In the third game of Asia Cup 20018, Sri Lanka will face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi. It is a must win the game for the team after their loss against Bangladesh. The team is already struggling with their injury-woes and this time it is necessary to get their feet firm on the ground.
After a 137 runs defeat against Bangladesh, the Lankan team will have to win against second-timers Afghanistan, if they want to keep their hopes lives for Asia Cup. If the Angelo Mathews’ team loses this game they will fly back home, if they win, still it will be required by Bangladesh to beat Afghanistan for Sri Lanka to make it to the Super Four stage.
Afghanistan is not a team to not be threatened by. Placed at the 10th position just two places below Sri Lanka, the team has a high win record in the past 12 months. In the past year, out of 18 ODIs played by Afghanistan, the team has won 11 that includes 2 wins against West Indies in 2019 World Cup Qualifiers and a 4-1 series win against Zimbabwe. Things are working in their favor, as the team has now had Test experience. Furthermore, they are not struggling with injuries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has to watch out for Afghanistan bowlers as the team will be no easy win, especially after defeating some of the bigger teams in the past 12 months. With a strong team of spinners, Afghanistan can lead to the elimination of Sri Lanka from Asia Cup 2018.
In this game, we can see some changes in the Sri Lankan squad. Dilruwan Perera can make for Akila Dhananjaya. Opener Kusal Mendi skis also struggling to perform in ODIs recently, this can cost him his place for Niroshan Dickwella who can be seen opening with Upul Tharanga.
With no injury concerns, Afghanistan can easily have a strong start off. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan can be tough bowlers for misfiring Lankan batsmen to deal with. However, out-of-form Mohammad Shahzad can be a concern for the team.
The game will be played on September 17 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi at 17:00 IST.
Sri Lanka: 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Niroshan Dickwella, 3 Kusal Perera (wk), 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Amila Aponso, 9 Akila Dhananjaya, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Lasith Malinga
Afghnistan: 1 Mohammad Shahzad, 2 Javed Ahmadi, 3 Asghar Afghan (capt), 4 Mohammad Nabi, 5 Samiullah Shenwari, 6 Munir Ahmad (wk), 7 Najibullah Zadran, 8 Gulbadin Naib, 9 Rashid Khan, 10 Aftab Alam, 11 Wafadar