Afghanistan and Sri Lanka clash in crucial ODI showdown.

Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are gearing up to square off in Pune on Monday, each determined to level their win-loss record and bolster their chances of advancing to the knockout stages of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

This encounter marks the fifth One Day International (ODI) clash between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka within just five months, but this time, the stakes have been significantly raised. Both teams are riding high on their improving form and remarkable performances in the World Cup.

Both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka have surged back into semi-final contention with stunning victories. Afghanistan pulled off a remarkable upset by defeating Pakistan, while Sri Lanka continued their winning streak with a notable triumph over titleholders England.

Sri Lanka holds a strong recent record against Afghanistan, having won their last three encounters in the ODI format, including a thrilling showdown in the Asia Cup, where Sri Lanka emerged victorious by a margin of just two runs.

However, while Afghanistan boasts a settled and consistent lineup, Sri Lanka’s fortunes have taken a hit due to injuries. In-form pacer Lahiru Kumara is the latest addition to the list of sidelined players in the Sri Lankan squad.


Afghanistan squad:

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi (c)
  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz
  • Ibrahim Zadran
  • Riaz Hassan
  • Rahmat Shah
  • Najibullah Zadran
  • Mohammad Nabi
  • Ikram Alikhil
  • Azmatullah Omarzai
  • Rashid Khan
  • Mujeeb ur Rahman
  • Noor Ahmad
  • Fazalhaq Farooqi
  • Abdul Rahman
  • Naveen ul Haq

Sri Lanka squad:

  • Kusal Mendis (c)
  • Kusal Perera
  • Pathum Nissanka
  • Angelo Mathews
  • Dushmantha Chameera
  • Dimuth Karunaratne
  • Sadeera Samarawickrama
  • Charith Asalanka
  • Dhananjaya de Silva
  • Maheesh Theekshana
  • Dunith Wellalage
  • Kasun Rajitha
  • Dilshan Madushanka
  • Dushan Hemantha
  • Chamika Karunaratne

Key Players:

Afghanistan – Naveen-ul-Haq: The fiery pacer has played a pivotal role in bolstering Afghanistan’s bowling attack, which primarily relies on spin threats like Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, and Noor Ahmad. Naveen-ul-Haq, often taking the ball as the first change, has demonstrated a knack for picking up crucial wickets at crucial junctures in Afghanistan’s victories. His performance, including dismissing Jos Buttler’s stumps during a tense England chase, has been impressive. With six wickets, Naveen stands shoulder to shoulder with spin maestro Rashid Khan as Afghanistan’s most impactful bowler in the Cricket World Cup.

Sri Lanka – Kusal Mendis: Kusal Mendis, who has taken on the captaincy after Dasun Shanaka’s injury, has been actively involved in Sri Lanka’s recent successes. Leading the team to consecutive victories, Mendis has not only contributed with the bat but has also showcased improved glovework. With neat catches and clever dismissals, Mendis played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s wins. However, his own batting form has dipped slightly, and he’ll be eager to rediscover his touch, having started the World Cup with 198 runs in Sri Lanka’s first two matches.