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ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan 30th Match at Pune. Who will win tomorrow’s match between SL and AFG?

ICC ODI World Cup 2023: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan 30th Match at Pune. Who will win tomorrow’s match between SL and AFG?

Introduction

The 30th match of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan promises to be an exciting clash at Pune. Both teams are coming off losses and will look to bounce back strongly to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the wide-open tournament. With plenty of talent on both sides, an entertaining game is on the cards for fans.

Tournament Background

The 12-team ICC ODI World Cup 2023 is currently underway in India, with 29 matches completed so far. Defending champions England are at the bottom of the 10-team points table, while co-hosts India are at the top. Sri Lanka is fifth with only two wins from five matches, while Afghanistan is seventh, still searching for their third win. The top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals; hence, this is a must-win match for both sides.

Match Background

This 30th match of the World Cup will be played at the MCA Stadium in Pune. Sri Lanka lost their previous game to Australia, while Afghanistan went down to England. Both teams will be eager to get back to winning ways as the race for the knockout spots heats up. With the pitch supporting spinners, it could favour Afghanistan.

Pune Pitch and Conditions

The Pune wicket has been slow and low, offering assistance to spinners with the odd-ball gripping. Dew is not a major factor, unlike other venues. Scores are around 250–270 par here, with strokes not easy for batters. The weather is clear for match day, and a full 50-over contest uninterrupted by rain is expected.

Sri Lanka Team News

Sri Lanka could consider drafting in an extra spinner like Jayawickrama and strengthening their bowling. There are no major injury concerns. Skipper Mendis and Asalanka have been among the runs and hold the key. Veteran Mathews lends stability to the middle order. Spinners Maheesh and Dhananjaya de Silva have been Sri Lanka's trump cards.

Afghanistan Team News

Afghanistan is unlikely to tinker with their winning combination. Their batting has clicked with contributions from Gurbaz, Zadran, and Shahidi. Captain Hashmatullah will aim for a big score in the middle order. The spin duo of Rashid and Mujeeb, along with pacer Farooqi, led a dangerous bowling attack. Overall, Afghanistan looks like a well-balanced side.

Key Player Battles

The contest between wily spinner Rashid and the Sri Lankan batters could determine the match. Skippers Hashmatullah and Mendis in the middle order will also be crucial. Gurbaz taking on the SL seamers will be an interesting battle. With the ball, Rashid against the in-form Asalanka could be a matchup to watch out for.

Predicted 11s

Sri Lanka: Nissanka, Mendis, Samarawickrama, Asalanka, Mathews, Dhananjaya, Perera, Theekshana, Rajitha, Chameera, and Madushanka

Afghanistan: Gurbaz, Zadran, Shah, Hashmatullah, Omarzai, Alikhil, Nabi, Rashid, Mujeeb, Naveen, and Farooqi

Match Prediction

Both teams are evenly matched on paper. But Afghanistan's quality spinners on a dry Pune pitch could give them the edge. Sri Lanka's recent loss also dents their morale. Expect Afghanistan to bounce back strongly and clinch a tight contest against the Lankans.

Conclusion

Each team, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, needs a victory in this 30th match at Pune to maintain any hope of qualifying for the World Cup. Conditions appear slightly in Afghanistan's favour, and the country also has momentum from their most recent matchup. Afghanistan is almost the clear favourite to win, so it could be a thrilling match that comes down to the wire.

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