Two teams with wins in their previous matches, Pakistan and Sri Lanka clash on Friday at the county ground in Bristol. This match #11 of the ICC World Cup 2019 is under a bit of doubt because of rain. That adds a new dimension to this lovely clash.
Interestingly, Sri Lanka have never defeated Pakistan in a World Cup game. They struggled on their way to defeating Afghanistan and will feel the heat here. Pakistan, for their part, have come good just when it mattered. But, the big question remains – which Pakistan will turn up?
One of the most unpredictable sides of world cricket, Pakistan have shown the good and ugly side of their side. Harried by the pace bowling of Windies, they were whittled down to just over 100. And then, Pakistan recovered like a phoenix and trumped England.
The return to form of Mohammad Amir is a huge boost. Even Mohammad Hafeez got among the runs. Sarfaraz Ahmed will feel that his top-order, especially the openers, need to fire more. Wahab Riaz with the old ball is looking a great threat.
Sri Lanka Preview
A win against Afghanistan was not met with much fanfare, as Sri Lanka knew they were behind the eight ball most of the game. In fact, the win was touted as a surprise. Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep bowled their hearts out and will once again be crucial.
Sadly for Sri Lanka, their batting continues to flounder. Barring captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera, there is nothing to showcase from the rest. Unless there are dramatic overnight improvements, Sri Lanka look a battered side.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Mohammad Amir has been nothing short of sensational this tournament. He found his pace, his rhythm and more importantly his in-swing. Another good game beckons!
Babar Azam remains calm and collected, besides being the best suited for the pitches. His runs will be crucial to lead Pakistan to another win.
Kusal Perera has been excellent in both the matches for Sri Lanka. His aggression and clean hitting leads the way usually. Could be a trump card for your fantasy side.
Pakistan are likely to stick to the same playing XI.
Pakistan: 1 Imam-ul-Haq 2 Fakhar Zaman 3 Babar Azam 4 Mohammad Hafeez 5 Sarfaraz Ahmad (C & WK) 6 Shoaib Malik 7 Asif Ali 8 Shadab Khan 9 Hassan Ali 10 Mohammad Amir 11 Wahab Riaz
Sri Lanka could look to bring in Avishka Fernando and Jeevan Mendis
Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Perera (WK) 2 Dimuth Karunaratne (C) 3 Avishka Fernando 4 Kusal Mendis 5 Angelo Mathews 6 Dhananjaya de Silva 7 Thisara Perera 8 Isuru Udana 9 Jeevan Mendis 10 Lasith Malinga 11 Nuwan Pradeep
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