Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka
|Date & Time||Tuesday June 4, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
Afghanistan +100 / Sri Lanka -125
Sri Lanka will play against Afghanistan at the Sophia Gardens in Wales.
Sri Lanka were very poor in the opening match of their campaign as they lost by 10 wickets to New Zealand. The batsmen were very disappointing as the team only managed to bat for 29.2 over and score 136 runs. Other than the captain, Dimuth Karunaratne, no batsman scored over 30 runs which was the fundamental reason for their downfall. Big name players like Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis both made ducks and that dropped the team’s confidence greatly. The bowling was also very poor from Sri Lanka as they allowed New Zealand to chase down their total in only 16.1 over. Sri Lanka failed to take no wickets with the likes of Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera bowling very poorly. Things are not looking good for Sri Lanka and it will be tough for the team to turn things around.
In comparison, Afghanistan had a good game to start their World Cup. While the result was a defeat for Afghanistan, the team showed great fight and caused Australia some problems. Najibullah Zadran impressed with the bat as he scored a half-century to take the team past 200. Rashid Khan also demonstrated his skills as he played a powerful inning near the end. Afghanistan were never expected to win against Australia but they played good cricket and that should give them huge confidence as they enter this match against Sri Lanka.
The Sophia Gardens hosted the game between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. While not many runs were scored, the pitch seemed good for batting and the low scoring nature was highly due to Sri Lanka’s poor batting display.
The key player for Sri Lanka heading into this match is Angelo Mathews. At his best, Mathews can compete with the top players in the world but he has not been scoring big runs for Sri Lanka in recent times. As far Afghanistan, Rashid Khan will be the player that they will hope can perform. Rashid Khan is an incredible attacking bowler and his ability to score late order runs in a huge bonus.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick Afghanistan to win this fixture. Neither side are amongst the favourites to win this tournament but Afghanistan has shown character while Sri Lanka has been very disappointing. I see this being a historic day for Afghan cricket as they defeat Sri Lanka and get 2 points on the table.