Sri Lanka recovered from a dramatic batting collapse to knock over Afghanistan for 152 and seal a 34-run win for its first victory at the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday (5).
The Sri Lankans imploded from 144-1 to 201 all out in an innings delayed by nearly three hours because of rain at Sophia Gardens in the Welsh capital.
Sri Lanka again responded and took the final five wickets for 31 runs, with recalled seamer Nuwan Pradeep getting 4-31.
The 1996 World Cup winner lost its opening group game to New Zealand by 10 wickets. Afghanistan has two defeats from two matches, after a loss to Australia on Saturday.
The error-strewn match in Cardiff featured 52 extras – Sri Lanka’s 35 was the second-highest scorer in the scorecard – to strengthen the feeling this was a contest between the two teams likely fighting to avoid last place in the 10-team group.
The Afghans’ only win at a World Cup remains the one over Scotland in 2015 but they’ll feel this match slipped from their grasp, especially when Sri Lanka was reeling at 159-6 after three wickets in one over from Mohammad Nabi.
Sri Lanka, which made the fastest 10-over start to the tournament by racing to 79-0, lost its last nine wickets for 57 runs in 15.4 overs.