As we move into the tournament, it’s Sri Lanka taking on Afghanistan at Cardiff, on 4th June. Both the teams lost their first match and will be looking to redeem themselves. Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand by ten wickets, whereas Afghanistan lost to Australia by seven wickets.
Both the teams lost their 1st match but, will be looking to finish the unfinished business. Sri Lanka’s long-standing batting inadequacies were exposed against New Zealand, whereas Afghanistan’s top order could not deal with the Australian fast bowling attack. Both of them have a chance to redeem themselves and will be looking to do so.
Sri Lanka’s middle order failed badly after their captain Karunaratne scored a 52 of 84 balls. Both Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis had huge expectations but were not able to deliver. They might be thinking of giving a chance to a more dynamic opener like Avishka Fernando and rest someone in place for him in the playing eleven.
Even the bowlers failed the Sri Lankan team badly, as they all went for more the six per over. Sri Lanka would be looking to fancy their chances as it is just the start and they need to go a long way in the tournament.
Probable XI for Sri Lanka
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Matthews, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga.
Afghanistan is highly dependent on its top order, and with Mohammad Shahzad and Hazrattullah Zazai scoring ducks in the first match, the team might be concerned. On the other side, the bowlers did a decent job against the Australian batting line-up except for Mujeeb, who went for 45 runs in 4.5 overs.
Also, Hamid Hassan has not been declared fit for the match, after he was seen struggling with a sore back, and later on was hit on the right arm during the net session. Aftab Alam will be a suitable change for him if he won’t play the match as Afghanistan will add an extra fast bowling option.
Probable XI for Afghanistan
Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (c), Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hamid Hassan/Aftab Alam.
Dream XI Predictions
- Wicket-Keeper: Kusal Perera
- Batsmen: D. Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, H. Shahid, R. Shah
- All-rounders: Thisara Perera, M. Nabi(VC), J. Mendis
- Bowlers: Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman
Chances of showers are expected on the match day. The pitch remains the same as it was in the previous match and might help the Afghanistan spinners, Rashid and Mujeeb. After winning the toss, electing to bat will be the ideal option for the captains.
Afghanistan to beat Sri Lanka