Wright hit eight fours and six sixes from only 55 balls, as he became the second Englishman this year – after Alex Hales – miss out on his country's first Twenty20 century by a single run.
He powered England to 196 for five, overwhelming any prospect of a successful chase by Afghanistan, who folded to 80 all out in reply at Colombo's Premadasa Stadium.
England are assured of a place in the Super Eight stages, irrespective of how they fare tomorrow against India, who have also qualified after their own opening Group A victory over Afghanistan..
Broad, the England captain, said: "We batted with maturity on a wicket we expected to play a little better for the batsmen. Luke's innings was outstanding and the way the guys struck the ball towards the end was very powerful and exciting to see."
A late flurry from Gulbodin Naib, who scored a rapid unbeaten 44, ensured Afghanistan avoided total humiliation, having at one stage been 26 for eight.
"They got a couple of runs towards the end, that's to be expected in Twenty20 cricket," Broad said. "But we're delighted with that performance. It's a great way to start the tournament. Hopefully we can kick on as well."
Wright, 27, has been the beneficiary of Ravi Bopara's poor run of form and yesterday's innings should cement his place in the England side.
Broad said: "It'll do his confidence the world of good. He showed a huge amount of maturity. I think he's developed as a cricketer over the last couple of years.
"He's played all around the world and that experience showed today. It was a matchwinning knock and hugely exciting for the crowd to watch as well."
All-rounder Wright, batting at No.3, shared stands of 69 for the second wicket with Hales, and 72 for the third with Eoin Morgan. He arrived at the crease with England immediately up against it, after being put into bat under lights when Shapoor Zadran bowled Craig Kieswetter out for a duck.
It took England 10 balls before they managed to score off the left-armer, but there were then 19 runs off the bat, including a memorable straight six from Wright, as Shapoor's third over cost 23 in all. Hales was run out at the non-striker's end when Wright drove one straight back at Karim Sadiq and several of the middle overs belonged to the Afghan spinners while Morgan found his range.
But the charge was soon on after Wright hit leg-spinner Samiullah Shenwari for his second six. Afghanistan were never going to be able to get anywhere near their target, and that was re-inforced after two wickets fell in two balls inside the first two overs.
Mohammad Shahzad skied a catch to Broad at mid-off, off the bowling of Steven Finn, then Stanikzai Shafiqullah went for a golden duck in a near action-replay at the other end off Jade Dernbach.
Broad pulled off an outstanding return catch to see off Sajid Mangal and from 14 for three, it was merely a question of where England's yawning victory margin might stand in the record books.
Two more pieces of brilliance in the field accounted for the next two wickets, with Sadiq run out by Jos Buttler and Asghar Stanikzai very well caught by Jonny Bairstow.
Only Naib mustered double figures – was responsible for more than half his team's total – but England were in cruise control and they eased past their previous best 100-run winning margin in the format, set in 2005 against Australia.
Meanwhile, Brendon McCullum smashed a record 123 runs off 58 balls to give New Zealand a 59-run win over Bangladesh in Pallekele, hitting 11 fours and seven sixes to help his team post a total of 191 for three.
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