Quotes from presentation:
Afghanistan skipper Mohd Nabi: "We bowled well in the first 35 overs and Sangakkara batted very well. We started well with the bat, but Mendis and Malinga bowled really well. It was difficult for us to pick Malinga."
Angelo Mathews: "It was a very important game for us because we had to seal our place in the final. Afghans have a very good bowling attack and our batsmen found it hard, it was a slow pitch too. It was a collective effort from Thisara Perera - he scored some useful runs and picked up crucial three wickets."
Man of the Match Kumar Sangakkara for his 76: "It was a tough wicket to bat on, so we had to spend some time in the middle. You can't take anything for granted, the Afghan side played very well, they exploited the pitch conditions very well. There is no guarantee in cricket, you can be in fine form, but it takes only one ball for you to fail, so you have to enjoy while it goes well."
A comfortable victory for Sri Lanka. They achieve a bonus point too and have qualified for the final. Sri Lanka did well to post a competitive total on the board after struggling early on. Sangakkara made a handy 76 while Mathews and Thisara Perera played breezy knocks at the death to power the Lions to 253. Chasing the target, Afghanistan lost Shahzad early but then Noor Ali and Stanikzai did well to rebuild the innings. Just when it looked it was going well for Afghanistan, they lost Stanikzai and that proved to be the turning point as Afghanistan lost wickets in flurry. Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi tried their best but the pressure was always building and they couldn't get Afghanistan past the finish line. Thisara Perera was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with three wickets.
20:26 (IST) WICKET! That's it! Sri Lanka win by 129 runs! Loopy and full outside off, turning away. Ashraf leans forward for a drive but gets an outside edge to short third man where Perera pouches a simple catch.
20:22 (IST) WICKET! Sound of the timber! Loopy and full on off, spinning back in. Zadran leans forward for a loft but misses, the ball sneaks through his bat and pad to rattle the timber.
20:15 (IST) WICKET! Second wicket for Ajantha Mendis. Hamza Hotak is foxed by that slow turning leg-break and out hit on back leg and is given out LBW. Afghanistan lose their 8th.
20:09 (IST) Afghanistan's best bowler today Mirwais Ashraf is batting alongside Hamza Hotak, the left-arm spinner.
20:02 (IST) WICKET! Mohd Nabi departs, trying to go for a sweep but misses a straighter one from Chaturanga de Silva. Nabi made 37 and Afghanistan are staring down the barrel.
19:58 (IST) WICKET! A soft dismissal for Najibullah Zadran! Fullish outside off, Zadran comes forward and drives it uppishly straight into the hands of Mathews at short extra cover. Afghans lose their sixth.
19:52 (IST) Hammered by Nabi! Back of a length delivery outside off, Nabi pulls it through mid-wicket for a boundary. Afghanistan 110/5 (30 overs), need 144 more from 20 overs.
19:45 (IST) For all those interested in Test cricket, can catch all the live scores from Day 3 of the Cape Town Test here.
19:37 (IST) Excellent shot from Nabi, nicely placed! Fullish outside off, Nabi comes forward and drives it through cover-point for a boundary. Afghanistan 90/5
19:26 (IST) New-man Najibullah Zadran gets off the mark in some style -Â Good length delivery outside off by Suranga Lakmal, Najibullah punches it through covers, it races away to the fence. Afghanistan 79/5 (24 overs), chasing 254.
19:18 (IST) Sri Lanka need to restrict Afghanistan to 203 or less to gain a bonus point in this game.
19:10 (IST) WICKET! Shenwari departs! Good length delivery outside off, Shenwari stays in his crease and looks to cut close to his body but gets an outside edge to first slip where Thirimanne pouches it safely. Shenwari made 6 and Lakmal gets his second. Afghanistan 5 down for 73.
18:58 (IST) Captain Mohd Nabi is the new man in. He has an average of 33.85 and has 5 fifties in 29 ODIs. Alongside him is Samiullah Shenwari, Afghanistan's hero from the previous game.
18:55 (IST) WICKET! Caught behind and Perera has his second! Good length delivery outside off, Nawroz Mangal stays back and looks to steer but gets an outside edge to the keeper who pouches a good low catch. Afghanistan losing the plot here. Afghans 61/4 (16.1 overs)
18:47 (IST) WICKET! Noor Ali gets a leading edge to a straighter one from Ajantha Mendis and it loops towards backward point. Mendis gets his first. Noor Ali made 21. Afghans 59/3 (15.1 overs)
18:39 (IST) WICKET! The off stumps is pegged back and Thisara Perera gets his man! Length delivery on off, nips back in a tad. Stanikzai stays in his crease and looks to turn it to the leg side but misses. The ball sneaks through and the off stump is out of the ground. Stanikzai made good-looking 34-ball 27. Afghans two down.
18:33 (IST) Stanikzai on the attack again, this time hits Thisara Perera for two fours in the 11th over. Afghans 47/1 (11 overs), chasing 254.
18:27 (IST) Pinnaduwage Chaturanga de Silva, who was born in Galle on January 17, 1990 has been brought into the attack. He bowls left-arm orthodox spin.
18:23 (IST) Asghar Stanikzai shows his talent here, hits Suranga Lakmal for two fours in the 8th over. Afghans 34/1 (8 overs).
18:16 (IST) Lovely wristy flick from Noor Ali Zadran! Full on middle, the batsman flicks it through mid-wicket and it races away to the fence. Afghanistan 26/1 (7 overs), chasing 254.
18:10 (IST) Noor Ali gets off the mark in style! A tad full outside off from Suranga Lakmal, Zadran comes forward and thumps it through point for a boundary. Afghanistan 22/1 (6 overs), chasing 254.
18:02 (IST) Malinga to Stanikzai and its 4! Poor delivery! Full and down the leg side, Stanikzai clips it to fine leg for a boundary.
17:51 (IST) WICKET! Lakmal has the last laugh! Good length delivery on middle, Shahzad backs away and goes for a wild swing across the line but misses. The ball disturbs the timber. Shahzad made 7. Afghanistan 9/1 (2 overs), chasing 254.
17:48 (IST) SIX! Smashed! A tad full outside off, Shahzad charges down the track to Suranga Lakmal and slaps it over extra cover for a maximum.
17:40 (IST) Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran are the openers for Afghanistan. Lasith Malinga will start off proceedings for Sri Lanka.
A pretty good bowling effort from Afghanistan. But looking at the wicket, this might turn out to be a tricky chase for them. After opting to bat, Sri Lanka lost Thirimanne early but then Kusal Perera and Kumar Sangakkara steadied the ship. Perera got start but couldn't carry on. Jayawardene's poor form continued as he departed for just 14. Mathews and Thisara Perera then got together and added breezy 69 runs at the death to power Sri Lanka to a competitive total.
17:15 (IST) Sri Lanka finish at 253/6 in 50 overs. Angelo Mathews ends with 45 not out from 41 balls and Thisara Perera on 19*.
17:04 (IST) Another four to Mathews - a neat flick over fine-leg off Dawlat Zadran. SL 224/6 (48 overs)
16:55 (IST) Four to Mathews - Hammered! Full on off, a slower one from Shapoor. Mathews just whips it over mid-wicket for a maximum. Sri Lanka 212/6 (47 overs).
16:45 (IST) Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera at the crease will be eyeing a move on from here.
16:40 (IST) Afghanistan skipper Mohd Nabi has been meagre in his 5 overs so far - giving away only 12 runs. He has got a lot of turn and has troubled the left-handers with the off-spinners. SL 195/6 (44 overs)
16:30 (IST) WICKET! Chaturanga De Silva departs! Back of a length delivery in the rib-region. de Silva hops back and mistimes his clip straight to Ashraf at mid-wicket. The batsman is disappointed with the shot. SL 184/6 (41.5 overs)
16:25 (IST) SIX! Length delivery on middle from Hamza Hotak, Chaturanga de Silva clips it to deep square leg, they scamper through for a couple, Shapoor responds with a wild throw at the non-striker's end and it runs away to the fence.
16:18 (IST) Batting powerplay up (overs 35-40) - Lankans lost Chandimal and Sangakkara, scored 23 runs.
