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RESULT
Only Test, Colombo (SSC), February 02 - 05, 2024, Afghanistan tour of Sri Lanka
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198 & 296
(T:56) 439 & 56/0

Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets

Player Of The Match
3/67 & 5/107
prabath-jayasuriya
Report

Jayasuriya, Asitha and batters lead Sri Lanka to comfortable win in one-off Test

Afghanistan's top order fought back in the second innings, but they lost 9 for 82 to collapse on fourth day

Prabath Jayasuriya's blows sent Afghanistan sliding  •  AFP/Getty Images

Prabath Jayasuriya's blows sent Afghanistan sliding  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka 439 (Mathews 141, Chandimal 107, Naveed 4-83) and 56 for 0 (Karunaratne 32*, Madushka 22*) beat Afghanistan 198 (Rahmat 91, Vishwa 4-51, Asitha 3-24) and 296 (Ibrahim 114, Jayasuriya 5-107, Asitha 3-63) by ten wickets
Sri Lanka's use of the second new ball sent Afghanistan tumbling to a ten-wicket defeat on day four. Having begun the day with only one wicket down and within striking distance of the lead, Afghanistan crashed, losing their remaining nine for 82 runs. Left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya was the primary destroyer, taking five wickets in a devastating spell either side of lunch. Asitha Fernando claimed two more wickets to add to his one from yesterday, and Kasun Rajitha also struck twice.
Some lower-order hitting extended Afghanistan's total to 296, but they will be disheartened that having begun their second innings with two century partnerships, none of the rest of their stands breached even 25. They set Sri Lanka 56 runs for victory. With little pressure on them, Sri Lanka's openers knocked off the runs inside eight overs, with Dimuth Karunaratne racing to 32 off 22 and Nishan Madushka striking 22.
The second new ball became due five overs into the day. Sri Lanka took it immediately, and found success soon after. It was Rajitha - playing as a concussion substitute for Chamika Gunasekara - who made the first incision to end the 108-run second-wicket stand between Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah. In his first over with the second new ball, Rajitha angled one in to Rahmat, then straightened it slightly off the seam on about a fourth-stump line. Rahmat was forced to play, and ended up providing a thin edge through the wicketkeeper.
Jayasuriya then entered the fray, and immediately found that the harder seam of this ball allowed his deliveries to grip and leap off the surface. He had Ibrahim dropped by Dinesh Chandimal on the deep-square leg fence on 109, but flummoxed the batter not long after.
The ball now beginning to take turn, Ibrahim played for one that spun in the 90th over, but this one just went on with the arm, whizzed between bat and pad, and clattered into off stump, ending Afghanistan's best innings of the match so far. Ibrahim had added only 13 to his overnight score, as he fell for 114.
Hashmatullah Shahidi was out to one that did turn and take his outside edge; Qais Ahmad was caught beautifully by Dhananjaya de Silva, who dived forward at slip and intercepted the ball centimetres from the ground; and Zia-ur-Rehman left a Jayasuriya delivery that continued with the arm and crashed into off stump - the second time this match Jayasuriya claimed such a dismissal.
In between the Jayasuriya wickets, Asitha - the best of Sri Lanka's seamers in this match - also added one to his wicket column. Bowling back of a length and outside off stump, he had Ikram Alikhil edge one to second slip, where Kusal Mendis also took an excellent low catch diving forward.
Afghanistan had lost five wickets for 13 runs in the space of eight overs at this stage, but after lunch, Nasir Jamal showed a little more spunk, striking five fours and a six in his unbeaten 41. It always looked like it would be insufficient, though. Jayasuriya slipped into Naveed Zadran's stumps to complete his five-wicket haul. Asitha and Rajitha then wiped out the tail.
There were no hiccups in the chase. Madushka and Karunaratne batted in much the same aggressive manner they had played with in the first innings. Between them they struck seven fours and a six.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is a senior writer at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf