World Cup preview: SL look to find form against Afghanistan

Dunedin: Sri Lanka get the chance to atone for their first up loss to New Zealand in the World Cup when they play tournament novices Afghanistan in Dunedin today.

It is a game the Sri Lankans -- particularly bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga -- need to start feeling comfortable in the battle to sort out the pecking order of the top four in Pool ‘A’.

With Australia and New Zealand likely to contest the top two play-off berths, and rankings suggest Sri Lanka are against England for the third and fourth places in a group that also includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Scotland.

But Ireland have already proven in Pool ‘B’ that upsets are possible, reinforcing for Sri Lanka that they cannot afford to under-estimate Afghanistan. “We are playing the full team. Every game is important for us, whether you play Afghanistan or Australia, every game is important, so we’ll take every single game very seriously, and we’ll play the best XI possible on that day,” Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said.

Captains’ wishlist

Angelo Mathews
Sri Lanka

>> Afghanistan quicks are tackled well
>> Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene score big
>> Lasith Malinga bowls economically
>> Nawroz Mangal is dismissed early

Mohammad Nabi

>> Bowlers provide early breakthroughs
>> Tillakaratne Dilshan goes for a low score
>> Batsmen score with good strike-rate
>> All-rounder Angelo Mathews has an off-day


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