In Match 7 of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan go head to head as they look to get their campaign going after a disheartening loss in their previous games.
With one of their weakest squads, Sri Lanka weren’t able to compete against the might of the Kiwis as they succumbed to a 10-wicket loss while Afghanistan impressed in patches as they ran the Aussies close in a few crucial junctures. Both teams are evenly matched, with Sri Lanka banking on their experience while the likes of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi will be the Afghans’ go-to players during the course of the match.
A loss could be catastrophic for both sides inspite of this being just their second game and should result in both sides playing out an entertaining game of cricket.
Squads to choose from
Gulbadin Naib (C), Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana and Jeffrey Vandersay
Playing XI Updates
After a decent portrayal of their skills, Afghanistan aren’t expected to make many changes for this encounter. Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran and Gulbadin Naib were able to get starts but not the big ones which could be a cause of concern for the Afghans.
Depth in batting also bodes well for them while their spin troika of Nabi, Mujeeb and Rashid will be critical to their fortunes come Tuesday. Their opening pair weren’t able to trouble the scorers against the Aussies but one can expect to come hard at the Sri Lankans with two valuable points on the line.
Possible XI: Zazai, Shahzad (WK), Rahmat, Hashmatullah, Naib, Najibullah, Nabi, Rashid, Mujeeb, Dawlat and Hamid.
No changes are expected from Sri Lanka as well with only one match done and dusted for them. Better performances are in order from the entire batting unit with Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews underwhelming. Dimuth Karunaratne did carry his bat against the Kiwis but wasn’t able to score quick runs which resulted in unnecessary pressure on his peers which could see a change in attitude in his approach on Tuesday.
The bowling unit also looked lacklustre with the experience of Lasith Malinga rendered void by Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. Much is expected of all-rounder Thisara Perera, who is capable of single-handedly winning SL this game with his all-round abilities.
Possible XI: Karunaratne (C), Thirimanne, Kusal Perera(WK), Kusal Mendis, Mathews, Dhananjaya, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara, Udana, Malinga and Lakmal.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Match 7
4th June 2019, 3:00 PM IST
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Overcast conditions in Cardiff saw Sri Lanka being blown away for a mere 136 by New Zealand which signals a lot of help for the seamers up front. Once the batsmen get themselves in, stroke-play becomes much easier on this pitch where 260-270 could be a match-winning score on Tuesday.