Pakistan and Sri Lanka will clash in a do-or die encounter in Champions Trophy on Monday to decide the second semi-finalist from Group B after India topped the group. Earlier, on Sunday India ruthlessly trampled South Africa to earn a berth into the semi-finals of the tournament.
The game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is set to occur at Sophia gardens, Cardiff and it''s hard to predict which side will move forward. Pakistan were as abject against India as they were brilliant in the South African game and Sri Lanka played marginally better against the Proteas in their first game but were still outclassed in defeat before roaring into form with a fantastic chase against India.
A fine bowling performance led by Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez and Hasan Ali set up Pakistan’s win against the Proteas. However, their batting remains a huge concern.
Fakhar Zaman on debut provided some much-needed aggression at the top of the order. However, Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez have both struggled to score runs quickly during this tournament which has put the middle order under undue pressure.
Sri Lanka on the other hand, look a more settled team and their roaring chase against India displayed their batting depth. Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera and Asula Gunaratne played with commanding authority to blunt the Indian bowlers. Kusal Perera will be missed in the match against Pakistan after suffering a hamstring injury during his innings of 47 against India.
Both the teams are evenly matched and the match has all the necessary ingredients to keep cricket fans enthralled. Pakistan, however, has the upper hand as they have beaten Sri Lanka in nine out of the ten head-to-head encounters in ICC ODI events (World Cup and Champions Trophy).
1. Pakistan have beaten Sri Lanka in all three ODIs in England, last of which came way back in 1983.
2. Pakistan have beaten Sri Lanka in nine out of the ten head-to-head encounters in ICC ODI events (World Cup and Champions Trophy). Overall Pakistan lead 84-58 in the head to head ODIs.
3. Sri Lanka have used 14 players in this Champions Trophy so far. The most used by any team in any CT is 15.
Teams:Sri Lanka (From):
Niroshan Dickwella (w), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews (c), Asela Gunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Upul Tharanga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna
Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (w/c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail, Wahab Riaz, Fahim Ashraf, Ahmed Shehzad, Rumman Raees