It was Sri Lanka’s biggest ODI win over Afghanistan, and it makes up for a disappointing performance in the first ODI on Friday, which they lost by six wickets.
Putting Afghanistan to a challenging 324 puck target, bowler Dushmantha Chamira struck out the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz for two goals to give his team an early lead.
Although Afghanistan put together two strong partnerships after that, the required run rate continued to grow, and the Afghans lost their way as they struggled to maintain momentum.
Beginning batsman Ibrahim Zadran continued his good form with 54 runs and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 57, but after Sri Lanka took out the top order, the other batsmen offered little resistance.
At 146-2, Afghanistan collapsed and were bowled out for 191 runs in 42.1 overs, losing their last eight wickets by just 45 runs.
Spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva shared six wickets between them, ensuring a convincing victory for the home team.
Sri Lanka’s batting put on a show, giving the team confidence ahead of this month’s World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan has already qualified for the World Cup and, despite a tough loss on Sunday, will be feeling positive, as star Rashid Khan is expected to play in Wednesday’s final game. The lego spinner didn’t participate in the first two games because of a back injury.
Half-centers Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka score an impressive number of points. While Mendis scored 78 points in 75 balls, making seven fours and one six, Karunaratne, who was called up for this series to stabilize the lineup, made 52 points in 62 balls, making seven fours.
Opener Patum Nissanka made 43 runs and Sadira Samaravikrama, who is participating in ODIs for the first time since 2019, made 44 hits off 46 balls.
The team’s lower middle order had some strong hitting as captain Dasun Shanaka scored 23 runs and Vanindu Hasaranga finished the game in good style with an unbeaten 29 off 12 balls with four fours and a six.
Dhananjaya de Silva was named Man of the Match for his unbeaten 29 balls and three wickets.