Cardiff, Jun 3 : After being comprehensively beaten on all three fronts in their
opening game against New Zealand, Sri Lanka will hope for a much improved
performance against dark horses Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka did not have the ideal start to their ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign, as they lost by 10 wickets to New Zealand. None of the batsmen could support captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who carried his bat with an unbeaten 52, as
Sri Lanka folded for 136. Their bowlers, despite having very little to play with, also proved ineffective, finishing wicketless as New Zealand sealed the chase in 16
Sri Lanka's batting unit has now failed to last the full 50 overs on two separate
occasions, including once in the warm-ups, and will have to pull itself up against
a well-rounded Afghanistan attack. Likewise, Karunaratne will expect his fast bowlers to exploit the conditions, and the opposition's weakness against the moving white ball early in the innings.
Afghanistan might've gone down to Australia in their opening game in Bristol, but
will back themselves to bounce back against Sri Lanka. Their openers both bagged ducks against Australia, but have shown match-winning capabilities in the past.
Afghanistan were shored up by lower order contributions against Australia, which
was a great positive, but skipper Gulbadin Naib would hope someone from the top order can hold the innings together.On the bowling front, Hamid Hasan, who produced a disciplined opening spell against Australia, will relish the overcast conditions.
Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran,
Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah
Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab
Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith
Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk),
Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru
Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.