The 2012 champions come into the competition as massive underdog - they were $26 to win back-to-back World Cups, however were priced at $18 with one bookie. The team has got a few noticeable changes this time around, mainly due to Jayawardene and Sangakkara both retiring. Missing two world class players will obviously make them weaker but they’ve got a well-rounded team and are playing in conditions that will suit.
The Sri Lankans have only won three of their last thirteen T20 games, which includes a win against U.A.E. They won’t trouble the big players in the competition but will have enough experience and quality to come through the Afghanistan challenge. The Afghan’s are yet to beat a major nation, but are unbeaten in their last five games including a 59-run victory over Zimbabwe. Get on Sri Lanka to win their opening game at $1.3 with Unibet.
Angelo Matthews will play a part with a ball with his handy medium paces, but there is pressure on him to stand out with the bat in this tournament. His top score in the World Cup warm-up matches and the Asian Cup was only an unbeaten 25, however he showed what he’s capable of in the last T20 in New Zealand where he smashed 81 not out. The Sri Lankan skipper enjoys batting in the shorter format of the game in India, averaging 45 in his six innings. He’s priced at $7 to top score for Sri Lanka, which is great value for an order lacking any real superstars.
ODDSCHECKER’S BEST BET
Sri Lanka’s strength this year is their economical bowlers, both Herath and Senananyake will be very hard to get away on a turning surface. Combine the two spinners with Malinga’s change ups at the end, and a few overs from Matthews, Dilshan and Kulasekara. Afghanistan’s batsman won’t have the skill to clear the ropes of the named bowlers, and even though Sri Lanka’s batting order doesn’t scream big hitters, they’ve still got enough to make $1.8 a good bet for them to hit the most 6’s.
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