Afghanistan wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhil sustained an injury on his finger during the ODI World Cup clash against Sri Lanka on Monday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Alikhil got hit on the finger while collecting a ball and left the ground in pain. The incident happened on the fifth ball of the second over when Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne drove the ball towards the covers.
Rahmat Shah didn’t waste much time to grab the ball and threw it towards the keeper’s end, but it was a bit wide. Alikhil attempted to collect it with one hand, but the ball hit his finger. He looked in immense pain and left the field, with Rahmanullah Gurbaz taking charge of wicketkeeping duties for the team.
It remains to be seen how serious Alikhil’s injury is and whether he can play in Afghanistan’s remaining World Cup matches. The team is currently bidding for their third tournament win against a World Cup champion, and they will need all the experience and quality they can get to achieve their goal.
In the meantime, Afghanistan has made one change to their side from their previous clash, where they hammered Pakistan by 8 wickets. Pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi has replaced wrist spinner Noor Ahmad despite his 3-49 on his World Cup debut against Pakistan.
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Sri Lanka, the 1996 World Cup winners, have made two changes to their side. Injury replacement Dushmantha Chameera has come straight into the side after fellow paceman Lahiru Kumara was ruled out of the rest of the World Cup by a thigh muscle injury sustained during training. Kumara took 3-35 in Sri Lanka’s eight-wicket hammering of World Cup holders England in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Sri Lanka has also replaced Kusal Perera at the top of the order with Dimuth Karunaratne. It will be interesting to see how these changes impact the team’s performance against Afghanistan.
Afghanistan (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (c & wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka