Dimuth Karunaratane replaced Kusal Perera at the top of the order

However, Farooqi removed him on the very next ball, trapping him leg-before-wicket.

Pathum Nissanka, who has been in good form for Sri Lanka, found his rhythm with a flurry of boundaries across four successive overs. 

Skipper Kusal Mendis, who initially struggled to get going, finally broke free with a well-executed cut through backward point off Naveen-ul-Haq. Together, they added over fifty runs for the second wicket and seemed poised to steer Sri Lanka to a competitive total.

Mujeeb's Double Blow and struggling Sri Lanka: 

Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman, one of Afghanistan's standout performers, landed crucial blows in a span of four deliveries across two overs. First, Kusal Mendis offered a top-edge and departed for 39.

Shortly after, the other set batsman, Samarawickrama, fell victim to an lbw decision, scoring 36. With two key wickets down, Sri Lanka faced another rebuilding phase.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman sent back Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama in back-to-back overs

Sri Lanka's task was further complicated when a struggling Dhananjaya de Silva was deceived by Rashid Khan's googly. Angelo Matthews, who entered the fray at No. 7, had limited opportunities to make an impact as the wickets continued to tumble. 

Charith Asalanka miscued a shot, and Dushmantha Chameera fell short of his crease due to a direct hit. What was once 134/2 had turned into a dire situation for Sri Lanka at 185/7. 

Afghanistan's bowlers outclassed Sri Lanka with a disciplined and strategic performance. The target of 241 may not be easy to defend, and Afghanistan's batsmen will be eager to secure their third victory in the 2023 Men's ODI World Cup.

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