Afghanistan has always faced difficulties in their batting form but once they closed in on 250, Afghanistan fancied their chances against the struggling Sri Lankans, through the charm of their spin bowlers who threw away their wickets. Two wickets were already gone and Kusal Perera was out by the time Rashid Khan, the Sri Lankan hope was introduced in the game.
Upul Tharanga scored 36 runs on 64 balls before he was knocked out of the match by a simple catch at mid-off. By the time the score was 88 for four wickets, which made it evident that it will be a tough match for Sri Lanka. The only major hope left was skipper Angelo Mathews (22), but he too got out while trying to score runs at a faster pace.
Thisara also had to go back to the pavilion soon after. He scored 28 runs off 36 balls. Mujeeb ur Rahman, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid and Mohammad Nabi picked up two wickets
While on Afghanistan’s end, Rahmat Shah held the Afghan innings together before Thisara's five-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka bowl out Afghanistan. Sri Lanka took seven wickets in the last eight overs of Afghanistan innings. Afghanistan started off quite well with the openers Mohammad Shahzad (34) and Ihsanullah
The first wicket was knocked down by spinner Akila Dhananjaya who trapped Shahzad in front of the wicket. Attempting to reverse swing a length ball, was a bad decision and made Shahzad
However, Sri Lanka got the second wicket after the duo scored exactly 50 runs. Umpire Gregory Brathwaite was not impressed with Akila's shout for an lbw. But the Sri Lankans went for a
After losing the wickets against Bangladesh, off-spinner Akila returned with satisfactory figures of 2/37 in his 10-overs spell.
Skipper Asghar Afghan could also not stay for long in the game and Shehan Jayasuriya foxed him. By the end of the 26th over Afghanistan had scored 110 runs after losing 2 wickets. It was a successful partnership of 80 runs between Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi (37) that helped Afghanistan to reach a score of 190. But Dushmantha Chameera knocked the Afghan top-scorer out of the match.
Shahidi was the next man to leave the game at the hands of Perera while Mohammad Nabi scored 12-ball 15 before the veteran Lasith Malinga cut short his stay in the middle. Thisara took the maximum wickets in the game for Sri Lanka.
For Sri Lanka, Thisara Perera bagged a five-wicket haul while Akila Dananjaya got two wickets for 39 runs