South Africa, India, New Zealand and Australia are on course to make the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup but two sides waiting to throw their name into the mix in the event of a slip-up are Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Both sides have two wins and three defeats to their names after five matches and could yet push for the top four, although there is little margin for error.

Defeat for either side in Monday’s clash in Pune would likely be decisive and it should be an intriguing tussle as the Lankans look to build on their win over England last time out, while Afghanistan aim to follow their scalp of Pakistan with another win.

Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Tips

  • Sadeera Samarawickrama – Sri Lanka Top Run Scorer @ 4/1
  • Rashid Khan – Afghanistan Top Wicket Taker @ 5/2

Match Odds

Although these sides have identical records at this World Cup, Sri Lanka are strong favourites to prevail at 1/2 – while Afghanistan are 6/4 to pull off another surprise win.

Team News

Despite taking 3-49 for Afghanistan last time out, bowler Noor Ahmad may have to make way for Fazalhaq Farooqi, who is in line to return to the team.

Sri Lanka have had their fair share of injuries this tournament and Lahiru Kumara is their latest doubt with Dushmantha Chameera likely to replace him.

Sadeera Samarawickrama – Sri Lanka Top Run Scorer @ 4/1

The highlight of Sri Lanka’s tournament so far was undoubtedly the eight-wicket drubbing of England last time out and batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama played a key role in that victory for his side.

England had been bowled out for just 156 in the game but Sri Lanka lost both Kusal Perera (four) and Kusal Mendis (11) cheaply in the chase.

Fortunately for the Lankans, Samarawickrama, batting at four, barely broke a sweat as he struck 65 off 54 deliveries to see them over the line, along with opener Pathum Nissanka (77).

That score contributed to an impressive aggregate of 295 runs in the tournament for Samarawickrama, who is a worthwhile bet to be Sri Lanka’s top run scorer.

Rashid Khan – Afghanistan Top Wicket Taker @ 5/2

With just six wickets in five matches, it has hardly been a barnstorming World Cup performance from Afghanistan’s star spinner Rashid Khan.

That said, Khan typically raises his game for matches with Sri Lanka with his last six innings against these opponents producing 11 wickets at an average of 18.54.

Khan has failed to take a wicket just once in his six ODI meetings with Sri Lanka and if he is deployed against Sri Lanka’s vulnerable middle-order, he could explode into life.

With that in mind another decent player bet in this contest could be Khan to finish as Afghanistan’s top wicket taker.

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