Afghanistan bat; Sri Lanka leave out Lakmal, bring in Akila

Toss: Afghanistan chose to bat v Sri Lanka

Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat on an Abu Dhabi track expected be good for batting. Having lost his second toss in three days, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said he would have batted first as well.

Sri Lanka have made three changes to the side that lost to Bangladesh on Saturday. All-sorts offspinner Akila Dananjaya returns after missing the tournament opener to be present at the birth of his child, while fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera enters the XI to play his first ODI since January this year.

Offspinning allrounder Shehan Jayasuriya also claims a place, meaning Sri Lanka are fielding no fewer than three allrounders in the XI (Dasun Shanaka and Thisara Perera being the other two), but have only three specialist bowlers. Dilruwan Perera, Amila Aponso and Suranga Lakmal are the players who have been omitted from Saturday’s game.

Afghanistan have found no reason to make changes to the XI that won them the third ODI – and hence the series – against Ireland just over two weeks ago. Their attack also has three specialist bowlers, in Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Aftab Alam, with allrounders Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Najibullah Zadran and perhaps captain Asghar Afghan to make up the remaining overs.

The temperature in Abu Dhabi was touching 40 C at the toss. There is a chance dew will form after nightfall, which could make gripping the ball trickier for the team bowling second.

Afghanistan: 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Ihsanullah, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hasmatullah Shahidi, 5 Gulbadin Naib, 6 Asghar Afghan (capt), 7 Najibullah Zadran, 8 Mohammad Nabi, 9 Rashid Khan, 10 Aftab Alam, 11 Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Mendis, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Dhananjaya de Silva, 4 Kusal Perera (wk), 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Shehan Jayasuriya, 9 Akila Dananjaya, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Lasith Malinga

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