Having lost their opening encounters, both teams desperately needed to bounce back to winning ways and with neither teams making a big impression in their opening game, it was only a matter of who would come out on top in the end.
Afghanistan won the important toss and under the overcast conditions, chose to bowl first. The move did not prove to make an impact early on as Sri Lanka were cruising at 144/1 in the mid-way stage until one over from Mohammad Nabi, in which three wickets fell, set the downfall.
Sri Lanka were soon staring down the barrel at 182/8 from 31 overs before rain halted play and post the rain-break, the tailenders could only add a handful of runs as Sri Lanka were soon bundled out for just 201 from 36.5 overs with Kusal Perera's 81-ball 78 the only saving grace.
When Afghanistan began their chase of 187 from 41 overs, it was a modest total by all means. It was very clear that Sri Lanka had to come up with an impressive bowling performance if they had to avoid an upset. Sri Lanka had an experienced bowling attack and in order to boost their self-confidence, they had to defend this total at any cost, against an opposition that was good but did lack experience at this stage.
On the other hand, to achieve this modest target, all Afghanistan needed was a good start and bat deep. They got a good start but their lack of experience was evident when even they started losing wickets. Owing to the sixth-wicket partnership between Najibullah Zadran and skipper Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan still was in the hunt but once Nuwan Pradeep trapped Naib leg before, it was just a matter of time before Afghanistan's innings folded.
Afghanistan clearly lost on the best opportunity to add points to their tally and Sri Lanka's move to play Nuwan Pradeep ahead of Jeevan Mendis worked as the pacer went on to scalp four wickets and clinched the 'Man of the Match' award.
Yet, there were a few milestones achieved in this game and here is a list of such numbers from this game.
Here are some interesting numbers from the game
1 – Only one debutant in this match, for Sri Lanka (Nuwan Pradeep).
4/30 – Mohammad Nabi equaled his best bowling figures in ODI.
4/31 – Nuwan Pradeep finished with career-best figures from this game. His previous best in ODI was 4/34.
35 – Number of extras conceded by Afghanistan in a total of 201 runs.
46 - Lasith Malinga's tally of wickets in the World Cup. He went past Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan's tally of 44 to become the fifth highest wicket-taker in the World Cup.
325 – Lasith Malinga's tally of wickets in ODI. He overtook Sanath Jayasurya (323) to become the third highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs.
Also read - Highest team total in world cup