Sri Lanka face more questions | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka face more questions

4 June, 2023
Charith Asalanka: Missed a well deserved century in curtain raiser
Charith Asalanka: Missed a well deserved century in curtain raiser

Sri Lanka face a heavy question paper when the team moves out today to confront Afghanistan in the second ODI at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Hambantota having lost the first match in a disastrous manner.

What will be foremost on the minds of team followers will be the question in the logic of bringing back Dimuth Karaunaratne and Angelo Mathews into the team unless the duo can come good in today’s match with nothing short a big half century.

The two made scores of 4 and 12 respectively with both falling victim to the fast bowlers.

Another question that will have to be answered is about fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana who is yet to display consistency in accuracy and whether he has a problem in bowling 10 overs compared to the four overs in T20 cricket which is not much of an ask.

That Pathirana was thrashed for 66 runs in 8.5 overs of which eight came by way of wide-balls and conceded the two sixes hit by Afghanistan means his mentors will have a task on their hands and time is short. Another factor that Sri Lanka will have to deal with in today’s decisive game is the fact that Afghanistan knows how to bat and bowl just like any other frontline ODI team, having also shed their amateurish approach in such a short span of time.

Sri Lanka has been playing ODI cricket since 1975 while Afghanistan is a relative new comer having played their first match in 2009 against Scotland.

In contrast while Afghanistan has gone from boys to men, Sri Lanka has gone from men to boys.

Likely teams:

Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareeh Ahmad

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karanaratne, Pathum Nissanka Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Dushan Hemantha, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana