Sri Lanka will take on Afghanistan in the third and final One-Day International in Pallekele on Wednesday (November 30). Hashmatullah Shahidi and Co. won the first ODI by a convincing margin and took a 1-0 lead in the series. Sri Lanka managed to bundle out Afghanistan for 228 in the second encounter but didn't get the opportunity to chase it down as rain made its presence felt, meaning they will have to win the last game if they want to level the series.
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium has hosted 32 matches till date and a run-rate of 5.4 suggests that it is slightly on the slower side. A balls-per-dismissal ratio of 34.1 could have been great but a batting average of 30.8 means scoring runs has never been an easy proposition. An average first-innings batting score of 272 writes home the point, but what makes it even more interesting is the fact that the average first-innings winning score is 292. Unlike most other venues in Sri Lanka, the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, however, supports pacers more than spinners with 60.1% of the wickets going to pacers.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Ibrahim Zardan (Captain), Pathum Nissanka (VC)
For grand leagues: Wanindu Hasaranga (Captain), Rahmat Shah (VC)
Grand League punts
The kind of talent that Ibrahim Zardan has, it was only a matter of time before he got going. In the first game, Zardan notched up his second ODI ton and that led Afghanistan to a memorable win. In ODIs, Zardan currently averages 45 and even though his strike rate is a concern, with it only veering around 75.21, it would be a wise punt to go ahead with him as the captain pick for the third ODI despite him failing in the second match.
The same goes for Pathum Nissanka. The Lankan opener has been a great asset for the Sri Lankan side and hit an 85 in the opening encounter. Even though that was not enough for them to bag the win, for us, having Nissanka in our team means a lot of points. In 2022, the right-hander has scored 456 runs in 10 ODIs at an average of 50.67.
Rahmat Shah is Afghanistan's leading run-scorer in ODIs this year. In 11 innings, Rahmat has scored 595 runs at an average of 54.09, studded with six fifties. This year, the 29-year-old has been dismissed below 30 only once.
Sri Lanka - Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.
Afghanistan - Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Rahmat Shah, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Yamin Ahmadzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi.