Match 30 of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 will see two Asian teams, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, come face to face. The last ODI between these two teams was no less than a humdinger with Sri Lanka managing to beat the Afghans by a mere margin of 2 runs.
However, Shahidi and his men returned the favour by defeating the Lankans by 6 wickets in the warm-up games that preceded the World Cup. So all in all, there’s been very little to choose between the two teams of late.
With scores of 51, 61, 54, and 77* in his last four games, Pathum Nissanka has been on a roll this World Cup and there’s no reason why he can’t score another one
The betting tip is...
Pathum Nissanka to score 50+
After convincingly defeating Pakistan, Afghanistan will surely be riding high on confidence. It was a complete team performance with everyone making important contributions.
The bowlers did very well to restrict Pakistan to 282. Noor Ahmad made his ODI World Cup debut in style picking up three crucial wickets, including the scalp of Babar Azam. Gurbaz and Zadran built a solid opening partnership of 130 that laid the foundation to register Afghanistan’s highest successful run chase in ODIs.
Although both the openers got dismissed, Shah and Shahidi ensured that their team went over the line without any hiccups.
The most striking feature of the chase was the maturity shown by the Afghani batsmen - they played every ball on its merit and never let any kind of pressure get to them.
It is highly unlikely that Afghanistan would tinker with the playing 11 of their last game.
Predicted Lineup: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad.
With 2 wins out of 5 games, Sri Lanka has had a mixed campaign so far. Their batting had come good in the initial games, but there was a lot that was left to be desired when it came to their bowling attack.
However, they turned the tables in their last game, against England. The attack was bolstered by the return of Angelo Matthews, who joined the squad last week as a travelling reserve after Pathirana suffered a shoulder injury in the game against Pakistan.
The veteran all-rounder deceived the English batsmen with his guile and picked up two crucial wickets. Lahiru Kumara too joined the party and was declared the Player of the Match for his figures of 3/35.
After having finally found the perfect balance this World Cup, Sri Lanka too might not like to alter their playing 11.
Predicted Lineup: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w/c), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka.
Although Sri Lanka enjoys a healthy lead when it comes to head-to-head in ODIs (7-3), the form Afghanistan are in at present makes it for an interesting battle.
The fact that both the team’s chances of making it to the knockout stage are heavily reliant on the outcome of this game is sure to add spice to the contest. We predict Sri Lanka to win this battle.