Cardiff   -   Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will be licking their wounds after their initial setbacks and look to register their first win of World Cup 2019 when they lock horns at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff today (Tuesday).

Sri Lanka opened their World Cup 2019 campaign with a 10-wicket drubbing at the hands of last edition’s runners-up New Zealand while minnows Afghanistan suffered a seven-wicket thrashing against defending champions Australia. The only positive for Afghanistan will be their side managing to score over 200 runs while the Sri Lankan batsmen are yet to make their bats do the talking.

None of the Sri Lankan batsmen -- apart from skipper Dimuth Karunaratne who remained unbeaten at 52 -- could stand against the hostile bowling from the New Zealand pacers and were bundled out for 136. The bowlers also failed to come up with an inspiring performance and proved ineffective as New Zealand chased down the target inside 16 overs. Karunaratne’s men need to pull up their socks and improve in all the three departments if they want to beat Afghanistan, who have a well-rounded bowling attack.

Afghanistan, despite being comprehensively beaten by Australia in their opening game, will back themselves to bounce back against a demoralised Lankan team. However, in order to do that, their openers need to score runs and make sure they set a platform for the lower order, which performed reasonably well against the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in Bristol.

In Rashid Khan, they not only have a world-class spinner but also a decent batsman who can score big on his day. And they would also be gaining confidence with the performance of fast bowler Hamid Hasan, who produced a fast, disciplined opening spell against the mighty Aussies.

Currently ranked third in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI All-Rounder Rankings, Mohammad Nabi has been one of the the torch-bearers of Afghanistan cricket. Apart from his batting skills, the veteran can be expected to come in handy with his off-breaks, against a batting line-up dominated by left-handers. After having got out for a duck against New Zealand, Mathews will be expected to motivate his side with a significant contribution on Tuesday. With his supreme batting talent, the former captain, who showed signs of form with a half century in the warm-ups, has the ability to produce match-winning performances in any conditions.

It is expected to be a wet day, with outbreaks of rain, often of the heavy kind, throughout the morning and afternoon, which might well produce a shortened game at Cardiff. Seamers are expected to get ample assistance, with a 90% cloud cover for most part of the day.