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Match Preview: Srilanka vs Afghanistan

Match Preview: Srilanka vs Afghanistan

The 2022 Asia Cup is the 15th edition of the Asia Cup cricket tournament, with the matches being played as Twenty20 Internationals during August and September 2022 in the United Arab Emirates. Originally scheduled to be held in September 2020, the tournament was postponed in July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1st match of 2022 Asia cup will play between Srilanka and Afghanistan. Both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are tied but Sri Lanka is favorite to win this match. Sri Lanka has the best batting while on the other hand Afghanistan has the best spiner attack. Whichever team wins this match will be crucial for the top third team of 2022 Asia Cup.

Probably Playing XI of Srilanka,

Kusal Mendis (wk), 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 5 Dhananjaya de Silva/Ashen Bandara, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Matheesha Pathirana, 11 Dilshan Madushanka

Probably Playing XI of Afghanistan,

Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 3 Ibrahim Zadran, 4 Najibullah Zadran, 5 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 6 Samiullah Shinwari, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Karim Janat, 9 Naveen-ul-Haq, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Noor Ahmad

Captain Comparison

Dasun Shanaka‘s last T20I innings was essentially a miracle. At one stage in the third T20I against Australia in Pallekele, Sri Lanka needed 59 runs from 18 balls, with only four wickets in hand. Shanaka took the side home in a hail of sixes, making 54 not out off 25 balls. Although his ODI form has been modest, Shanaka’s T20I form has been excellent this year – he’s hit 302 runs at a strike rate of 145, across 11 innings. Sri Lanka have been found wanting for death-overs fireworks for years now. They need Shanaka to carry his 2022 form through.
Afghanistan’s captain, Muhammad Nabi, has not had so much T20I fun with the bat recently. In the recent series against Ireland, he was out five times and made a top score of 9. But then that’s just one series (he’d had good batting outings against Zimbabwe earlier in the year). And his bowling continues to be effective, particularly on the kinds of pitches the UAE is likely to throw up, and with which he is familiar.

Player to Watch

DUSHMANTA CHAMEERA, who is out of the tournament with a calf injury, it is possible Afghanistan may even have the better attack. Rashid Khan and Wanindu Hasaranga bring the same sorts of skillsets to the game. Rashid has been dominant for longer, but Hasaranga has recent form. Mahesh Theekshana and Muneeba ur Rahman just about cancel each other out. Neither team has a great seam attack, but at least Afghanistan have Naveen ul Haq, who is coming off a decent series against Ireland.
The batting is where Sri Lanka will feel they have more quality than the opposition. Lusaka Mandis is in excellent form, across formats. Charity Asalanka, was terrific in the UAE during last year’s World Cup. Najibullah Zadran and Hazratullah ZazaiĀ have been good for Afghanistan this year, but can they do it against high-quality spin?
This is another opportunity for Afghanistan to show they deserve to play tougher opposition more often. And Sri Lanka to show that while they struggle against the top teams, they can still beat the sides they have historically dominated.

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