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Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, 1st ODI Match Preview

Sri Lanka Cricket Team. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Afghanistan can always prove to be a tricky opponent in white-ball formats. They were close to qualifying for the ODI World Cup semi-finals and were on the verge of beating India in the third T20I of the series. Even though they failed on both these occasions, Afghanistan can’t be taken lightly. They have multiple match-winners in the squad, who can help the team get over the line against Sri Lanka in the upcoming three-match ODI series.

Meanwhile, the hosts have excluded former skipper Dasun Shanaka and Angelo Mathews from the squad. Despite so, the Lankan Lions are the favourites to get the job done. Skipper Kusal Mendis is in remarkable form at the moment and so does Wanindu Hasaranga, who finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series against Zimbabwe.

They will be confident of their chances to bag the series, especially after a thumping 10-wicket win in the one-off Test against Afghanistan. Their bowling and batting looks more or less sorted at the moment but it’s the fielding that the team needs to address at this point.

Coming to Afghanistan, the visitors will miss the service of Rashid Khan, who is out of action following a back injury. The Hashmatullah Shahidi-led side however has the likes of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, and Azmatullah Omarzai in the squad, who will be vital for the team.

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium Pitch Report

The surface at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium is usually on the slower side, The spinners are likely to get some advantage from the surface and batting first will be ideal. Anything above 260 runs will be a good total at this venue.

SL vs AFG Predicted Playing XI

Sri Lanka (SL):

The hosts have a strong pool of players to choose from. Hasaranga and Madushanka will be leading the bowling unit while Asalanka and Mendis will be key among the batters.

Predicted XI: Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk/c), Sadeera Samrawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Charith Asalanka, Sahan Arachchige, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka

Afghanistan (AFG):
The focus will be on Azmatullah Omarzai, who was terrific in the ODI World Cup. Since the spinners are expected to get some assistance, Nabi and Mujeeb will be handy for the skipper.

Predicted XI: Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Qais Ahmad  Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveed Zadran

SL vs AFG ODIs Head-to-Head Records:

Matches Played
12
Sri Lanka won
7
Afghanistan won 
4
NR
00
Tied 
01
First Meeting
March 3, 2014
Last Meeting
October 30, 2023

SL vs AFG, 1st ODI, Broadcast Details:

Date
Friday, February 09 
Timing
02:30 AM (IST)
Live Streaming
Sony Sports 5
Live Broadcast
Sony Liv

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