Sri Lanka will look to continue their winning run as they will face Afghanistan in match 30 of ICC World Cup 2023 at MCA Stadium, Pune on 30th October.
It promises to be an exciting encounter as Sri Lanka registered a comprehensive 8-wicket win over England. They would miss the services of Lahiru Kumara as he has been ruled out of the tournament due to an injury.
On the other hand, Afghanistan stunned Pakistan by 8 wickets and would look for another superb performance against Sri Lanka. Both teams have top-quality players who can change the course of the game with their abilities helping their country register victory.
Here we look at the 5 Players To Watch Out For
- Pathum Nissanka
Pathum Nissanka has been in sensational form of late with an unbeaten knock of 77 that helped Sri Lanka register a comprehensive 8-wicket win. After the fall of 2 early wickets, he looked in sublime touch putting pressure on England’s bowlers.
He has all the shots in the making that would create doubt in bowlers’ minds. Nissanka has a great record in the ODI format against Afg with 296 runs from 7 matches (7 innings) including 2 half-centuries with the highest score of 85.
Nissanka would look to continue his superb form in the match against Afghanistan providing an attacking start along with Kusal Perera that would lead Sri Lanka to keep momentum going with a good bowling attack. Playing his first WC match against Afg, he would be eager to continue his superb form this tournament.
- Ibrahim Zadran
Ibrahim Zadran laid a strong foundation with a superb century runs stand with Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the historic win over Pakistan. Zadran looked in brilliant touch keeping the shots going not allowing the Pakistan bowlers to settle.
Zadran has a superb record against Sri Lanka in the ODI format with 278 runs from 3 matches (3 innings) including a career-best score of 162. He made 87 off 103 balls and was named the player of the match award.
He would be looking to prove his worth again with another superb partnership with Gurbaz laying a strong foundation for Afg to put pressure on Lankan bowling.
- Sadeera Samawickrama
Sadeera Samawickrama registered his second successive fifty with a brilliant unbeaten knock against England. Sri Lanka lost 2 early wickets that put pressure on the England bowlers. He played the pacers and spinners brilliantly which never allowed them to settle.
He played with attacking intent keeping momentum going for Sri Lanka. Samawickrama remained not out on 65 laying a strong foundation with an easy win. Coming at number 4, he would be looking to continue his winning form and help Sri Lanka make sure that they stay alive in the semi-final race.
- Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan bowled brilliantly in the previous match against Pakistan. With the Chennai pitch favourable for spinners, he did not allow them to score runs freely and made life tough for Pak batters.
He has played 11 wickets from 7 matches against Sri Lanka at an economy of 4.33 runs per over including best figures of 4 for 33. When these two teams met in the 2019 WC, Rashid Khan picked 2 for 17 but could not help his side win the match.
Rashid Khan would be hoping for a good performance to pick wickets in middle overs and help Afghanistan keep Sri Lanka under check.
- Kasun Rajitha
Kasun Rajitha bowled a superb spell against England in the previous match. His bowling made life tough for batters who had some help from pacers. He dismissed dangerous Jonny Bairstow with an easy catch to Dhanajaya de Silva on 30.
He then dismissed Chris Woakes with a stunning catch by Samawickrama at backward point. Rajitha would play a key role with Lahiru Kumara ruled out. When these two teams met in Asia Cup 2023, Rajitha was the pick of bowlers with 4 for 79 in 10 overs and helped Sri Lanka win a thriller against Afg.
His role is to pick early wickets in the first 10 overs and also make sure that Afghanistan does not score many runs.