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Afghanistan v Sri Lanka: Rain a concern for Cardiff showdown

03 Jun 2019, 22:06 IST
kusal perera - cropped
Kusal Perera in action against New Zealand

Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will be looking to show a positive response to heavy Cricket World Cup defeats when they meet at Sofia Gardens if the weather holds on Tuesday.

New Zealand thumped Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in their first game of the tournament on Saturday, while Afghanistan went down by seven wickets to holders Australia.

Sri Lanka have won only one ODI match this year against Scotland and lost their last such encounter with Afghanistan by 91 runs last September. 

Struggling Sri Lanka have lost nine of their 10 matches in the 50-over format this year and must show a marked improvement with the bat, having been dismissed for only 136 by the Black Caps in Cardiff.

Afghanistan paceman Hamid Hassan is expected to be fit despite being struck on the hand in practice.

Poor weather is forecast in the Welsh capital for what both sides must see as a great opportunity to get up and running.


Dimuth Karunaratne carried his bat for 52 in Sri Lanka's opener, but they were blown away in meek fashion by the Black Caps, making just 136 all out. New Zealand reached their target without the loss of a wicket from just 16.1 overs.


Najibullah Zadran made a half-century as Afghanistan posted 207 all out against Australia, who eased to victory with David Warner making an unbeaten 89 and Aaron Finch smashing a rapid 66.



Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga: "The very important thing is handling the pressure. I think they have more experience. I still believe if we do our best, we will get the finish we want."

Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib: "We have an opportunity to do well against them. They're also a good team, Sri Lanka, and we cannot take [it] easy. We can try to score big. If we play 50 overs, maybe it will be difficult for them."



- Since the start of 2017, Afghanistan sensation Rashid Khan has taken 99 ODI wickets, more than any other spinner.

- The only World Cup meeting between the two nations came in Dunedin four years ago, Sri Lanka winning by four wickets despite losing openers to golden ducks in their run chase.

- Lahiru Thirimanne is set for his 100th ODI innings and needs just six runs to become the 16th player to reach 3,000 ODI runs for Sri Lanka.

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