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angelo mathews
Angelo Mathews will lead Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016Getty

Sri Lanka take on Afghanistan in a Group 1 game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 on Thursday, 17 March, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Where to watch live

The match starts at 2pm GMT. Live coverage of the game is available in the UK on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD. In India, the game will be telecast on Star Sports 1and Star Sports 3.Click here for the live streaming link.

Overview

Sri Lanka, the defending champions, have had a poor 2016 so far, coming into this tournament on the back of a disastrous Asia Cup 2016, where they were knocked out of the group stages. Angelo Mathews has taken over as skipper after Lasith Malinga relinquished captaincy due to fitness issues. Mathews has his task cut out as he will need to find a way to inspire the youngsters to perform, as the team at the moment is over- dependent on senior players like T M Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath and the skipper himself.

The retirement of stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene has hurt the Islanders, as they have not yet found suitable replacements for them. Malinga is travelling with the team but might sit out of the clash; otherwise Sri Lanka have no injury worries.

The winner of Group B qualifiers, Afghanistan, have proved they belong on the International stage with some impressive performances. They have now qualified for their second successive T20 World Cup, an achievement in itself for the war-torn country.

Afghanistan have some players who have played consistently and in Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad and the Zadran brothers, they have experienced players who have played International cricket in the past. While they are not expected to win here, do not write Afghanistan off as they are capable off pulling a shock win over the present Sri Lankan side.

Prediction

Sri Lanka to win

Betting odds (betfair)

Sri Lanka to win: 1/4

Afghanistan to win: 13/5

Team news

Sri Lanka

Possible XI:Dinesh Chandimal (wk), TM Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (c), Milinda Siriwardana, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal

Afghanistan

Possible XI:Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Shafiqullah, Gulbadin Naib, Asghar Stanikzai (c), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hussain.