Asia Cup 2018: Sri Lanka takes on Afghanistan in must-win encounter

Sri Lanka, following its massive 137-run loss to Bangladesh in the tournament opener, is looking to stay alive in the tournament.

Afghanistan is coming off an excellent run in limited-overs cricket, winning six out of its 10 one-day international series while drawing two and losing just two.   -  AFP

Afghanistan will kickstart its Asia Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Monday. It is coming off an excellent run in limited-overs cricket, winning six out of its 10 one-day international series while drawing two and losing just two. It has beaten Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland, in addition to the Windies, along the way.

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The spin duo of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will bolster the bowling unit, while the likes of opener Mohammad Shahzad, skipper Asghar Afghan and all-rounder Nabi will add meat to the batting department.

Meanwhile, it's a do-or-die game for Sri Lanka following its massive 137-run loss to Bangladesh in the tournament opener. While the form of ace pacer Lasith Malinga (four for 23 vs Bangladesh) will inspire confidence in the team, its batting will be a huge concern, especially against an Afghan spin attack with the reputation of running through opposition line-ups.

The onus will be on captain Angelo Mathews, Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera to come good with the bat.

Suffice to say, Sri Lanka has everything to play when the contest gets underway at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.