Ibrahim Zadran struck 106 as Afghanistan's top order set them up for a commanding 294 for 8, before the bowlers - Fazalhaq Farooqi, Yamin Ahmadzai, and Gulbadin Naib - ripped through Sri Lanka's batting order, sharing nine wickets between them.
Sri Lanka provided some resistance, primarily through Pathum Nissanka, who kept the score moving in the early overs while wickets fell around him, and later through Wanindu Hasaranga, who was in scintillating batting form, even as he ran out of partners. But Afghanistan's seamers had done too much damage. The margin of victory was a gaping 60 runs, Sri Lanka having been thoroughly outplayed on home turf. They never really seemed to have the measure of this big chase.
The loss now makes Sri Lanka's automatic qualification into next year's ODI World Cup even more unlikely, as they have only 62 points on the Super League table (which leaves them at 10th, with only the top eight qualifying), with just five matches to go. Afghanistan, meanwhile, take a big step towards sealing their World Cup place, with 110 points now (they are seventh), and plenty of games to play.
Before the quicks dismantled Sri Lanka's top order, Afghanistan had laid a mighty platform. On a Pallekele surface that had decent pace and carry, but not a lot of turn, Afghanistan were rarely troubled by Sri Lanka's seamers, in the first 40 overs at least. In addition to Ibrahim's century, Afghanistan had half-centuries from Gurbaz, who hit 53 off 55, and Rahmat who made 52 off 64. The opening partnership was worth 84 off 88 balls; the second-wicket stand 118 off 141. After 38 overs, they were 202 for 8.
More to follow..