Asia Cup 2022: Super Four, SL vs AFG match predictions – will Afghanistan extend their winning streak?

September 3, 2022

Sri Lanka are one of the most unpredictable sides in world cricket at the moment. They are unpredictable because of their ability to bounce back at any point.

The former Asian champions will start this game as favourites, though Afghanistan have shown a professional approach and look up for the task as well.

The big picture

Afghanistan’s new-ball bowlers proved too spicy for the Sri Lankan top-order in the group stage. Despite a match-winning knock by Kusal Mendis against Bangladesh, the top three Lankan batters have been relatively inconsistent. Danushka Gunathilaka at No. 4 is adding more pressure on the middle order; he has been getting out due to poor shot selection. If Sri Lanka are continue with him, he must come to bat after Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka, as his striking ability will add more value at No. 6. 

In the last 10 games, the Lankan Lions have conceded 49 runs in the Powerplay, picking up just one wicket. Despite having a formidable spin-bowling unit, they are missing out on a left-arm spinner. The team management needs to replace Asitha Fernando with Praveen Jayawickrama. A left-arm spinner is lethal in this format, especially in conditions that favour spinners.

Afghanistan have emerged as a force to be reckoned with. In their first two games, the spinning trio of Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have picked up 10 wickets at a combined Economy Rate of 5.56 runs per over. The middle-overs run rate against Afghanistan in the 2022 Asia Cup has been less than 6 runs per over. They are the only team to have picked up all 10 wickets in both their group matches. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, in particular, has picked up 10 wickets in his last four games in Sharjah. The Sri Lankan batting lineup features three left-handed batters, making him the most lethal bowler in the game. The Afghan middle order is yet to be tested. Afghanistan will rely heavily on Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran for the bulk of their scoring. They are yet to bat first in the tournament, so their batting depth will be tested if they are invited to set a target.

Match details

Match: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Date: 3 September 2022

Time: 07:30 PM IST

Where to Watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar

Pitch report & Toss

The wicket is dry and has rough patches. Batters need to spend time on the wicket before taking chances on a slow and sluggish track. The side winning the toss will opt to bowl first, as the wicket will get slower as the match progresses.

Probable playing XIs

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai,  Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi


Matches played: 2

Sri Lanka won: 1

Afghanistan won: 1

Clean hitters

Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka

Afghanistan:  Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran

Death-over bowlers       

Sri Lanka: Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka

Afghanistan: Fazalhaq Farooqi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq   


Fantasy team          

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Hazratullah Zazai, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Asitha Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana    

Captain & Vice-captain picks     

Captain: Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Wanindu Hasaranga

Vice-captain: Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi          


I am backing Afghanistan to win on Saturday. A slow and sluggish track makes Powerplay vital. Mujeeb Ur Rahman will play a crucial role.

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