Sri Lanka stay alive in T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka have breathed some life back into their T20 World Cup campaign with a clinical six-wicket win over Afghanistan at the Gabba.

Needing victory to remain a slight semi-final chance, Dhananjaya de Silva (66 not out off 42 balls) iced the result by guiding his side home with nine balls to spare after the Sri Lankan bowling attack laid the foundations.

Deceptive spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took 3-13, including two wickets in the final over, as Afghanistan were restricted to a sub-par 8-144 after electing to bat first in good run-scoring conditions.

Sri Lanka's win moves them to four points in Group 1 and needing to beat England (3 points) in their last Super 12 match while also hoping New Zealand (5) or Australia (5) slip up in their final matches.

Assistant coach Naveed Nawaz admitted they had hoped to secure the win a little quicker to improve their net run-rate but said they would "go hard" against England at the SCG on Saturday.

"We will have to go out all guns blazing," he said. "If we have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals we'll need to secure a big win.

"We will have to have a very positive mindset ... and whatever risks we need to take to get into the semis we have to take it."

The Sri Lankans never looked under pressure chasing 145 as de Silva perfectly paced the reply after they showed due respect to the dangerous Mujeeb Uh Raman early to be 2-63 at the midway mark.

In a timely knock, the elegant right-hander hit six boundaries and two sixes in his first half-century in two years to end Afghanistan's remote semi-final hopes.

"It's good to see Dhananjaya finish a game which is a good sign for us," Nawaz said.

The Afghans' innings was characterised by lots of starts from their top-order and they paid the price for failing to go on with the job, with nobody passing 30.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored a solitary single off the first over but did set a solid foundation in a 42-run opening stand with Usman Ghani against accurate new-ball bowling.

Trying to up the rate immediately after the power play, Gurbaz fell for 28 (24 balls) trying to hit bustling paceman Lahiru Kumara (2-30) back over his head.

Ghani went on to make a run-a-ball 27 before holing out to man-of-the-match Hasaranga who dried up the run flow in the middle overs as Afghanistan went seven overs without scoring a boundary.

The Afghans were looking at a 160-plus total with four overs to bat but spluttered home with just 31 runs off 24 balls, topped off by a 2-3 final over by Hasaranga.

It left coach Jonathan Trott frustrated.

"With only four wickets down, that's not good enough," Trott said. "We got into position to kick on.

"We were definitely a few runs short; and we left a few runs out there."

In a relief to Afghanistan ahead of Friday's match against Australia in Adelaide, spinner Rashid Khan was cleared of a serious knee injury after falling heavily trying to chase down a late boundary.