Asia Cup 2018: Match 3, SL vs AFG, Match Prediction – Who will win the match, Sri Lanka or Afghanistan?
It is a battle of pride, where one side is aiming to reclaim the lost glory whilst the other is striving hard to reach unattained heights.
Updated - Sep 17, 2018 11:20 am
Sri Lanka’s loss to Bangladesh has only made this edition of the Asia Cup more riveting and their challenges only get tougher as they next face the very talented Afghanistan side. With their tournament future at stake, the Lankan Lions will certainly be under a lot of pressure going into this game.
The cricketing world has certainly not forgotten that the Afghanistan U19 side won the U19 Asia Cup and also managed to reach the semifinals of the World Cup. Their future looks brighter than ever before and this contests can certainly help get into the Super Fours of the Asia Cup which will be another giant stride for the team.
Just when everyone thought things can’t get worse for Sri Lanka, their embarrassing defeat to Bangladesh intensified the wound furthermore. It is a battle of pride, where one side is aiming to reclaim the lost glory whilst the other is striving hard to reach unattained heights.
The action will now shift to Abu Dhabi, where the temperatures will pretty much be similar to Dubai, so will the condition of the pitch. Another dry and slow track is expected for this all-important clash and another 250-260 run encounter is on the cards.
Tharanga will open the batting alongside Kusal Perera, with Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews and Niroshan Dickwella forming the middle order. Thisara Perera and Dilruwan Perera too can swing the bat to good effect in the final few overs
Dilruwan Perera and Amila Aponso will be key as the spinners will certainly have a huge role to play not just in terms of stopping the flow of runs but also as wicket-takers. Lasith Malinga rolled the years back with a gobsmacking spell in the first game and he certainly has raised expectations. Suranga Lakmal and Thisara Perera are the other seam bowling options at Mathews’ disposal.
Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews (C), Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Amila Aponso, Lasith Malinga
Mohammad Shahzad and Ihsanullah Janat will take guard to initiate the innings for the Afghans. Coming in at number 3 will be Rahmat Shah and those expected to follow him in the middle order are Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hasmatullah Shahidi and Mohammad Nabi.
The heart and soul of this bowling attack is their spin bowling duo of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan. The Lankans will have a torrid time attempting to survive through their 20 overs. Gulabadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi are the other bowling options for the skipper Asghar Afghan.
Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hasmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan (C), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulabadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Probable top performers
Kusal Perera – Sri Lanka | Rashid Khan – Afghanistan
The prediction is for Afghanistan to pip the 5-time Champions.