In a critical showdown, Afghanistan faces Sri Lanka at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on September 5, 2023. Sri Lanka, despite missing key bowlers, tops the group, while Afghanistan seeks a crucial win.
In a dramatic turn of events at the ongoing tournament, Bangladesh’s scintillating performance against Afghanistan has left the latter teetering on the brink of elimination. Now, Afghanistan must summon a Herculean effort both with the bat and ball if they hope to progress to the Super Four.
Bangladesh, under immense pressure, came up with a dazzling batting display, shifting the weight of expectation onto their Afghan opponents. The situation is dire for Afghanistan, who are now under tremendous pressure to deliver a monumental performance in their upcoming clash against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, despite missing some key bowlers, currently tops the group after cruising past Bangladesh. To secure their place in the Super Four, they must avoid a crushing defeat in their upcoming encounter.
Following their victory against Afghanistan, Bangladesh has secured their spot in the Super Four. Afghanistan, however, faces an uphill battle and must win convincingly to outdo Sri Lanka in terms of Net Run Rate (NRR). Here are the scenarios: if Afghanistan bats first and scores 300, they would have to win by a margin of 70+ runs. If they bowl first and concede 300, the margin of victory has to be achieved with a lead of 76+ balls.
These two teams clashed recently in June, with Afghanistan winning the opening ODI. However, Sri Lanka made a strong comeback, winning the next two to clinch the series. Afghanistan is surely wary of Sri Lanka’s capability, especially recalling the final ODI where Sri Lanka’s bowlers dominated.
Sri Lanka’s performance with the ball against Bangladesh is a concern, with both Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan conceding runs at over six an over. They will need to bounce back and put in a stellar performance against Afghanistan, whose batting lineup recently struggled to chase down a 160-plus target.
- Date and Time: September 5, 2023, at 14:30 local time, 15:00 IST
- Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
- Rain threats continue to affect games in Sri Lanka, but Lahore expects warm and clear weather. Seamers might find the conditions favorable to make an impact.
- Najibullah Zadran is under pressure to deliver runs, but it remains uncertain if he will be dropped for this crucial encounter.
- In the bowling department, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Gulabdin Naib were expensive in the previous match. Team management faces the decision of sticking with them or making changes.
Probable XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- The chances of Sri Lanka making changes to their winning combination seem slim, given their recent form.
Probable XI: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana
The cricketing world eagerly awaits this high-stakes encounter, where Afghanistan’s survival in the tournament hangs in the balance.