Colombo: Sri Lanka won the one-off Test match against Afghanistan by 10 wickets with a day to spare, with their opening batsmen chasing down an easy target of 56 in Colombo Monday.
Afghanistan were bowled out for 296 in their second innings, setting Sri Lanka the small target, with Dimuth Karunaratne (32 not out) and Nishan Madushka (22 not out) finishing the job within 7.2 overs.
Afghanistan were playing catch-up after conceding 241 runs in the first innings, but fought back well in their second dig, Ibrahim Zadran leading the way with a maiden Test hundred.
Rahmat Shah backed up the opening batter with a half-century but once the pair were dismissed, Afghanistan folded quickly.
Prabath Jayasuriya finished with his seventh five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
They had added 108 runs for the second wicket, and Afghanistan were looking good to stretch the game to the final day when they resumed the innings on day four at 199 for one.
However, six wickets fell in the morning session for just 52 runs as the second new ball hurt the Afghans.
Seamer Kasun Rajitha dismissed overnight batsman Rahmat for 54 and then left-arm spinner Jayasuriya ran through the middle order as the new ball offered him bounce and turn.
Jayasuriya used his arm ball — which goes straight on — to good effect, foxing batsmen who were playing for turn.
Ibrahim Zadran, who had batted for more than six hours for his hundred, was confused by one such delivery, and was bowled through the gate.
Jayasuriya finished with five for 107, while seamers Asitha Fernando and Kasun Rajitha shared five wickets between them.
Jayasuriya, the man of the match, ended the game with eight wickets, having accounted for three wickets in the first innings.
Despite the loss, Afghanistan’s fast bowlers were impressive, with Naveed Zadran picking up four wickets in Sri Lanka’s first innings on his debut.
Hundreds by former captains Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal helped Sri Lanka to their 1st innings total of 439.
The pair were involved in a record 232-run stand for the fourth wicket, the highest partnership at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club for that wicket.
The Test match is not part of the World Test Championship.
The teams will now move to Kandy for a three-match ODI series, followed by three T20 Internationals in Dambulla.