The teams are joined by Bangladesh in Group B, whereas Group A includes India, Pakistan, and Hong Kong, who recently beat UAE and Kuwait to qualify for the main event. The matches are set to be played at two venues, Dubai and Sharjah.
Sri Lanka is the second most successful team in the Asia Cup after India, having won the title five times (1986, 1997, 2004, 2008, and 2014). Since the retirement of some of their greats like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, the team couldn’t lift themselves as they did in the presence of their legends. Though they have managed to upset the big teams on a few occasions, their overall record has not been great over the years.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, is the dark horse of the tournament. The team is known to turn the game at any stage as they did against India in the 2018 Asia Cup. The game ended in a tie, which was not expected at all. Before coming into the tournament, Afghanistan had won seven of their ten T20I matches since the T20 World Cup 2021Sri Lanka (SL) will take on Afghanistan (AFG) in the opening encounter of the 2022 Asia Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday, August 27.
The two sides have been placed in Group B of the competition alongside Bangladesh. The top two teams from the group will progress to the next round of the competition.
Dasun Shanaka will lead Sri Lanka, while Mohammad Nabi will lead Afghanistan at the Asia Cup 2022.
Sri Lanka last played a T20I against Australia at home in June. The hosts lost the series 1-2 but clinched the ODI series 3-2. Meanwhile, Afghanistan lost to Ireland by a 2-3 margin away from home earlier this month.
SL vs AFG Match Details:
Match: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan, 1st Match, Group B – Asia Cup 2022.
Date & Time: Saturday, August 27; 7.30pm IST.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.
SL vs AFG Pitch Report
The track at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium is a balanced one and will help both batters and bowlers. The batters will have to settle before going for the big shots. With the spinners likely to get more assistance during the second half of the game, both captains will look to bat first upon winning the toss.
SL vs AFG Weather Report
The weather is expected to be clear, with no chance of rain. A full game is on the cards.
Head to Head record
Both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have not met each other in the T20I format of the Asia Cup so far. This is going to be their first outing in the reputed tournament in this format.
They have only played one T20I match, in the 2016 T20 World Cup in Kolkata, where Sri Lanka easily defeated Afghanistan by six wickets. In 2018, the teams played against each other in the ODI format of the Asia Cup where Afghanistan beat Sri Lanka by 91 runs.
SL vs AFG Probable XI
With this being the first game of the competition, both sides will field their strongest possible playing XI.
Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Asitha Fernando.
Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Usman Ghani, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad.
SL vs AFG Match Prediction
The two teams look evenly matched on paper. However, Afghanistan is expected to come out on top, with spinners Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman on their side. The team will bank on them to restrict their opponents to a below-par total.