Sri Lanka v Pakistan, ICC Group B Match Preview

June 12, 2017

To show just how unpredictable this competition has been, the 7th and 8th ranked teams – Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be competing today to see who gets into the semi-final, at the expense of the South Africans, the #1 ranked team in cricket.

Clearly, rankings don’t really matter much. Sri Lanka played brilliantly in the match against India and deserve to go through just because of that. Pakistan looked dreadful against India, but were clinical against South Africa. They were thoroughly professional and just too good for the South Africans.

Angelo Mathews, who was one of Sri Lanka’s heroes in the last game against India said, “We are not trying to get too far ahead. We just want to take one game at a time. We’re not thinking about the semi-final as of now. We’re just taking on Pakistan tomorrow. We’ve got to play really good cricket to beat them, and we all know that they’re a very dangerous team.”

For Pakistan, senior player Mohammad Hafeez spoke about what it meant for his team to be in a position to reach the semi finals: “I think it’s an achievement. Everyone wanted to do well in this competition. I believe, and we believe as a team, we are moving towards the right direction. We know as a team we are gelling together.”

Sri Lanka’s batting is really good, they have many quality young players in their side, with Angelo Mathews holding the middle order. But their bowling leaves a lot to be desired.

Lasith Malinga is getting on in years and he is no longer as good as he used to be. The other bowling resources, such as Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep, leave a lot to be desired. They just aren’t good enough.

Pakistan will be heavily dependent on their senior players such as Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali. They will need captain Sarfraz Ahmed to come to the party as well. Their bowling attack has looked good with Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan taking the new ball.

They have an exciting batting talent in Babar Azam, and a young leg spinner, Shadab Khan, who is very good. Sri Lanka too have a bunch of talented youngsters such as Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Asela Gunaratne. They will expect them to hold the fort in today’s match.

The Teams

Sri Lanka: 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 6 Asela Gunaratne, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

Pakistan: 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Mohammad Amir, 9 Shadab Khan, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Junaid Khan

Match conditions

Weather conditions have improved since the last few days in Cardiff. Expect to get a full-day’s game. A score of 300 would be a par score.

Watch Sri Lanka play Pakistan today at 3:00 pm live on Star Sports!

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