Dubai  - Afghanistan produced a dominating all-round display to thump a below-par Sri Lanka by eight wickets and start their Asia Cup campaign on a resounding note here on Saturday.

Opting to bowl, Afghanistan first produced a sensational bowling effort to dismiss Sri Lanka for a paltry 105 in 19.4 overs. This was the first time Afghanistan bowled out a team without Rashid Khan (4-0-12-0) taking a wicket which underlined their show as a collective bowling unit. Left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi (3/11) rattled the top-order before spinners Mohammad Nabi (2/14) and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman stifled the Lankans in the middle overs.

In reply, Afghanistan cantered home in just 10.1 overs to register a big win in their milestone 100th T20 International. Young wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz gave Afghanistan a fiery start, smashing an 18-ball 40, while Hazratullah Zazai took the team over the line with an unbeaten 37 off 28 balls (5x4s, 1x6).

The win also gave a big push to Afghanistan’s net run-rate (5.176) as they climbed to the top spot in Group B to brighten their Super 4 chances. Group B also features Bangladesh, who take on Afghanistan at Sharjah on Tuesday. The 20-year-old Rahmanullah, who overturned an lbw decision after being given out for nought, was all class as he toyed with the Lankan bowling attack.

Be it drives, pulls or lofted shots, Rahmanullah displayed an array of shots to take Afghanistan home comfortably. His flawless innings, however, came to an end when he stepped out to leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, only to be foxed by a slower one.

But it was too little too late as Afghanistan had all the time in their hands with just 23 needed from 13.5 overs. The only blip in his sensational innings was when he was trapped in front and looked plumb but on review the ball tracking showed it was missing the leg stump.

Earlier, Farooqi (3/11) did the damage at the top, including wickets off successive deliveries in the opening over. Sri Lanka had a horrendous start as they slumped to 5/3 inside two overs with Farooqi inflicting a double blow in consecutive deliveries in the opening over.

The only respite for the Islanders came from Bhanuka Rajapaksa who led their recovery with a stroke-filled 29-ball 38 (5x4s, 1x6). But two clumsy run-outs in two balls exposed the Lankans inexperience in the middle.

First it was Nabi who came up with a direct throw to end Rajapaksa’s brilliant counter-attacking knock and then another mad running saw the dismissal of Maheesh Theekshana in the very next ball to leave Sri Lanka tottering at 69/8.

They were in danger of getting all out inside 15 overs after Nabi reduced them to 75 for 9. Chamika Karunaratne showed the rearguard action with a 38-ball 31 (3x4, 1x6) to take them past 100.

Scores in Brief

Sri Lanka 105 in 19.4 overs (Rajapaksa 38, Karunaratne 31; Farooqi 3/11, M Nabi 2/14) lost to Afghanistan 106/2 in 10.1 overs (Gurbaz 40, Hazratullah 37*; Hasaranga 1/19) by 8 wickets.