clock December 24,2023
Sri Lanka will face stiff opposition from Afghanistan

Sri Lanka will face stiff opposition from Afghanistan

Sri Lanka cricket team led by Kusal Mendis will confront Afghanistan in the first ODI today at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, commencing at 2.30pm. Second and third ODI games will be on February 11 and 14 at the same venue.Afghanistan team having new ODI specialist players are expected to put up a challenge against Sri Lanka. Skipper Kusal Mendis said we won one off Test at SSC last Monday but this is a different format and we want to adjust well to compete with Afghan team during this ODI three match series. We will not underestimate Afghanistan as they have good players who have experience of playing in Franchise tournaments.

Sri Lanka came to this ODI series after winning Zimbabwe series at R.Premadasa International Cricket Stadium last month while Afghan team is more competitive than Zimbabwe. Afghan team put up a good fight against India last month and head coach Jonathan Trott always insists on playing positive cricket and that is the reason for our success said skipper Hashmatullah Shahidt. Recently we played good cricket in ODI format while in last ODI World Cup game in Pune Afghanistan defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets and that is a plus point for the team but different conditions in Pallekele and first have to adjust to that. Last Sri Lanka series Afganistan beat Sri Lanka in the second game but finally Sri Lanka won the series 2-1 after a good fight.

Apart from skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi vice captain Rahmat Shah,Opener and wicket keeper Rahmanulla Gurbaz,opener Ibrahim Zadran, former Skipper Mohammed Nabi the experienced all rounder off spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and wrist spinner Noor Ahmad are the key players of the side while paceman Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran who took four wickets at last SSC Test match are the fast bowlers of the side. Ibrahim Zadran who scored a Test century at SSC was the most successful batter in last series at Pallekele.Afghanistan have consistently striven to secure more bilateral cricket matches and create a busy schedule for National team and this marks their third visit to Sri Lanka in the past 16 months and most of the players are used to the conditions while Rahmanulla Gurbaz, Mohammed Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Noor Ahmed are having LPL experience which gives them confidence.

Sri Lanka having serious issue to build up good opening partnership and Pathum Nissanka and Avishka Fernando have big responsibility. Avishka Fernando was not in good form in Zimbabwe ODI series but his experience is vital. Kusal Mendis, Experienced Angelo Mathews, Sadeera Samarawickrama, deputy skipper Charith Asalanka have to give of their best to put up a challenging score. Wanindu Hasaranga and mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana are the chief spinners while Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka the pace duo and new comer Janith Liyanage who also can bowl medium pace always vital for Sri Lanka team. Former skipper Dasun Shanaka was omitted due to poor form and bowling all rounder Chamika Karunaratne could get a chance to play but final team will be announced on Friday morning said skipper Kusal.

Sri Lanka ODI squad: Kusal Mendis (capt), Charith Asalanka (V Capt), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Sahan Arachchige, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana,Dunith Wellalage, Akila Dhananjaya, Dilshan Madushanka, Promod Madushan, Shevon Daniel and Chamika KarunaratneAfganistan ODI squad: Hashmatullah Shahidi (Capt), Rahmat Shah (V Capt) , Rahmanulla Gurbaz,Ikram Alikil ,Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan ,Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammed Nabi, Gulbadin Nabi , Quis Ahmed,Noor Ahmed, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran, Farid AhmedMatch Officials: match referee- Chris Board, ICC elite umpire- Michael Gough, ICC elite umpires – Alex Wharf, ICC umpire – Ravindra Wimalasiri, ICC umpire – Prageeth Rambukwella

( Source : Daily News)

You Must be Registered Or Logged in To Comment Log In?

Please Accept Cookies for Better Performance