Afghanistan bowl in T20I series opener against Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Afghanistan opt to bowl vs Sri Lanka

Afghanistan won the toss and decided to bowl in the first T20I in Dambulla. It’ll be the first time in five years Sri Lanka will be playing in Dambulla, a stadium that is also today hosting its first-ever men’s T20I.

Afghanistan captain Ibrahim Zadran said he was unsure about the behaviour of the wicket, and as such bowling first was the safer option. Afghanistan have brought in Naveen-ul-Haq, Karim Janat and Najibullah Zadran.

Sri Lankan captain Wanindu Hasaranga said he would have bowled first as well but was confident the team balance would lend itself to batting first. The hosts have made quite a few changes in the XI from the ODIs with Binura Fernando, Matheesha Pathirana, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva entering the playing XI.

In terms of the pitch and conditions, the weather is dry with a cool breeze blowing across the stadium. Tino Mawayo in his pitch report said that the wicket looked like a good batting surface but that it was quite dry, meaning there could be some turn later on. There might also be some early movement under lights for the seamers.

Sri Lanka XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga (capt), Maheesh Theekshana, Binura Fernando, Matheesha Pathirana

Afghanistan XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim (Zadran capt), Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Najibullah Zadran , Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Qais Ahmad, Noor Ahmad, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Naveen-ul-Haq

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