and Thisara finishes off the match for Sri Lanka with a thump over the covers to find the extra-cover boundary
Mahela, Thisara douse Afghanistan hopes
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.
fires in a slightly wide, full delivery which Thisara left alone, hoping to get another wide called
Just 1 needed now off 12
fires one down the leg side as this is called wide by the umpire
Nabi on to bowl.
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
backs away before slicing this past a converging deep point to just get over the rope. Ending very quickly here for Afghanistan
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?"
crashed away through midwicket as the misfield at midwicket allows them to return for a second
this time looks to eke away a single on the off side, which they are able to do quite comfortably
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?
ends with a lovely yorker on middle which is safely negotiated by the batsman
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
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!"
fires one in on off stump at almost yorker-length as Thisara is able to dig this one out and take the single
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
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
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?"
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
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
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
Kunal: "If Perera goes then SL will be running on fumes.."
this time looking to go straight over long off, but ends up hitting it on the bounce to the fielder, with this one falling again short. Has been lucky to get away with those so far...
and gets away with a fortuitous, outside edge which flies away over the keeper's head to the third man boundary. All valuable runs for SL, regardless of whether he meant to do it or not
|University Oval, Dunedin|
|Toss||Sri Lanka, elected to field first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match number||ODI no. 3609|
|Hours of play (local time)||11.00 start, First Session 11.00-14.30 Interval 14.30-15.15, Second Session 15.15-18.45|
|Match days||22 February 2015 - day (50-over match)|
|Points||Sri Lanka 2, Afghanistan 0|