From June 2 to 7, Sri Lanka will host three one-day international (ODI) matches against Afghanistan. The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota will be the site of all three 50-over matches.
Sri Lanka is in a pretty normal ODI form right now. The team led by Dasun Shanaka recently lost a three-game ODI series in New Zealand by a score of 2-0 to New Zealand. They lost to the Kiwis in both the two-match Test series and the three-match T20I series. In January 2023, India beat them in a three-game ODI series by a score of 3-0.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, didn’t play an ODI series since November 2022, when they played Sri Lanka and tied the series 1-1. In June 2022, Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe in a three-game ODI series by a score of 3-0. In March 2023, they beat Pakistan 2-1 in a three-game T20I series. This was their first win in the limited-overs format against their neighboring country. Based on their current T20 form, Afghanistan is likely to give the hosts a tough time at the upcoming bilateral game.
Sri Lanka and Afghanistan both have a few players who can win games for them. Opening batter Dimuth Karunaratne is a surprise addition to Sri Lanka’s team. The 35-year-old has been good at red-ball cricket for a long time and can easily switch to white-ball cricket.
Matheesha Pathirana is another important new member of the team. He was called up after doing a great job for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL), which just ended. The 20-year-old, who won his first title in a prestigious league, will be looking to do well in the upcoming series against Afghanistan.
For Afghanistan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who keeps wickets and hits, will be the guy to watch out for. The young player did a great job for the two-time winner Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2023. With his work in the IPL 2023, 18-year-old Noor Ahmad has also become known around the world. He was an important part of Gujarat Titans (GT) making it to the IPL finals.