Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will meet in the curtain raiser of the 2022 Asia Cup on the 27th of August at the Dubai International Stadium. Both sides are heading into the tournament as massive underdogs and will be hoping to start their campaign with a win on Saturday.
The five-time Asia Cup champions, Sri Lanka, have not played a T20I in the buildup to the continental tournament and might be a little rusty. Afghanistan, in contrast to their opponents, have played back-to-back T20I series against Zimbabwe and Ireland, respectively, and are firing on all cylinders.
Both the subcontinent sides boast of a world-class spin attack featuring some irrefutable match winners like Rashid Khan and Wanindu Hasaranga, but batting has been their weak link of late.
Although the islanders are the second-most successful side in the tournament’s history, behind defending champions India, their last triumph in the competition came in 2014. They will be the team under pressure in the opening fixture of the tournament.
Pitch and conditions
The surface at the DSC stays true throughout the match with the batters relishing their time in the middle. The slower bowlers will have their say without a doubt but the batters are likely to dominate the proceedings. The last two T20Is at the venue were won by the chasing team and the side winning the toss will most probably continue the trend by bowling first.
Playing Combinations for SL vs AFG
The islanders are going through a transition phase in white-ball cricket and will be relying on a young top-order to make their mark in the tournament, with the likes of Dasun Shanaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa being the enforcer in the middle.
Predicted Playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Asitha Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay
Mohammad Nabi’s resurgent Afghanistan side can be a force to reckon with, with the ball but will have to be equally potent with the bat to lay a glove on a talented Sri Lankan side. Rashid Khan will be crucial to the side’s chances in the opening game.
Predicted Playing XI: Najibullah Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Mohammad Nabi (c), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad, Karim Janat
SL vs AFG Head to Head in T20Is
Played- 01 | Sri Lanka- 01 | Afghanistan- 0 | No Result – 0 |
SL vs AFG Broadcast Details
Match Timings- 7:30 PM IST
Live Streaming – Star Sports Network