16:10 (IST) WICKET! Kumar Sangakkara is run out for 76 (102 balls, 6 fours, 1 six). Very full on middle and leg, swinging in to Mathews from Dawlat Zadran. Mathews clips it straight to mid-wicket. he sets off, Sangakkara too sets off for a single and is almost half way down, Mathews then stops and sends Sangakkara back. The fielder throws it to the bowler who knocks the stumps down as Sangakkara gets back in. Replays show that Sangakkara was well short. he is livid and trudges back to the pavilion. A very good innings comes to an end. SL 160/5 (38 overs)
16:05 (IST) WICKET! Dinesh Chandimal is out, clean bowled by left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak for 26 (41 balls). SL 157/4 (37 overs).
15:58 (IST) Dropped! A tough one but Dawlat Zadran should have taken it! Fullish outside off, Sangakkara drives it uppishly back to the bowler, Zadran, is late in getting his right hand, it hits his palm and ricochets towards mid on. SL 139/3 (34 overs)
15:53 (IST) Sangakkara attacks Shenwari - Short again on leg, Sangakkara has plenty of time to rock back and pull it behind square leg.
15:47 (IST) SIX! Tremendous shot from Sanga! Floated on and around middle from Mangal, Sangakkara slog sweeps this over mid-wicket. SL 131/3 (32 overs).
15:42 (IST) 85th ODI fifty for Kumar Sangakkara. SL 124/3 (31 overs)
15:36 (IST) Nicely done from Chandimal, who dances down the track and heaves Nawroz Mangal it over mid-wicket for a boundary. Get-out-of-jail shot from Chandimal works for him. SL 118/3 (30 overs).
15:27 (IST) Afghanistan's hero in the last game against Bangladesh - all-rounder Samiullah Shenwari to bowl leg spin now. he scored 69-ball 81 and took a wicket vs Bangladesh to bag the Man of the Match award.
15:19 (IST) Sri Lanka's 100 is up - in 26 overs. SL 100/3 (26 overs).
15:07 (IST) Vice captain Dinesh Chandimal is the new man in.
15:04 (IST) WICKET! Mahela Jayawardene's horror run continues! Fullish outside off from Mirwais Ashraf, Jayawardene looks to loft but ends up mistiming it to mid on, Nabi at mid on moves to his left and pouches a very good catch. SL 83/3 (21.3 overs)
15:00 (IST) Left-arm spinner Hamza Hotak into attack now - both Sangakkara and Mahela hit him for a four each in his first over. Sri Lanka 83/2 (21 overs)
14:54 (IST) Four to Mahela - Fullish outside off from Ashraf, Jayawardene leans forward and drives it through point, Hamza dives and looks to flick it back inside, he succeeds but his hand touches the rope while flicking it back.
14:50 (IST) FACTOID - Kumar Sangakkara second batsman to record 1000 runs in Asia Cup history after Sanath Jayasuriya.
14:43 (IST) WICKET! Mirwaiz Ashraf strikes - Drags it on! Length delivery outside off, Perera stays in his crease and looks heave but gets an inside edge onto the stumps. A timely breakthrough for Afghanistan.
14:36 (IST) Excellent start from skipper Mohd Nabi, who bowls off spin. Kusal Perera can't score a single run off him in his first over.
14:30 (IST) Medium pacer Mirwaiz Ashraf in to attack, who starts off with a maiden. SL 45/1 (12 overs).
14:24 (IST) Kusal Perera you beauty, attacks Dawlat Zadran - hammers him for two fours. Lanka 45/1 (11 overs).
14:18 (IST) FOUR and SIX! Perera first brings out the 'natraj' shot, swivels and pulls Shapoor for four through backward square leg and then plays the 'Jayasuriya-like' pick-up shot from the pads and deposits it over square-leg. Lanka 35/1 (10 overs).
14:10 (IST) Big appeal for a caught behind by Shapoor Zadran! Kusal Perera is not out! Short of a length delivery on the leg stump, it snakes off from the surface. Perera at first tries to pull but then is cramped for room and he plays half a pull, the ball seems to flick something on its way to the keeper. They all go up in a vociferous appeal but the umpire says no. Perera calls the physio for a treatment on his arm. Replays show that it hit the arm. Good decision. SL 22/1 (7.1 overs)
14:03 (IST) Easy as you like! Full on the pads from Dawlat Zadran, new-man Sangakkara lets it come on to him and flicks it with ease past mid-wicket for a boundary. SL 19/1 (6.1 overs)
13:54 (IST) WICKET! Brilliant delivery! A tad full on middle and off from Shapoor Zadran, nips back in sharply. Thirimanne comes forward and looks to drive but the ball sneaks through the bat and pad to uproot the leg stump. Thirimanne made 5, Sri Lanka 14/5 (5.4 overs).
