Match 30: Afghanistan Takes the Initiative, Chooses to Bowl Against Sri Lanka
Hashmatullah Shahidi, after winning the toss, decided to take the first bowl. He reasoned that the evening dew could impact the game, making it the ideal time to bowl. On the other hand, Kusal Mendis, his counterpart, was confident that they would have chosen to bat regardless.
Fazalhaq Farooqi was reinstated in the team, replacing the young left-arm unorthodox spinner Noor Ahmad. Sri Lanka saw the return of Dusmantha Chameera and Dimuth Karunaratne, with the latter replacing Kusal Perera.
Sri Lanka, plagued by injuries, had to substitute Lahiru Kumara, their in-form pacer. Chameera was brought back into the squad as his replacement.
For Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, the day is particularly significant as the influential all-rounder plays his 100th ODI.
Crucial Encounter in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023
Afghanistan and Sri Lanka face off in a crucial match, with both teams striving to keep up with the top four in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. The victor of this high-stakes match will be one step closer to the top four spots, securing a place in the tournament’s knockout stage. The losing team, however, will be virtually eliminated from the semi-final race.
Both teams enter this match riding high on recent successes. Afghanistan surprised everyone by defeating Pakistan, while Sri Lanka managed to beat the defending champions, England, for the second time in a row, rejuvenating their campaign.
This is the fifth ODI between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in the past few months. The 1996 champions, Sri Lanka, have won the last three head-to-head matches in this format.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah, Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Sri Lanka Squad:
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (c) (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka