ODI World Cup 2023: Afghanistan hopes alive for a semi-final spot, Sri Lanka also has a fair chance
The stakes are high for Afghanistan as well as Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 2023 at this stage as both the teams are close to the top four spot in the points table. A win on Monday will further their ambitions of playing semi-finals.
A lot will be at stake for Afghanistan and Sri Lanka when they face each other at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Monday. Both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka now have a fair chance to push for the top four spot.
Afghanistan has been continuing its threat of upsets after winning against Pakistan in Chennai. The Afghan batters put up a determined effort on a tough Chennai pitch to put the Pakistan team back in the lower half of the points table. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran's brilliant start gave the required ammunition for Afghanistan.
Ibrahim Zadran gave back to the men in green in style after dedicating the man of the match award to the Afghanistan people being forcefully sent back to their homeland by the Pakistan government and the Army. Nevertheless, Afghanistan will look to continue its momentum as the sight is toward semi-final spot.
Sri Lanka won their previous ODI World Cup 2023 match against England which could now be their motivating factor further in the tournament. With the upcoming fixtures, it will not be easy for Sri Lanka to get into the top four spot but they can keep trying to see the better end.
Noor Ahmed could sit out this match despite a powerful performance against Pakistan. Fazalhaq Farooqi could take over the spot due to the Pune pitch. Sri Lanka suffered a big blow as their man-of-the-match player against England, Lahiru Kumara got ruled out of the World Cup due to an injury. Dushmantha Chameera has replaced him.
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (C & WK), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka.
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (C), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Alikhil, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq.