Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will square off in the series finale at Hambantota. The hosts tied the series 1-1 thanks to a comeback from the Sri Lankan batters and some impressive bowling from Dhananjaya de Silva.
Afghanistan chased down a 269-run target with 6 wickets in hand in the first ODI of this series. The top order of Sri Lanka stepped up and delivered significant knocks in the second ODI, pushing the score past 300.
Wanindu Hasaranga came in for the second ODI and went 3 for 42, helping to clean up Afghanistan’s tail. While Hasaranga replaced Lahiru Kumara, Sri Lanka replaced Pathirana with Dushmantha Chameera.
Despite the fact that Sri Lanka bowled out the opposition for 191 runs in the previous match, we believe it is still a good batting pitch. If either team bats first, they should aim for a high score. Afghanistan has a strong top 5 and can replicate their first ODI performance with a few good partnerships at the top.
The 3rd ODI between Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan will take place on June 7th, 2023 at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota.
Match Details to Note
Match: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, 3rd ODI, Afghanistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2023
Date: June 07, 2023 (Wednesday)
Time: 10:00 AM IST
Venue: Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
In the second ODI, Sri Lanka were quick to correct their mistakes and mount a comeback against the visitors. Kusal Mendis delivered an impactful knock at number three, living up to the hype.
A strong player at that position who can anchor the innings can be critical in forming partnerships in the middle. The openers had a good day as well, scoring 82 runs for the first wicket.
Dimuth Karunaratne, despite having a strong Test record, has struggled in ODIs for the most part. Karunaratne has yet to reach his full potential, having only 7 fifties from 32 outings and no hundred.
His fifty in the previous match gave Sri Lanka a good start, but as a senior player with 86 Test matches under his belt, Karunaratne is expected to bat for Sri Lanka for much longer. With his 44-run knock, Samarawickrama, who replaced Matthews at number four, proved the decision was correct.
However, it is yet another example of a good start that did not translate in the Sri Lanka batting lineup. The lower order includes de Silva, Shanaka, and Hasaranga, all of whom are capable of scoring runs. Dasun Shanka will be confident going into the third ODI after all of his selections in the previous game were successful.
Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama (wk), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushan Hemantha, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana
Players to watch out for:
The keeper-batter now has 23 50+ scores in this format. Throughout his innings in the second ODI, he hit seven fours and one six.
The 35-year-old left-handed opener scored his eighth ODI half-century in the win on Sunday. He comes into the game intending to bat through the entire team’s innings.
In the previous match, the bowling all-rounder took two wickets in one over. He has a fantastic record in Hambantota and will be very dangerous in this game.
Possible Playing XI:
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha
Skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi will undoubtedly miss Rashid Khan, whose bowlers went for 323 runs after being put in to bat first. Fazallaq Farooqi, who smashed the Sri Lankan top order in the first ODI, went wicketless in the second.
In the 16th over, Mohamamd Nabi trapped Pathum Nissanka LBW for the first time. Noor Ahmed, 18, was quick to deliver another blow as Karunaratne was out LBW this time. The match could go either way at this point.
Sri Lanka had dropped two quick wickets, with both openers returning to the pavilion. The 88-run third-wicket stand turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favor. It was not going to be easy for Afghanistan to chase 300+ against a strong and experienced Sri Lankan bowling attack.
The Afghanistan pacers appear to have made inroads early in the powerplay with the new, moving ball. However, if the Sri Lankan openers play them cautiously, the pacers will be rendered ineffective for the remainder of the innings.
Bowling is the key to victory in this series decider. The hosts have a strong lineup, and early wickets will help Afghanistan gain an advantage. In the batting order, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, and skipper Shahidi are all key players.
Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Riaz Hassan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Abdul Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Ikram Alikhil
Players to watch out for:
Ibrahim Zadran was named Player of the Match after hitting 11 fours and two sixes before being caught on the deep backward square boundary.
The 38-year-old all-rounder needs three runs with the bat and three wickets with the ball to reach 3000 ODI runs and 150 ODI wickets.
The left-arm pace bowler has been costly, but he has also taken crucial wickets in the series. On this pitch, he took 2-61 in Sunday’s game.
Possible Playing XI:
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad Malik
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Batsmen Worth Watching
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Kusal Mendis are our batsmen choices for Sri Lanka. Nissanka scored 43 runs off 56 balls on Sunday, including six boundaries. In this format, Karunaratne has a perfect score of 97.
With the bat, we recommend Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, and Hashmatullah Shahidi for Afghanistan. Shahidi hit six fours in the previous game, giving him another ODI half-century. Shah has faced nearly 4500 ODI deliveries and is a reliable batter in this format.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Bowlers Worth Watching
Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhanajaya de Silva, and Dushmatha Chameera are our bowling picks for Sri Lanka. On Sunday, Chameera impressed with figures of 2-18 from 7 overs, dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Mohammad Nabi. In the second ODI of the series, Dhananjaya took 3-39.
Rashid Khan, Fareed Ahmad, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman are our ball-handlers for Afghanistan. Ur Rahman was the most economical bowler for his team, picking up a wicket in the ODI on Sunday. In 37 international matches, Ahmad has 50 international wickets.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Head to Head
Sri Lanka won by a large margin in the previous game, but both teams have won by large margins in the previous five meetings. Sri Lanka leads the series 5-3.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Head to Head Stats in ODI
|Matches Played||SL Won||AFG Won||Tie||NR|
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Toss Prediction
On this ground, there isn’t much of a difference in wins for teams batting first and second. Since the pitch has been used for the last two ODIs, we believe it will be more difficult to score big here in the final game. As a result, chasing should be avoided, especially when spinners are involved.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Pitch Report
All of the matches in this ODI series will be played at the Mahindra Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota. India has defended the lowest score of 314 runs at this venue. The team batting first will aim to score 300 runs in order to have the best chance of winning here.
It is a batting-friendly pitch with good bounce that helps pacers in the first innings while allowing spinners to have their say as the game progresses. The sky will be cloudy, with a high temperature of 32 degrees Celsius.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Prediction
Sri Lanka will enter this match with confidence after a big win in the previous match. If Afghanistan loses early wickets in a run-chase, they could crumble. Despite significant improvements over the years, we believe Sri Lanka’s experienced bowling attack will have the upper hand in this match. Rashid Khan could have made a difference if he had been named to the starting XI. Afghanistan’s pacers are inexperienced, and if their first spell goes wicketless, the hosts can once again put up a big enough total to win. Check out the odds at Cricbaba!
Sri Lanka is the favourite to beat Afghanistan at the odds of 1.50.
Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Most Recommended Player for Bet:
In the second ODI, Kusal Mendis scored 78 runs off 75 balls at number three. He is our choice to be Sri Lanka’s leading run-scorer against Afghanistan.