, Chamod Sandeepa 3/16) 

Moratu Vidyalaya beat Thurstan at Moratuwa  Scores: 

Moratu MV 289 for 6 in 50 overs (Hasindu Senanayaka 41, Deneth Sithumina 87, Dulen Silva 48, Malith Fernando 22, Shehara Fernando 49n.o.; Thanuga Palihawadana  

Thurstan 244 for 9 in 50 overs (Kaushala Balasooriya 30, Thanuga Palihawadana 53, Vihas Thewmika 85; Vihanga Nethsara 4/40, Malith Fernando 4/44) 

S. Thomas’ beat President’s at Kotte  Scores: 

Presidents 226 all out in 47.1 overs (Dinal Induwara 61, Tanuja Rajapakse 55, Punsara Nethmina 29, Kaveesha Yashmika 25; Achintha Rumean 3/35, Darien Diego 2/21, Kavindu Dias 2/39, Dineth Goonawardena 2/40 

S. Thomas ’ 227 for 5 in 47.3 overs (Rajindu Thilakaratna 101n.o., Dineth Goonawardena 48; Sanithu Nethmina 4/50) 

Wesley beat St. Sebastian’s at Moratuwa  Scores: 

Wesley 240 for 8 in 50 overs (Anuga Pahansara 104, Senila Senarathne 36, Rukshan Tharanga 29, Manuth Samarakoon 28; Malindu Daham 2/43, Maheesha Sithum 2/44) 

St. Sebastian’s 117 all out in 42.4 overs (Vihanga Theekashana 47, Venuth Kavimira 28, Rashmika Amararathna 4/07, Jathon Wieman 3/17, Ravindu Sigera 2/29) 

St. Peter’s beat Maliyadeva at Kurunegala  Scores: 

St. Peter’s  247 for 8 in 50 overs (Dilana Damsara 68, Nethan David 35, Ethan Ransiluge 27, Ovin Salgadu 23, Erosh Peterson 27, Sasindu Silva 29n.o.; Thaveesha Balasooriya 3/45, Vinuda Mapa 3/52) 

Maliyadewa 205 all out in 48.5 overs (Sandeepa Bandara 66, Vinuda Mapa 42; Lashmika Perera 2/26, Dilana Damsara 3/35, Salith Gallage 3/49) 

 Mahanama  beat Prince of Wales at Moratuwa   Scores: 

Mahanama 243 for 9 in 50 overs (Dulnith Sigera 59, Gimantha Dissanayake 56, Sithika Kulathunga 24, Uden Rajapaksha 22; Prince Fernando 4/40, Nishel Hewajulige 2/24)

Prince of Wales 159 all out in 39.3 overs (Rivith Jayasuriya 54, Kenul de Zoysa 39, Oshan Maneesha 24; Dulnith Sigera 2/20, Osanda Muthugama 4/20, Sihan Karunarathne 2/25) 

St. Benedict’s  beat Vidyartha at Kotahena  Scores: 

Vidyartha 167 for 9 in 50 overs (Pubudu Tharaka 23, Nishmika Kaveesha 57n.o.; Mevan Dissanayake 3/25) 

St. Benedict’s 168 for 1 in 49.2 overs (Dumindu Yehen 38, Yohan Edirisinghe 22, Sharujan Shanmuganathan 23, Onesh Michael 29n.o.; Kalana Kumarasiri 4/23) 

Gurukula beat St. Anthony’s (Katugastota) at Wattala Scores: 

Gurukula 261 for 8 in 50 overs (Thathsara Eshan 80, Pasindu Dilshan 37, Daham Vimukthi 28, Janith Mihiranga 42n.o.; Tharusha Dasun 2/57, Senura Abeysekara 3/37) 

St. Anthony’s 127 all out in 34.1 overs (Januka Bandara 34, Dinura Oshan 30; Tharusha Kodikara 3/31, Hiruna Fernando 3/18) 

Mahinda beat Maris Stella at Galle Scores: 

Maris Stella 187 all out in 47.5 overs (Levin Fernando 55, Mineth Fernando 31; Arosha Udayanga 4/20, Senuka Dangamuwa 2/31, Nikil Jayaweera 2/29) 

Mahinda 188 for 5 in 35.1 overs (Nikil Jayaweera 52, Dineth Pahasara 32, Senuka Dangamuwa 50n.o.; Hasthika de Silva 2/27, Ramith Bandara 2/18) 

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Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo join UAE’s ILT20



Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Nicholas Pooran are the latest big names from the Caribbean to sign up for the UAE’s International League T20 (ILT20), along with Sri Lanka’s Dasun Shanaka, England’s Ollie Pope and Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi.

The league also said that its six franchises – owned by Reliance Industries, Kolkata Knight Riders, Capri Global, GMR, Lancer Capital, and Adani Sportsline – have finalised contracting players through the “directly acquire players” option, though the details of who has gone to which team is not yet known.

Some of the other latest signings up for the ILT20 are: Will Smeed, Rehan Ahmed, Jordan Thompson, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Bas de Leede, Chris Benjamin and Bilal Khan.

The ILT20 is set to begin in January next year in the UAE and is competing with South Africa’s T20 League for players.

