Sri Lanka had to battle hard against Afghanistan for their first victory. It was a relief to win, settling some nerves, but we made it tough for ourselves.
The adjustment of the batting order, promoting Kusal Perera to the opening position, worked for a while with Kusal and Dimuth (Karunaratne) putting on 92. That should have helped us to a big total but then we had a familiar collapse.
The batsmen showed a lack of situational awareness and a lack of energy and intent. The dismissals were soft and bad running contributed. Afghanistan adjusted very well to the conditions after the first 12 overs and bowled with aggression and guile, but we should have done better.
Sri Lanka’s gamble with the five fast bowlers ultimately worked, helping them out of trouble as Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith (Malinga) picked up wickets, but I feel we made a mistake by not playing Jeevan Mendis.
If the choice is between Dhananjaya de Silva or Jeevan (Mendis) then I think Jeevan needs to play. He is a good player of spin and his leg spin is needed to give us variety.