Lahore pitch good for batting
Ibrahim too big
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Tuesday 5 September, 10:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka team news
Afghanistan were outclassed by a depleted Bangladesh and, barring a whopping margin of victory, will miss out on progression on net run rate. They conceded 334 and were never in the hunt in the chase despite Ibrahim Zadran again holding their batting together.
Probable XI: Gurbaz, Zadran, Shah, Shahidi, Najibullah, Nabi, Naib, Janat, Rashid, Mujeeb, Farooqi
Sri Lanka's campaign had been threatened by absence and injury. Wanindu Hasaranga is being kept fresh for the World Cup while bowlers Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka and Lahiru Kumara are all on the treatment table. Kusal Perera is trying to overcome Covid.
Probable XI: Nissanka, Karunaratne, Kusal, Samarawickarama, Asalanka, Dhananjaya, Shanaka, Wellalage, Theekshana, Rajitha, Pathirana
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka pitch report
The trends held in Lahore for Bangladesh-Afghanistan: a toss bias for the side batting first and big runs. Bangladesh's 334 was the third 300-bust in four since cricket international cricket returned to the city in 2022. Sri Lanka have a run rate of 5.20 versus Afghanistan's 5.15 in the last two years batting first.
But there's a gap the other way with the ball with Sri Lanka conceding 0.68 more. Afghanistan's runs could be cheap at 265-270 or more or something similar on the par line.
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka match odds
Sri Lanka are 1.608/13 with Afghanistan 2.6413/8. Given the flat nature of the wicket and the importance of the toss, a case can be made for the Afghans.
Given the net run rate situation if they were to post 275 and win by a margin of 68 runs or greater, that would be enough. That seems more achievable than chasing a target inside 35 overs.
They will have to be gung-ho, then, so at the least a trade to even money seems within their grasp. But there have been worse 2.6413/8 shots.
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka player bets
The 10/34.33 about Ibrahim Zadran - now six wins in his last 17 - is way too big for top Afghan bat. He won for us last time. Dhananjaya, an old favourite of this column, is also toppy at 10/111.00 for Sri Lanka.
Dasun Shanaka is another go-to bet at 12/113.00 but his form has been off lately. Maheesh Pathirana, potential lethal at the death, is 10/34.33 for top Sri Lanka bowler.