Sri Lankan bowler Matheesha Pathirana has been picked in the 16-member squad for Sri Lanka’s first two ODIs of the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan on Tuesday, May 30. He had a brilliant IPL outing which certainly created a buzz. He is slated to make his ODI debut in the series starting from June 2. The 20-year-old has made his T20I debut for the country in August 2022 against the same nation and his ODI debut is also on the cards following a splendid show in IPL 2023.
Matheesha Pathirana is slated to make ODI debut
Labeled as ‘Baby Malinga,’ Pathirana’s bowling action is similar to the legendary Sri Lankan seamer Lasith Malinga. Along with him, Dushmantha Chameera will also mark his return during the series after a long layoff due to injury and will lead the pace attack.
Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne, who last played an ODI back in 2021, has been called back into the squad and could use his experience in the batting lineup. Sadeera Samarawickrama will also mark his return to ODIs after four years as Kusal Perera misses out due to a hamstring injury.
Dasun Shanaka is set to lead the side in the series, which begins on Friday, June 2 at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium (MRICS), Hambantota. The second and third ODIs will be played on June 4 and June 7, respectively.
The series will serve as rehearsal for the island nation ahead of the World Cup Qualifier scheduled to begin on June 18 in Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka have not named their squad for the Qualifier yet but will be closely monitoring the performances of the players during the Afghanistan series to form a core group ahead for the big event.
The Dasun Shanaka-led side is placed in Group B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and will kick off their campaign on June 19 against UAE. Two teams out of the ten contesting in the qualifiers will qualify for the ODI World Cup 2023 scheduled to take place in India from October.
Sri Lanka squad for the first two ODIs against Afghanistan
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Matheesha Pathirana, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha