Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Tuesday, 10:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event
Wooden spoon candidates have their final
Afghanistan and many a romantic were brought crashing to earth on their World Cup debut as Australia skittled them with nearly 12 overs to spare. No matter - this is their cup final. It may well determine who finishes bottom.
Evidently from that game and the warm-up against England, the Afghans are extremely vulnerable against elite pace attacks on firm pitches.
Tuesday's opponents present nothing like that threat. Indeed when the pair met in the Asia Cup - their first match in four years and only third ever - Afghanistan ran out winners by 91 runs.
Sri Lanka's miserable run continues
Sri Lanka were firm favourites before that defeat, presumably on the basis of historic pedigree, because their decline was long underway. They've only won twice from 14 matches since, one of which was over Scotland.
Following two thrashings in the warm-ups, New Zealand compounded their misery by skittling them for just 136. Besides 52 from skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, (who also hit 87 in a warm-up), there was literally nothing positive to report.
Back overs on run lines - especially Afghans
Don't read anything too much into Afghanistan being bowled out for 207. Their run-rate was fine, despite starting terribly and losing regular wickets. In the right conditions, they have enough depth to hit 300.
Equally Sri Lanka's collapse was less specific to the Cardiff pitch than overcast conditions, the quality of bowling and their own failings.
New Zealand chased the target down in double-quick time so I'm still marking Cardiff down as an 'overs' ground. Including the warm-up matches, the three previous first innings totals were all between 338 and 359.
Given that both were bowled out so cheaply, the run lines may be set low - with par somewhere around 250-260. If so, speculative bets on higher bands might be the way forward. 280 or more at around 3.55/2, for example.
Hazrutullah to make a big impact
That is especially the case if Afghanistan bat first. Whatever their shortcomings against the best, they are a talented side on the up. Other names beyond Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi will emerge this month.
This is the best chance an Afghan will win Man of the Match during the tournament and for one of their batsmen to make a big score.
Their top-three against Australia - Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad and Rahmat Shah - can be backed at odds that combine to just under 5/1.
All have credentials. Hazratullah hit the second highest score in T20 history - 162 against Ireland. Shahzad hit 124 against India in a memorable tied match at the Asia Cup. Shah averages an impressive 36.5 and top-scored against Australia.
Rashid Khan is obvious but prohibitively priced at 11/10 to be Top Afghanistan Wicket-Taker. Preference is for Hamid Hassan, who was their best bowler against Australia and has an impressive wickets per game ratio.
It is much harder to be positive about Sri Lanka who, save the odd great individual performance, have been on a losing run and right now, are at rock bottom. It isn't clear that they are still ahead of second-tier teams like Zimbabwe nowadays and were comprehensively second-best against these opponents in September.
Afghanistan's odds have shortened considerably but still appeal at 2.1211/10. I expect them to confirm supremacy both here and throughout the tournament.
For Sri Lanka, Karunaratne is now favourite to top-score at 3/1 ahead of Kusal Perera at 7/2, but few of the top order are reliable. I reckon taking 5/1 about former captain Angelo Mathews - whose 41.71 average is miles ahead of the rest - in all their matches will pay off.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty