World Cup 2019, Match 7, Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka: Why an Afghanistan win will not be an upset
Afghanistan is a cricketing nation that has grown in leaps and bounds in the past few years. Their journey to the World Cup in itself is memorable and inspiring. The free spirit and confidence with which they play their game has ensured their phenomenal growth.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, look clueless, listless and dysfunctional as a unit. They have forcefully entrusted the captaincy of their ODI team on Dimuth Karunaratne and have left out match-winners like Niroshan Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal from their fifteen member squad.
Afghanistan are here in the cricket World Cup 2019 not just to make the numbers. They have some fine, talented match-winning players who can push the strongest and toughest oppositions. They have the drive, motivation and intent to do well and perform well in the biggest stage of them all.
Sri Lanka have a bunch of experienced names in Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga who would have to play out of their skins even against Afghanistan for the Lankans to stand a chance. Their collapse against the Kiwis was not too surprising, to say the least.
Afghanistan also got off to a losing start against Australia, but they went down with a fight. They showed tremendous amount of grit, fight and determination to do well. Players like Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Hamid Haasan and Dawalat Zadran look really impressive.
Pitting both sides against each other, it is clear that Afghanistan are better equipped to come out on top today. They are in the right frame of mind and look intent on proving a point. Sri Lanka seem lost and will be seeking some external forces to help them out.
If Afghanistan can put on a show similar to the one they displayed against the defending champions Australia, then it can be said that their win won't seem like an upset. Although they are ranked last in the ICC ODI rankings, they deserve to do well as against a weak-looking Sri Lankan side.
Also read - World cup most man of the match