Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to field first against Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
As per Nabi, he decided to bowl first considering the freshness of the wicket.
The six-nation tournament was moved from Sri Lanka to the United Arab Emirates because of political unrest in the island nation and serves as a tune-up to the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November.
Afghanistan, who have been drawn alongside Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Group B, recently lost a close T20 series in Ireland but earlier swept Zimbabwe 6-0 in ODI and T20s and Nabi remains confident his team can deliver.
“We want to bowl first here. It’s a fresh wicket, there’s cricket after a long time in Dubai. We have plenty of all-rounders,” Nabi said at the toss.
Sri Lanka, led by Dasun Shanaka, have handed international debuts to left-arm fast Dilshan Madushanka and medium-pace bowler Matheesha Pathirana.
“We would have bowled first as well. Six batters, two all-rounders and three genuine bowlers,” said Shanaka. India, Pakistan and Hong Kong are in Group A.
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (capt), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Matheesha Pathirana
Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Karim Janat, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (capt), Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK), Anil Chaudhary (IND)
TV Umpire: Jayaraman Madanagopal (IND)
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)