Asia Cup 2023: Match 6, Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka at Lahore Gaddafi Stadium. Who will win today’s match between AFG and SL?

Asia Cup 2023: Match 6, 

Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka 

at Lahore Gaddafi Stadium. 

Who will Win today’s match 

between AFG and SL?

Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka 

The 6th match
of the Asia Cup 2023 tournament will be played between defending champions
Afghanistan and Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. This opening Super
4 game is tricky for Afghanistan as they aim to start their title defense on a
winning note. After qualifying through the group stage, Afghanistan ran into an
unpredictable Sri Lankan team that could prove challenging for the hosts.
Having won the previous edition in 2018, Afghanistan will hope to draw
confidence from their prior Asia Cup success. But the talented Sri Lankans
present a stern test first up for the Afghan side in this landmark Asia Cup
clash at their adopted home ground in Lahore.

Asia Cup 2023: Match 6, Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka at Lahore Gaddafi Stadium. Who will win today's match between AFG and SL?

Sri Lanka
Starts as Strong Favorites
 

Despite several
recent administrative issues plaguing Sri Lankan cricket, the team still starts
as firm favorites in this clash owing to their consistent form over the past
year and a more balanced squad composition. The return of the experienced Kusal
Mendis only strengthens Sri Lanka’s batting, while mystery spinner Maheesh
Theekshana adds more wicket-taking potency to their spin attack. Skipper Dasun
Shanaka also boasts several aggressive power hitters in his team who can take
the game away rapidly. But some questions remain over whether Sri Lanka’s
largely inexperienced and raw bowling attack can hold their nerve against the
defending champions on a big stage. Afghanistan always plays above themselves
in UAE conditions. So, Sri Lanka must be bold despite being a favorite.

 

Under-Fire Shahidi
Seeks Batting 

With the
Afghanistan ODI team struggling recently under his leadership, senior batsman
Hashmatullah Shahidi has come under increased scrutiny. Afghanistan’s repeated
batting collapses in ODIs need the experience and composure of their captain at
number 4. But Shahidi himself needs to gain more form and fluency with the bat.
He will be eager to produce a substantial match-winning knock against Asian
giants Sri Lanka to silence his doubters and lead from the front. His ability
to anchor the innings and bat deep will be vital if Afghanistan aims to post
challenging and competitive totals in this match and the tournament.

 

Aggressive
Gurbaz vs. Sri Lankan Spinners

Early on, the
Sri Lankan spinners will heavily target and test opening batsman Rahmanullah
Gurbaz’s naturally aggressive batting style. The variations of Maheesh
Theekshana and Dhananjaya, in particular, could exploit Gurbaz’s
ultra-attacking strokeplay if he needs to be more prudent. But on the flip
side, if Gurbaz manages to get going, Afghanistan could capitalize on the
fielding restrictions during the powerplay overs. How well the keeper-batsman
can negotiate Sri Lanka’s spin threat could determine Afghanistan’s momentum
after the first six overs. His batting is essential for laying the foundation.

 

Veterans Rashid
And Mujeeb 

Test New-Look Sri Lanka Top Order

An untested Sri
Lankan top order featuring new faces like Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, and
Asalanka faces a stern early examination against the world-class spin of Rashid
Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman. While Nissanka and Mendis have expansive talent,
their lack of experience facing Afghanistan’s spinners on helpful Asian
surfaces is a concern. Any early wickets for Rashid or Mujeeb could completely
expose Sri Lanka’s relatively green middle-order lineup. Negotiating
Afghanistan’s premium spinners through the powerplay overs will be essential
for Sri Lanka.


For Recent Update:

Mendis’ Return
Strengthens 

Sri Lanka’s Powerful Middle Order

The return of
the prodigiously talented Kusal Mendis after nearly a year out strengthens and
balances Sri Lanka’s middle order significantly, as he demonstrated with a
stylish half-century against Australia recently. His fluid batting, ability to
accelerate when required, and extensive experience lend natural vigor and depth
to the impressive Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, and skipper Dasun
Shanaka. Together, they form a powerful middle order that could take apart any
bowling attack on their day. Mendis’s speedy return to form is essential to Sri
Lanka’s chances.

 

All-Rounders
Naib vs. Rajitha 

Key Clash in Store

A critical
tactical battle to watch out for will be between Afghanistan’s chief bowling
all-rounder, Gulbadin Naib, and Sri Lanka’s ascending all-rounder Kasun
Rajitha. Both are more than capable bowlers with their wicket-taking seamers
and are dangerous power hitters lower down the order when required. Their
ability to pick up critical middle-over wickets and then score quick runs could
be invaluable for either side. Whichever all-rounder can impose themselves more
successfully in both disciplines could tilt the knife-edge contest in their
team’s favor.

 

Leg-Spinners Rashid and 

Theekshana Ready for Battle

A
mouth-watering leg-spin bowling faceoff awaits between Afghanistan’s Rashid
Khan, one of the most prolific bowlers in T20 history, and Sri Lanka’s
unorthodox and rapidly improving mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana. Rashid
will back himself to outsmart the opposition batters through his profound
guile, variations, and accuracy. While still raw, Theekshana’s unusual action
and impressive wicket-taking exploits pose an undeniable threat. If either
bowler is dominant during their allotted overs, the game’s outcome may hinge on
that bowling spell. This battle between the premier leg-spinners on show will
be keenly anticipated.

 

Pacer Farooqi
Aims to

Emulate Last Match Heroics

Fresh off a
deserved Player of the Match performance against India, seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi
will be fired up to replicate those bowling heroics against Sri Lanka. His
pinpoint yorkers and early wickets broke the backbone of India’s star-studded
batting last game. Farooqi’s ability to swing the new ball and hit
uncomfortable lengths with his pace could also trouble Sri Lanka’s top order on
his day. If he can remove both Sri Lankan openers cheaply again, it will expose
an untested and fragile middle-order early on. Taking wickets at the rate the
teenager is right now is an excellent sign for Afghanistan.

 

Gaddafi Stadium
Fortress

Based on stats
and records, Afghanistan enjoys an advantage at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium,
losing only 2 out of their last 10 T20Is at the venue. Familiarity with the
typical continental style conditions allows their spinners, Rashid and Mujeeb,
to exploit any turn and bounce fully. The passionate home crowd support could
also inspire Afghanistan to raise their game. In contrast, Sri Lanka has an
abysmal overall record in Asia Cup matches held in UAE conditions over the
years. The Lankans must overcome this mental barrier to breach Afghanistan’s
formidable stronghold on spin-friendly Asian wickets.

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