The 30th Match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will be played between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Both sides have had their ups and downs in their World Cup 2023 journey. The Match is in Pune on 30th October 2023. Following is the Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Preview of World Cup 2023.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Today Match Preview
Both sides have had a tough journey. Sri Lanka is at 5th spot in the Points Table with 2 wins and 3 defeats. Same is the case of Afghanistan but they have a poor net run rate so they are lagging behind at 7th. It is kind of a must-win game for both sides.
Sri Lanka has got confidence on their side. They are on a 2 match winning streak and both wins were quite comprehensive. They defeated Netherlands by 5 wickets and in the previous game, they defeated the defending champions England by 8 wickets.
Afghanistan is also coming with plenty of confidence as before this game, they defeated Pakistan by 8 wickets. So both sides are confident and we can see a cracker of a match. Winning here and finishing among the top 7 is also quite important for both sides. The top 7 teams of this World Cup and Pakistan will qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2025 (Pakistan because they are the hosts). So not only the semi-final spot is at stake but the Champions Trophy qualification as well.
Pune has hosted one game of the World Cup 2023 before this. Bangladesh faced off against India. The track wasn’t exactly a batting paradise. It did have something for the spinners in it. Both sides will have an equal chance of winning this game.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023 Playing XI
Afghanistan expected Playing XI
Afghanistan will look to retain the same lineup. They may play Fazlhaq Farooqi and leave out Naveen-ul-Haq or they can reduce a spinner because they lack strength in the pace department, so they can play Naveen and Fazl both and leave out Noor Ahmad.
Probable Lineup: R Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Ikram Alikhil, M Nabi, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Fazlhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq/Noor Ahmed.
Sri Lanka expected Playing XI
Sri Lanka will have to make a forced change as Lahiru Kumara has been ruled out of the event. For now, he will probably be replaced by Chamika Karunaratne or maybe Dunith Wellalage if he is 100 percent fit because of assistance for the spinners and the poor form of the pacers.
Probable Lineup: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (C, WK), Sadeera Samarawickwrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dunith Wellalage/Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Head to Head Record
Afghanistan has played 2 ODIs against Sri Lanka in World Cup history and has lost both. 11 Matches have been played between these two sides in ODIs. 7 have gone Sri Lanka’s way, 3 have been won by Afghanistan and one ended without a result.
Players to watch-out for
In Afghanistan’s historic win over Pakistan, their top 4 batters did extremely well. Gurbaz, Zadran and Rahmat Shah scored good half centuries and Hashmathullah Shahidi scored an unbeaten 48*. So it is a good sign for Afghanistan that all of their top-order batters are in good rhythm.
With the ball, Rashid and Mujeeb remain the biggest threat for Sri Lanka. Both have 11 wickets in their last 10 ODIs and if the pitch has assistance for the spinners, these 2 can wreak havoc.
For Sri Lanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama is extremely crucial. He scored 65* against England and 91* against Netherlands. So he has done well in both the wins of Sri Lanka in this tournament. Skipper Kusal Mendis was in good nick but since he has got captaincy, his batting form has declined a little. Nevertheless, Mendis remains a threat.
Sri Lanka will miss Lahiru Kumara. He had provided great support to their pace attack but unfortunately, he is out of the event now. With 11 wickets in the last 5 games, Dilshan Madushanka will be someone to watch-out for. The young man has been impressive with his accuracy and he will have added responsibility in this game.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Toss Prediction
Sri Lanka are likely to win the toss and they will opt to bat first.
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Win Prediction
Both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have a 50-50 chance of winning this game.