13:47 (IST) First boundary for the innings! A tad short outside off from Najibullah, Perera rocks back and pulls it over mid-wicket for four. SL 12/0 (5 overs).
13:37 (IST) Left-arm pacer Shapoor Zadran, who impressed against Bangladesh, bowling from the other end.
13:33 (IST) Interesting start from Afghanistan - offie Najibullah Zadran employed first up, probably to counter the two left-handers. 2 runs off the first over. SL 2/0 (1 over)
13:28 (IST) Players making their way out there in the middle. Two left-handers Lahiru Thirimanne and Kusal Perera will open the batting.
13:10 (IST) Team Changes: Sachithra Senanayake who has recently become a proud father, has gone back home and he is replaced by Suranga Lakmal in the Sri Lankan XI. In Afghanistan, Karim Sadiq and Hamid Hassan are replaced Noor Ali Zadran and Dawlat Zadran.
13:03 (IST) Sri Lanka win toss, elect to bat first.
A spirited Afghanistan side, coming off their first win over a Test-playing nation in cricket after beating Bangladesh Saturday, will face Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup on Monday. India will be hoping for an upset to stay in contention of reaching the finals.
Sri Lanka now occupy second position in the table after Pakistan beat India on Sunday in a last-over thriller to take the top position.
Afghanistan have four points from two matches with one win and a loss in their kitty. However, they don't have anything to lose from this tournament as they are featuring in the Asia Cup for the first time in its history.
Should Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka, it would complete a fairytale journey for them in the tournament, giving the war-torn nation a desperately needed boost. Their victory over Bangladesh was wildly celebrated back home on the streets.
Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan has already sounded a warning bell for India and Sri Lanka, stating that they are "hungry to win" against them.
"All of our boys are very hungry to win a game or two here they know how much it will change the team. If we get one or two wins it will change the future of youngsters and the next ten years of Afghanistan cricket," Khan had told reporters after their loss to Pakistan in Fatullah.
Afghanistan had reduced Pakistan to 117 for six before they recovered well to win the match by 72 runs.
Sri Lanka boast of in-form batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and opener Lahiru Thirimanne at the top, while fiery pacer Lasith Malinga, who is fresh from his match-winning five-for against Pakistan, completes the bowling set up.
Having arrived in the country late January for a full series, Sri Lanka have been experiencing an extended taste of Bangladeshi conditions as they won the Test series 1-0, the Twenty20s 2-0 before a 3-0 sweep in the one-dayers.
Sri Lankan batting will have the calming influence of Sangakkara, who scored a match-winning century against India while opener Thirimanne also impressed with a fluent hundred against Pakistan in their tournament opener.
In opener Kusal Perera, who scored a maiden ODI century in Sri Lanka's 3-0 win against Bangladesh the other day, Thirimanne will have a perfect partner as the duo will look to give their side a perfect start.
After recovering from a finger injury, Mahela Jayawardene, who batted at number four yesterday, would like to get among runs after two successive failures.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, showed the stomach for a good fight against Bangladesh after stifling them for 222.
A shining effort with the bat from Asghar Stanikzai (90 not out) and Samiullah Shenwari (81) took Afghanistan to 254 for 6 after being put in to bat. They were once in trouble at 90/5, but Stanikzai and Shenwari got together and added 164 from 138 balls for the sixth-wicket partnership to take Afghanistan past 250.
For Afghanistan, Mohammad Nabi was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 44, while Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan accounted for two wickets apiece and they would look to continue the good work.
Given the diverse strengths of the two sides, a good contest can be expected between the two teams.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Thisara Perera, Chaturanga de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Ashan Priyanjan and Dhammika Prasad.
Afghanistan: Mohammad Nabi (capt), Naowroz Mangal, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Fazal Niazai, Hamid Hassan, Hamza Hotak, Karim Sadiq, Mirwaiz Ashraf, Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Shapoor Zadran.