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Sadeera Samarawickrama’s Spectacular Catch Dismisses Rahmat Shah Just Shy of Century
By CricShots - Feb 2, 2024 5:19 pm
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Afghanistan’s Rahmat Shah showcased remarkable resilience and aggression, narrowly missing his second Test century against Sri Lanka as he fell just short at 91. His innings, highlighted by 13 boundaries, came to an end with a spectacular catch by Sri Lanka’s Sadeera Samarawickrama, who managed to dismiss Rahmat after an attempted paddle sweep.

Sadeera Samarwikrama
Sadeera Samarwikrama took an exceptional catch

After lunch, Sri Lankan spinner Prabath Jayasuriya struck twice, including Rahmat’s crucial wicket, leaving Afghanistan at 168-5 by tea. The early loss of opener Ibrahim Zadran, followed by Rahmat’s departure, placed pressure on the visitors. Despite the setback, Rahmat’s solid presence had stabilized Afghanistan’s innings from the outset, with him walking in early in the match.

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Hashmatullah Shahidi’s dismissal, caught behind off Vishwa Fernando, and Nasir Jamal’s subsequent departure, courtesy of Jayasuriya, further dented Afghanistan’s progress. However, a 57-run partnership between Noor Ali Zadran and Rahmat provided respite, thwarting Sri Lanka’s relentless seam attack.

Here is the video of the catch from Sadeera Samarawickrama:

 

The momentum shifted when Noor, on his debut at 35, was dismissed by Vishwa Fernando, who took a return catch. Despite Noor’s contribution of 31 runs, including five boundaries, Afghanistan faced setbacks amid Sri Lanka’s spirited performance.

This historic match marks the first-ever Test encounter between Afghanistan, granted test-playing status in 2018, and Sri Lanka. Asanka de Silva leads the Sri Lankan team in his debut as captain, succeeding long-time skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who also played in the match. Afghanistan introduced test caps to Ali Zadran, Zia ur Rehman, Mohammad Saleem, and Naveed Zadran.

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Additionally, Sri Lanka’s Chamika Gunasekara made his test debut in this match. While not part of the World Test Championship (WTC), this match sets the stage for three one-day internationals in Kandy and three Twenty20s in Dambulla, promising an enthralling series ahead.