Batter Pathum Nissanka became the first Sri Lankan batter in the country’s history to score a double century in the 50-over format when he achieved that feat against Afghanistan in the first ODI.
He also became the player who now has the highest individual score in Sri Lanka’s ODI history, surpassing the iconic 189 scored by Sanath Jayasuria against India in 2000.
Nissanka remained unbeaten at 210 in the match in an innings peppered with 20 fours and 8 sixes as Sri Lanka put on a total on 381/3.
Opener Avishka Fernando was the next highest scorer with his 88 while middle order batter Sadeera Samarawickrama chipped in with 45. Fareed Ahmad Malik was the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets for 79 runs.
Earlier, Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and elected to field in the opener of a three-match one-day international series at Pallekele on Friday.
Sri Lanka included opening batter Nissanka, who missed the only test match because of an illness.
Afghanistan has four seam bowlers hoping to take advantage of the pitch conditions at Palleleke.
Afghanistan will be confident going into the game after its convincing seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in a match in last year’s World Cup tournament in India.
In that match, powered by fifties from Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai, Afghanistan powered to their third win in the World Cup.
Left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi on his return to the side took four-wicket haul and had restricted Sri Lanka to 241 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Nissanka was the top scorer again for Sri Lanka with 46 while Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana chipped in with cameos at the end but that was not enough to take them over 250.