The final group stage match of the Asia Cup 2023 will be played between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on 5th September 2023. It is a must win game for Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka have to take the game as deep as possible to keep their Net run rate better than Bangladesh and Afghanistan in their group. Following is the preview of Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan today match in Lahore.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Today Match Preview
Afghanistan suffered a heavy defeat in their first game against Bangladesh while Sri Lanka registered a good win over Bangladesh in their first game. Afghanistan’s problem remained their bowling, as the track of Gaddafi offered no help in the game against Bangladesh.
The same kind of a track is expected for this game as well. In the first game that was played at Gaddafi, Bangladesh piled up 334 runs while Afghanistan scored 245 runs in reply. This is the highest aggregate score of this year’s Asia Cup so far, which means that the track is surely supporting the batters.
Sri Lanka have a good batting unit. If they post 300 runs on the board while batting first, Afghanistan will have to chase it around 19 overs or if Sri Lanka bowls first, then Afghanistan have to beat them with a margin of at least 125+ runs. So far, the conditions and the ifs and buts of Net Run Rate make Sri Lanka the favorites to win as they will be under realtively lesser pressure.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Asia Cup 2023 Playing XI
Afghanistan expected Playing XI
Afghanistan can not really make more changes to their unit. The lineup that played against Bangladesh was quite ideal. They just need to do better as a unit.
Probable Lineup: R Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najib Zadran, M Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Fazlhaq Farooqi, G Naib and K Jannat.
Sri Lanka expected Playing XI
Sri Lanka also will be retaining their winning combination.
Probable Lineup: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickwrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha and Matheesha Pathirana.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Head to Head Record
Both sides have played 10 ODIs against each other. Sri Lanka have won 6, 3 have been won by Afghanistan and one has ended without result. Meanwhile the rivalry is leveled in Asia Cup (ODIs) where both sides have won 1 ODI each against each other.
Players to watch-out for
Ibrahim Zadran continued his rhythm in the first game of Afghanistan’s Asia Cup 2023 campaign. He scored 75(74) against Bangladesh and prior to that he batted well in the series against Pakistan as well. Gurbaz also needs to score as a lot of expectations will be from him too in this must win game. Hashmatullah Shahid, the skipper, also led from the front in run chase against Bangladesh where he scored 51(60). With the ball, Bangladesh will hope that their spinners can be a little more effective this time.
Sri Lanka have got all areas covered. Matheesha Pathirana bowled extremely well in the first game, taking 4 Bangladeshi wickets. With the bat, Charith Asalanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama scored half centuries against Bangladesh. The recent stats of Karunaratne and Patthum Nissanka in ODI cricket also suggest that they are extremely dangerous batters, especially on good batting strips, so Afghanistan have to be prepared for them.