Battle for Super 4 spot: Afghanistan aim for massive victory over Sri Lanka

Lahore, Sep 4 (PTI) Afghanistan will need to up their game with the ball when they face a skillful Sri Lanka in the battle of a Super4 spot in the Asia Cup here on Tuesday.

Afghanistan not only find themselves in a must-win situation after the loss to Bangladesh but they also need a victory with a massive margin to finish in the top two of Group B.

Their run-rate is in the negative following the defeat here on Sunday night while Sri Lanka, who beat Bangladesh in their opening game, are in the positive with a NRR of 0.951.

Having put 300 plus against Afghanistan, Bangladesh have a much superior run rate and are all but through to the next stage.

The Sri Lanka-Afghanistan fixture will be the second one at the Gadaffi Stadium and is expected to be a run feast.

In the absence of express fast bowlers, Afghanistan rely heavily on the spin duo of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran. Rashid went wicketless on Sunday and his team would be hoping he that he comes up with a match-winning effort against Sri Lankans.

Besides being ordinary in the pace department, Afghanistan’s fielding also left a lot to be desired. The recent form of openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran is one big positive for the side.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will hope that their top-order fires after the failure against Bangladesh.

In the absence of three injured pacers, the young Matheesha Pathirana embraced the responsibility with four wickets in the opener and the slingy operator will be expected to make life tougher for the Afghanistan batters.

Mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana delivered with the new ball against Bangladesh and will be tasked to do the same against Shahidi and Co.

“We need to improve in all the departments. Our bowling was not good enough, and neither was our fielding. Lahore is near our country, so the fans were waiting for this game. Hopefully, they will come and support us again in the next game,” said Shahidi after the loss on Sunday night.

Squads: Afghanistan: Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Ibrahim Zadran, Ikram Alikhil, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Riaz Hassan, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Abdul Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mohammad Saleem, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad.

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Mahesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Matheesha Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushan Hemantha, Binura Fernando and Pramod Madushan.

Match starts 3 PM IST.

Source: PTI News


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