Buoyed by their comprehensive win over tournament favourites England, Pakistan will look to carry on the momentum when they take on Sri Lanka in their third World Cup game at the County Ground in Bristol on Friday. Both the teams, who were outplayed in their opening games, won their second games and made sure that the tournament remains wide open.
While Pakistan were more convincing in their win against England, Sri Lanka were a bit rusty, especially in the batting department where they suffered a horrific batting collapse and almost surrendered before underdogs Afghanistan.
Despite a stunning batting collapse (from 92/0 to 201 all out), Sri Lanka managed to stave off the Afghanistan challenge in their previous fixture. The win would have served as a confidence booster after a 10-wicket rout to New Zealand in their opening game. It was only their pacers, especially Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga, who brought them back into the match and helped them register a narrow 34-run win in a match that was cut down to 41-overs affair due to rain.
Pakistan, who were bundled out for 105 against West Indies, made a terrific turnaround against Eoin Morgan and boys as they first scored 348 and then successfully defended it on a batting-friendly Nottingham pitch in their second game. And thus, they would be the more confident side going into Friday’s match.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.
(With Agency Inputs)