Player of the Match
Player of the Match

6.57 pm: In the end, Sri Lanka pull away with the two points, but Afghanistan can surely stand up and take a bow for what has been an encouraging performance with both bat and ball, as they threatened to take away the game from the Sri Lankans for large stretches of the match. Looks like the Associates are going to provide a few more surprises yet. We also hope you all enjoyed our coverage of this exciting match from Dunedin. Don't forget we have a live show of Match Point going, along with the India v South Africa clash which is taking place right now. Till the next time, though, this is Rohan Sharma signing off on behalf of ESPNcricinfo. Ciao!

Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka captain: Feeling a bit of relief [at the moment]. Thought we came back well after going down with a lot of pressure. We really need to raise our standards to compete against the top teams. It was a see-saw kind of game. They started off beautifully, and then we pulled back in the end. I was actually struggling to time the ball, but I knew I had to stay out there with Mahela to get some kind of stand going. Those runs from Perera at the end were unbelievable. (Twitter question - How calming was Mahela?) We try to float him around in the middle if needed, or up the order if we require his sort of experience.

Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan captain: The first 30 overs after the 15-over power play we didn't play well. I felt we were short by 30-40 runs. We bowled really well in those first 10-15 overs, putting pressure on them in the end. We also missed out on a few run outs, but we definitely kept them to a tight game, so we are pleased. The way Mahela and Mathews played was brilliant, and they didn't seem to have any pressure. I hope we play well in the next game as well. Both Dawlat and Shapoor bowled brilliantly, and hopefully they will be fitter for the next game too.

6.50 pm: We are expecting more quotes from the captains so don't go anywhere just yet! We will also be broadcasting a live show of Match Point for you shortly as well.

Mahela Jayawardene, Man of the Match: All credit to Afghanistan. Thought they batted really well in tough conditions, then followed it up beautifully with the ball. So feeling really relieved in the end to get over the line. They have the pace, the movement, and they are a handful. Not a big gap between the top countries and these guys. The wicket was looking a bit difficult, but when I joined Mathews it was important to try and hang in there and finish off the game. I thought Thisara played really well to finish it off for us. It was a bit of wait after the first game, but we do have two quick games coming up, so we are looking to get prepared for those.

Mahela Jayawardene is the Man of the Match

6.44 pm: And after that final thwack through the covers, Sri Lanka have won by four wickets, and not too many balls left, as they seal their maiden victory of the tournament, but only just. Afghanistan gave them a serious run for their money with both bat and ball today. But in the end, it was Perera's 26-ball 47 that proved to be the difference between the sides, although the new-ball effort from the Zadrans and Hamid Hassan, proved there is plenty to be hopeful about in the games to come.

48.2
4
Mohammad Nabi to Perera, FOUR runs, and Thisara finishes off the match for Sri Lanka with a thump over the covers to find the extra-cover boundary
48.1
0
Mohammad Nabi to Perera, no run, fires in a slightly wide, full delivery which Thisara left alone, hoping to get another wide called

Just 1 needed now off 12

48.1
2w
Mohammad Nabi to Mendis, 2 wides, fires one down the leg side as this is called wide by the umpire

Nabi on to bowl.

END OF OVER:
48 | 11 Runs | SL: 230/6 (3 runs required from 12 balls, RR: 4.79, RRR: 1.50)

  • Thisara Perera43 (24b)
  • Jeevan Mendis9 (17b)
  • Hamid Hassan9-0-45-3
  • Dawlat Zadran9-0-44-1
47.6
2
Hamid Hassan to Perera, 2 runs, whips away this length delivery off the pads, with the two running the first one hard in order to come back in time for the second
47.5
4
Hamid Hassan to Perera, FOUR runs, backs away before slicing this past a converging deep point to just get over the rope. Ending very quickly here for Afghanistan
47.4
2
Hamid Hassan to Perera, 2 runs, spears in a yorker on middle from round the wicket which is dug out towards mid-on, and with the vacant space on offer, they are able to hustle hard to come back for the second. Excellent ODI batting there

Sudhanshu: "It's sad for a romantic lover of cricket to see the valiant afghans going down!!! Well played guys!!! but another wicket and who knows?"

47.3
2
Hamid Hassan to Perera, 2 runs, crashed away through midwicket as the misfield at midwicket allows them to return for a second
47.2
1
Hamid Hassan to Mendis, 1 run, this time looks to eke away a single on the off side, which they are able to do quite comfortably
47.1
0
Hamid Hassan to Mendis, no run, continues from round the wicket as Hassan goes up for the hopeful shout after Mendis appeared to have feathered an edge to the keeper. This one is given, much to the delight of Hassan and the Dunedin crowd. Mendis, though, doesn't quite agree as they go for the review. Nothing on Snicko so this will be overturned. Where would this game have been without DRS though?

END OF OVER:
47 | 12 Runs | SL: 219/6 (14 runs required from 18 balls, RR: 4.65, RRR: 4.66)

  • Thisara Perera33 (20b)
  • Jeevan Mendis8 (15b)
  • Dawlat Zadran9-0-44-1
  • Shapoor Zadran10-1-48-1
46.6
0
Dawlat Zadran to Perera, no run, ends with a lovely yorker on middle which is safely negotiated by the batsman
46.5
0
Dawlat Zadran to Perera, no run, slower ball which seems to have caught the outside edge as it went across. The batsman may have feathered one over to Zazai at keeper, but this fell short again of the gloveman. This definitely bounced on the way to the gloves as they went upstairs to check it out
46.4
1
Dawlat Zadran to Mendis, 1 run, waits on this fuller one before drilling it down to long on to get Thisara on strike

Mridul Shandily: "Poor captaincy by Nabi here. With 6 an over required, your best bowler Hamid Hasan should be bowling the 47th and 49th overs. If Dawlat goes for runs, there will be no point holding back Hamid for the 50th!"

46.3
1
Dawlat Zadran to Perera, 1 run, fires one in on off stump at almost yorker-length as Thisara is able to dig this one out and take the single
46.2
4
Dawlat Zadran to Perera, FOUR runs, Perera is ending this quickly for Afghanistan as he blazes away a hit through backward point, sending this to the rope after a couple of bounces with the slice
46.1
6
Dawlat Zadran to Perera, SIX runs, gets this one horribly wrong as he lets go off a full toss which arrives at perfect 'swattable' length for Perera to pummel through long off, which he does with ease as this whistled over the rope. Puts SL decisively ahead on the equation now

The Zadrans now on in tandem as Dawlat joins his namesake

END OF OVER:
46 | 10 Runs | SL: 207/6 (26 runs required from 24 balls, RR: 4.50, RRR: 6.50)

  • Thisara Perera22 (15b)
  • Jeevan Mendis7 (14b)
  • Shapoor Zadran10-1-48-1
  • Mirwais Ashraf8.1-0-31-0

Baxter: "This is brilliant to watch/read. Who would have thought Ireland/WI in Hamilton and now Afghanistan/SL in unglamorous Dunedin would be the two most exciting/captivating games of the WC so far?"

45.6
1
Shapoor Zadran to Perera, 1 run, this time is able to nurdle a single to the off side and get down to the other end, with a shy at the stumps striking him on his left hamstring as he went through with the run
45.5
2
Shapoor Zadran to Perera, 2 runs, back of a length and Thisara throws the kitchen sink at this one pitched from round the wicket. This goes high over third man, but ends up falling short of the boundary, with the ball eventually tracked before the rope
45.4
2
Shapoor Zadran to Perera, 2 runs, pulled away fiercely through the leg side as Stanikzai, at midwicket, is able to stop it before firing in a throw. Can't stop them from taking the two they need though

Solid start

86

Runs for Afghanistan after the first 20 overs, their second-best versus one of the top eight sides. Best - 95 versus Pakistan in Sharjah, 2012

At his best against the best

3

Number of 50-plus scores for Afghanistan in ODIs versus the top 8 teams. Two of those are by Stanikzai

Sri Lanka's Powerplay

10

Runs scored by Afghanistan in the batting Powerplay, for the loss of 2 wickets. Five of those were extras

Off the mark

16

Number of wides conceded by Sri Lanka today, the joint highest in the tournament so far

Poor finish

4.82

Afghanistan's run rate in the first 35 overs. In the last 15 the rate dropped to 4.2

Double digits all

1

This was the first instance of Afghanistan's top eight batsmen all scoring at least 10 in an ODI innings

First-ball wicket

1

Number of times Afghanistan have taken a wicket off their first ball in an ODI. This was the first such instance

Opening blues

2

Number of times, in all ODIs, that both openers have been dismissed for first-ball ducks in an innings.

Business as usual for Mahela

9

Number of 50-plus scores for Jayawardene in World Cup games, joint highest for SL with Jayasuriya

Another century stand

11

Number of hundred partnerships for SL in World Cup games since 2007, second only to Australia's 12