On August 8, the ILT20 had announced its first list of signed players which included Andre Russell, Moeen Ali, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawid Malan, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Colin Munro, Fabian Allen, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Dushmantha Chameera, Akeal Hosein, Tom Banton, Sandeep Lamichhane, Rovman Powell, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Lahiru Kumara, Seekugge Prassanna, Charith Asalanka, Isuru Udana, Niroshan Dickwella, Kennar Lewis, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Dominic Drakes, Sherfane Rutherford, Hazratullah Zazai, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmed, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Naveen-ul-Haq, Dan Lawrence, Jamie Overton, Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, James Vince, Saqib Mahmood, Ben Duckett, Benny Howell, Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Brandon Glover, Frederick Klaasen, David Wiese, Ruben Trumpelmann, Colin Ingram, George Munsey, Paul Stirling and Ali Khan.

Each squad of 18 will have two players from Associate countries and four players from the UAE.

There have been suggestions that the space for Pakistani players in the league might be limited because franchises owned by IPL owners were wary of picking them for worries of a backlash in India. One ILT20 official said the franchise owned by Lancer Capital – the Glazers family that owns Manchester United – were still hopeful of signing up some Pakistan players, though the official acknowledged that not getting the NOCs from the PCB might be the obstacle. The PCB said in a statement last week that two Pakistan players had applied for NOCs to play in the league but were not granted them because the board expected the players to be involved in Pakistan’s home season.

The 2023 edition of the ILT20 will have 34 matches – all the teams will play each other twice, before four playoffs, including the final – spread across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.


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Bowlers, Balbirnie steer Ireland to comfortable win



Josh Little, Mark Adair, Curtis Campher and Gareth Delany picked up two wickets each before Andy Balbirnie’s 46 off 36 balls broke the back of a 123-run chase to give Ireland a five-wicket win in the second T20I in Belfast. The hosts now lead the five-match series 2-0.

Afghanistan opted to bat first for the second time in two games but their innings never really took off. Both openers – Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Usman Ghani – were back in the pavilion by the third over. At the end of ten overs, they were hobbling at 62 for 4. The second half of the innings was no different and they finished with 122 for 8. Extras, with 19, the second-highest contributor.

Afghanistan needed early wickets to put Ireland under pressure but Balbirnie ensured that didn’t happen. The target was never going to challenge Ireland, and Afghanistan’s sloppy fielding made their task even easier. That meant despite a late wobble, they won with an over to spare.

For the first time in his T20I career, Rashid Khan went wicketless in back-to-back games. After none for 25 in the first T20I, he ended with none for 27 from his four overs today.

On what Mohammad Nabi described as a dry pitch at the toss, the Ireland seamers found movement as well as extra bounce with the new ball to pick up three wickets in the powerplay.

Adair struck with the first ball of the second over as Gurbaz sliced a full delivery to short third. In the next over, Little got one to jag back in to Ghani. The batter was looking for a cut but was cramped and ended up chopping the ball onto his stumps.

Ibrahim Zadran walked in at No. 4 and tried to up the scoring rate. He took on Barry McCarthy, hitting the seamer for three fours in his first over. In the next over, he steered Campher to the deep-third boundary for his fourth four in nine balls. However, a stunning catch from Andy McBrine cut short his counterattacking knock. Ibrahim tried to loft Curtis over wide long-on on the final ball of the powerplay but ended up miscuing it towards deep midwicket. McBrine sprinted in from the deep and put in a full-length dive to take the ball just above the ground, leaving Afghanistan 41 for 3 at the end of six overs.

Afghanistan needed a partnership to stabilise the innings; instead, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Najibullah Zadran started in his usual positive manner, reverse-sweeping McBrine for a four, but ended up uppercutting Campher straight to deep point soon after. Nabi didn’t last long either and holed out to long-on for 9 against Delany.

Hashmatullah Shahidi did occupy one end but struggled for timing throughout his 42-ball 36. Ironically, when he nailed a reverse sweep, it went straight into the hands of deep point. With Rashid failing to provide any fireworks, Afghanistan could manage only 22 from the last four overs.

Ireland lost Paul Stirling early in their chase and were 8 for 1 after three overs, but Balbirnie struck four fours in the next 11 balls to calm the nerves. A couple of overs later, he swept Mujeeb Ur Rahman in front of square leg for the first six of the match.

Along with Lorcan Tucker, he added 65 off 54 balls for the second wicket; Tucker’s contribution was 19 off 20 balls. Mujeeb eventually broke that stand when Balbirnie attempted a fine sweep but the ball lobbed up off the back of the bat and Gurbaz pouched it.

With 42 required from as many balls, Nabi brought himself on for the first time in the 14th over and made an immediate impact. In the space of four balls, he sent back Harry Tector and Tucker. But his second over, which featured four leg-byes, went for 13. That left Ireland with 20 needed from 24 balls. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen gave away only 12 in the next two overs, with Farooqi also dismissing Campher. But George Dockrell kept his calm. On the final ball of the 19th over, bowled by Farooqi, he chipped a full toss over wide long-on to seal the game with a six.

Brief scores

Ireland 125 for 5 (Andy Balbirnie 46, Lorcan Tucker 27, Mohammad Nabi 2-15) beat Afghanistan 122 for 8 (Hashmatullah Shahidi 36, Ibrahim Zadran 17, Mark Adair 2-12, Curtis Campher 2-13) by five wickets


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