Asia Cup, Super Four: Shanaka opts to field versus Afghanistan
Sri Lanka will be raring to avenge the opening day defeat against Afghanistan in the first match of Super 4 in Asia Cup 2022. SL eked out a two-wicket win over Bangladesh to claim a top-two finish in Group B. Afghanistan will look to extend their two-match win streak. The news from the center is that SL skipper Dasun Shanaka has opted to field.
Pitch report, timing, and TV listing
The Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah will host this affair. Chasing sides have won 17 of 27 T20Is played here. The wicket has aided both batters and bowlers. Anything around 145-155 could be a fighting total, given SL and Afghanistan's bowling attack on offer. The match will be telecast live on Star Sports Network (7:30 PM) and live-streamed on the Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here's the head-to-head record in T20Is
Both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have won a game each in T20I match-ups. The Lankans bested their rivals by six wickets in their maiden encounter during the 2016 T20 World Cup. Tillakaratne Dilshan's 56-ball 83* made light work of the 154-run chase. Afghanistan then handed an eight-wicket drubbing in the tournament opener in Asia Cup 2022.
Who are the key performers (T20Is)?
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has snapped up 65 scalps, averaging an awe-inspiring 14.41. Kusal Mendis has slammed 205 runs in 2022. He averages 29.28 across eight innings (50s:2). Dasun Shanaka has clobbered 509 T20 runs this year, averaging 33.93 (SR: 140.60). Najibullah Zadran has hoarded 697 T20 runs across 21 innings in 2022. He averages 46.46. Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman owns 43 scalps at 15.69.
Playing XI of Afghanistan
Afghanistan Playing XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Samiullah Shinwari, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi. Skipper Nabi confirmed that Samiullah Shinwari has come in for Azmatullah as he is out sick.
Playing XI of Sri Lanka
SL Playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.