Pakistan play Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup on Friday
Pakistan and Sri Lanka both have aspirations of putting a winning run together when they clash in Match 11 of the ICC Cricket World Cup, at Bristol.
Each team picked up their opening points in their second match of the tournament after seismic losses in their first – Pakistan rocking hosts England with an impressive 14-run success.
The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy winners were a side transformed at Trent Bridge on Monday as they quickly made amends for their seven-wicket defeat to West Indies – a match in which they were bundled out for just 107, unable to cope with a barrage of short balls.
The timely victory ended a run of 11 consecutive losses with seamers Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir impressing after a solid batting display had posted 348-8.
Sri Lanka’s start to the tournament was dire; a 10-wicket trouncing at the hands of New Zealand the inevitable result after captain Dimuth Karunaratne carried his bat.
Their batting frailties remained all too evident as they collapsed from 144-1 to 201 all out against Afghanistan before Nuwan Pradeep (4-31) paved the way for a 34-run DLS success.
Pakistan are set to be unchanged, while Sri Lanka could pick leg-spinning all-rounder Jeevan Mendis in place of seamer Suranga Lakmal, who went wicketless against Afghanistan.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
There were plaudits aplenty for Pakistan against England, and rightly so, but when the pressure is on few deliver quite like Wahab Riaz. The left-armer came up with the goods once again against England, knocking over Jonny Bairstow before returning late on to all but finish off England with the key wickets of Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. The doubts over whether he should be in Pakistan’s World Cup squad at all have long since vanished.
Sri Lanka have plenty of issues right now but scoring enough runs is top of the list, making Kusal Perera‘s contributions crucial. The left-hander began the tournament at three and was one of only three batsmen to reach double figures against the Black Caps, then anchored the innings against Afghanistan by striking 78 at the top of the order. Plenty more of that is required.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne: “Pakistan are an unpredictable team, but I think we also come into this game, I think we have a bit of confidence so we will be trying to give our best shot, you know. We are not over-confident as well. And we are trying to do our best.
“We have some parts to learn more, many things about the batting. We just need to focus on those things and try to make sure those things are not happening in the Pakistan match as well. But I think overall we are confident for the Pakistan team.”
Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower: “Since we have won, it took off a lot of the pressure definitely, having gone through those string of defeats. Psychologically, that lifts a huge weight from their shoulders, and to score 350 against a very good England attack, the guys are relieved.
“We didn’t adapt well to the conditions against West Indies. Technically, we were a bit poor on the day and I think there were a lot of nerves being the first World Cup match, definitely.
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