Dilshan's 83* sees off gutsy Afghanistan

Toss: Afghanistan chose to bat v Sri Lanka
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File photo: Lahiru Thirimanne was playing his first T20I since May 2014 © AFP

Asghar Stanikzai, the Afghanistan captain, chose to bat in his team’s Super 10 opener against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens. Stanikzai expected the pitch to play a little slow, and hoped his side could put up a good total.

Lasith Malinga, who had been struggling against a knee injury over the last few weeks, bowled off his full run-up for around 15 minutes during Sri Lanka’s warm-ups, but did not find a place in their eleven. Their attack instead contained two frontline quicks in Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Kulasekara, with back-up from allrounders Thisara Perera and the captain Angelo Mathews, and the lone specialist spinner in Rangana Herath.

Lahiru Thirimanne, a late addition to Sri Lanka’s squad, returned to their T20 XI for the first time since May 2014, with Dasun Shanaka missing out.

Afghanistan made one change to the batting line-up that played their last first-round match against Zimbabwe, with Karim Sadiq replacing Gulbadin Naib. This meant they continued to go with a batting-heavy line-up, with Najibullah Zadran slotted in at No. 8, and there was no space in the XI for the left-arm quick Shapoor Zadran or the left-arm spinner Amir Hamza.

Afghanistan: 1 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 2 Noor Ali Zadran, 3 Asghar Stanikzai (capt), 4 Karim Sadiq, 5 Mohammad Nabi, 6 Samiullah Shenwari, 7 Shafiqullah, 8 Najibullah Zadran, 9 Dawlat Zadran, 10 Rashid Khan, 11 Hamid Hassan

Sri Lanka: 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Chamara Kapugedera, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Shehan Jayasuriya, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Dushmantha Chameera

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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