This would be one of the topmost encounters of this Asia Cup. On one hand, where Sri Lanka have rich experience players in their team, Afghanistan on the other hand, are completely different in the limited-overs format. The likes of some quality spinners make them a totally different side. The duo will meet at Abu Dhabi on September 17. Here’s a prediction for this game:
Support from Malinga – Pacers like Suranga Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera will surely get a great support from Lasith Malinga, who will also mentor the side by being the most experienced player around. Malinga’s comeback is a boost for the side and it’s a great chance for him to confirm his ticket for the 2019 World Cup.
Strong top-order – Even after Dinesh Chandimal’s exclusion from the tournament, Sri Lanka are having some quality top-order players in their side in the form of Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga etc. The Lankans have won the title five times so far and would be looking to add another one with some serious performances this time.
Poor phase – Sri Lanka are going through a rough patch these days, having won just 5 matches out of 29 in the year 2017. It was one of the worst years for them because of the exit of couple of legends like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. They lost 5-0 thrice previous year against India, Pakistan and South Africa. They have to show their real potential in order to come back in form.
Bowling department – Without any second thought, Afghanistan’s strength lies in their spinners including Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman. The trio have troubled many greats of the game so far and would be looking to do the same in the Asia Cup 2018. All of them are right-armers and can create difficulties for Sri Lanka’s southpaws.
Not experienced enough in playing 50 overs – Apart from Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Shahzad, no one is having that potential of playing till the 50th over and score 250-260. Putting runs on the board in an ODI is important, only then the bowlers can defend it easily. Anything under 200 for Afghanistan after batting first, won’t be enough against any of the side in their group.
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Cricwizz Prediction: Sri Lanka have played some decent cricket against South Africa recently. If they repeat their performance, then it’s their match of course. We are 70-30 in favour of Sri Lanka!
Who will win this clash?
- Afghanistan (61%, 92 Votes)
- Sri Lanka (39%, 59 Votes)
Total Voters: 151