Cricket One Day International Prediction
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan - Match Preview
🏏 7 June 2023 - 8:30 GMT +0
With the ODI series level at 1-1, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will go head-to-head in the deciding match on Wednesday in Hambantota. Afghanistan comfortably won the opening match by six wickets before Sri Lanka had a convincing 132-run victory on Sunday to set up this ‘winner takes all’ clash. This will be Sri Lanka’s final game before they travel to Zimbabwe for the 2023 World Cup Qualifier tournament which begins in less than a fortnight. They will be looking to emulate Sunday’s performance with both bat and ball in this match and build on the momentum of that victory, which was their first after seven ODIs without a win.
Sri Lanka’s top four all produced scores of greater than 40 in the second ODI - Pathum Nissanka (43), Dimuth Karunaratne (52), Kusal Mendis (78) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (44) - and with number five Charith Asalanka hitting 91 in the first ODI, confidence is expected to be high in the batting line-up ahead of this match. Furthermore, the lower and middle order also chipped in, with skipper Dasun Shanaka making a quickfire 23 runs from 13 balls and Wanindu Hasaranga ending up unbeaten on 29 from only 12 balls.
With the ball, after picking up only four wickets in Friday’s opening game of the series, Sri Lanka bounced back with a brilliant bowling performance in the second ODI by dismissing six of Afghanistan’s batters for single-figure scores on the way to bowling them out for 191 from 42.1 overs. Wanindu Hasaranga, who missed the first ODI with a heel injury, took 3-42 and bowled their two maiden overs of the innings.
After their heavy defeat on Sunday, Afghanistan is hoping to welcome Rashid Khan back into the team for the first time in the series. The leg-spinner arrived from the IPL with a lower-back issue and is expected to return for this contest. However, with Afghanistan already qualified for the 2023 World Cup, it is unlikely that he will be risked if there are any doubts over his fitness. Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi have been the chief run-scorers for Afghanistan over the opening two games. Opener Zadran has gone past 50 in both matches and, between the three batters, they have contributed 338 of the 460 runs (73%) hit by Afghanistan in the series.
Afghanistan’s spinners, Noor Ahmad, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, have taken wickets in both matches of the series so far and they will all be looking forward to bowling at this venue for the third time in this game. Left-arm pace bowler Fareed Ahmad has recorded figures of 2-43 and 2-61 in the first two games and he is targeting dismissals for a tenth successive ODI in this match. Nine of the last 14 ODIs at this venue have been won by the team fielding first in Hambantota, although Sri Lanka has won two of their last three games here when batting first (132 runs and 161 runs).
⚡ Players to watch: Wanindu Hasaranga made an instant impact in the series on Sunday with both bat and ball. He has an excellent record in Hambantota, where he averages 18 with a bowling strike rate of 21, compared to his ODI career average of 39 and a strike rate of 46.
Since making his ODI debut in November 2019, only Babar Azam, Shubman Gill and Sanju Samson have a better batting average than Ibrahim Zadran (minimum ten innings amongst full ICC members). The 21-year-old has hit 54, 98 and 162 in his last three ODI innings.
📋 Stat attack: Seven of the last nine full ODIs in Hambantota witnessed a first-innings score of 300+ runs.
- Three of Fareed Ahmad’s four dismissals in this series have been caught behind by wicket-keeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz is the only man to have been dismissed for fewer than 20 runs in both games of the series.
- Wanindu Hasaranga has not gone wicketless in any of his four ODIs against Afghanistan.
- Ibrahim Zadran now averages 86.00 in ODIs against Sri Lanka.
- Wanindu Hasaranga vs Najibullah Zadran in ODIs: 2/35 from 33 balls.
- Ibrahim Zadran has hit two sixes in each of the matches of this series so far.
- Mohammad Nabi is three runs and three wickets away from becoming only the 20th ODI player to hit 3000 runs and take 150 wickets.
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