Out of form Mohammad Amir benched for 18-year-old left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi
Out of form Mohammad Amir benched for 18-year-old left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi

In their opening encounter of the Asia Cup 2018 Super 4 stage Afghanistan have opted to bat first against the Srafraz Ahmed-led Pakistan side at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Pakistan, after their eight-wicket loss to India in league stage have made three changes to their XI with out of form Mohammad Amir benched for 18-year-old left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi while legspinner Shadab Khan, who limped off the field during the India game, is not fit to play and is replaced by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.

Pakistan have opted to bloster their batting with allrounder Faheem Ashraf left out for middle-order batsman Haris Sohail.

For Afghanistan, experinced middle-order batsman Samiullah Shenwari is replaced by Najibullah Zadran.

Afghanistan topped their group with two wins beating Sri Lanka by 91 runs and then Bangladesh, yesterday, by 136 wruns, while Pakistan, after rolling over Hong Kong, endured a heavy eight-wicket loss to arch-rivals India.

Teams:

Afghanistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Shahzad(w), Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan(c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Pakistan (Playing XI): Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi