Afghanistan v Sri Lanka preview, player tips & predictions
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Venue: Cardiff Wales Stadium, Tuesday, June 4, 10.30am (British time)
Head to head odds: Afghanistan $2; Sri Lanka $1.80
Last time they met: Afghanistan 249 (50 overs) d Sri Lanka 158 41.2 overs in Abu Dhabi, September 17, 2018.
This might be Afghanistan’s chance to notch up a victory at the ICC World Cup, with Sri Lanka in the midst of a lull on the International cricket stage.
Both of these teams opened their cricket World Cups with losses — Afghanistan to Australia and Sri Lanka to New Zealand — they would rather forget.
Because both teams were lacklustre in their opening matches we have decided to throw the form book out and simply look at the match on merit.
Sri Lanka, the 1996 World Cup champions, are priced at $1.80 in this clash, narrowly ahead of the $2 priced Afghanistan.
But it is not the head to head betting we are interested in for this one, it’s the more juicy player markets that we feel we can exploit.
This Afghanistan-Sri Lanka betting preview will run you through betting options for match 7 of 48 of the ICC World Cup 2019.
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka odds:
For full markets visit the William Hill website.
HEAD TO HEAD BETTING:
Afghanistan $2, Sri Lanka $1.80
Prediction: We have been banging on for months about how we’re waiting for another Murali before we bet on Sri Lanka again, but ironically it’s Afghanistan that have the buzz mystery spinner this time around — Rashid Khan. However his impact appeared muted against Australia and it might be until later in the tournament when the pitches dry out a bit that his fortunes improve. For this very reason we’re slightly favouring Sri Lanka in this one.
TOP RUN-SCORER BETTING:
Top five in betting: Hazratullah Zazai $4.50, Mohammad Shahzad $4.50, Rahmat Shah $5, Hashmatulla Shahidi $6, Asghar Afghan $8.
Top scorers from past five ODIs:
v Australia: Najibullah Zadran 51
v Ireland: Mohammad Shahzad 101
v Ireland: Asghar Afghan 29
v Scotland: Rahmat Shah 113
v Ireland: Asghar Afghan 82
Top five in betting: Dimuth Karunaratne $4.33, Kusal Mendis $4.50, Kusal Perera $5, Angelo Mathews $5.50, Lahiru Thirimanne $6
Top scorers from past five ODIs:
v New Zealand: Dimuth Karunaratne 52no
v Scotland: Dimuth Karunaratne 77
v South Africa: Kusal Mendis 56
v South Africa: Isuru Udana 78
v South Africa: Kusal Mendis 41
Top batter prediction: This is a great market to have a little flutter on and with both teams not really flush with batting superstars, you can find some nice value. Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne is at $4.33 to top the run scorers for Sri Lanka and it would not surprise to see him fire up again after his team’s awful batting display last start, however it is Kusal Mendis we like against Afghanistan. He’s young, talented and Sri Lanka desperately need their next generation to stand up. Rahmat Shah looks the best bet of the Afghanistan batsmen, with opener Hazratullah Zazai out of sorts in recent times, despite being the bookies’ pick for leading batsman.
TOP WICKET-TAKER BETTING:
Top five in betting: Rashid Khan $2.50, Mujeeb Ur Rahman $4.50, Mohammad Nabi $5, Hamid Hassan $5.50, Dawlat Zadran $5.50, Gulbadin Naib $6.
Top wicket-takers from past five ODIs:
v Australia: Mujeeb Ur Rahman 1-45, Gulbadin Naib 1-32, Rashid Khan 1-52
v Ireland: Gulbadin Naib 6-43
v Ireland: Dawlat Zadran 3-35, Aftab Alam 3-28
v Scotland: Gulbadin Naib 3-72
v Ireland: Zahir Khan 2-55
Top five in betting: Lasith Malinga $3.75, Suranga Lakmal $4.50, Isuru Udana $5, Nuwan Pradeep $5, Thisara Perera $5.50, Jeffrey Vandersay $5.50, Jeevan Mendis $5.50.
Top wicket-takers from past five ODIs:
v New Zealand: No wicket-taker
v Scotland: Nuwan Pradeep 4-34
v South Africa: Lasith Malinga 1-22, Thisara Perera 1-20
v South Africa: Dhananjaya de Silva 3-41
v South Africa: Isuru Udana 2-50
Top bowler tip: Both teams struggled with the ball against in their ICC World Cup openers, with Sri Lanka failing to take a wicket against New Zealand, while Afghanistan took just three against Australia, with one of these the very late dismissal of Steve Smith.
While spinners have been influential in some matches so far this tournament, it has been the pacemen who have shone. For Sri Lanka we’re tipping Nuwan Pradeep to top the wicket-takers after some impressive form in England in the lead-up matches.
For Afghanistan we’re going to give Rashid Khan one more chance, before steering clear of him until later in the tournament. The talented leggie is paying only $2.50 for most wickets, but he is hardly surrounded by strike bowlers, so looks the best option. Another option to bet on Khan is to take him for Man of the Match honours — he’s their best bowler and a more-than-handy lower-order batsman.
WGL best bets: Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Each of our ICC World Cup betting previews will highlight some potential wins for punters, or where our cricket tipsters think there is value to be found.
Kusal Mendis to score more than 28.5 runs
This is a special market at WilliamHill.com and we think the $1.83 on offer for Kusal Mendis to score more than 28.5 is great value. Mendis will certainly bat in the top order and won’t be facing the Kiwis’ strong bowling attack this time around.
Highest 1st 15 over score
Afghanistan is priced at $1.67 to win in this market against Sri Lanka ($2.10) and we believe this market should be much closer. Sri Lanka will understand the opening overs will be key against Afghanistan with their tricky spinners likely to bowl the bulk of the middle overs. While the Afghanis have some talented hitters at the top of their order, Sri Lanka’s pacemen are better than theirs.
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka prediction
Afghanistan is an emerging cricketing nation and we really like the improvement coming out of them and we’re on the cusp of tipping them in this one. However they have a glaring weakness and it comes in the form of one of their players they used to consider a massive strength, Mohammad Shahzad. The wicket-keeper, who was under an injury cloud heading into the tournament, is a massive liability behind the stumps with his lack of mobility costing his team on a number of occasions against the Aussies. While the match result could swing either way, we’re tipping Sri Lanka without much confidence in a close one.
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