Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Battered & bruised in the 1st game. Brilliant & behemoth in the 2nd against the tournament favourites. That’s team Pakistan for you. The word “Mercurial” is synonymous with Pakistan & very uncertain-ness never ceases to amaze. After a bashing against West Indies in their tournament’s opener nobody gave the men in green even the slightest bit of chance against England. Sarfaraz’s fitness was questioned, their ability to play the short ball was a point of discussion. What do the Pakistani lads do? They score 348 against England.
None of the batsmen scored a hundred but everybody chipped in with important innings. You never get the “do the basics right” vibe from Pakistan. They’ll be boisterous, they’ll be flamboyant, they’ll win games & lose a few. Pakistan beat England by 14 runs. Wahab Riaz went for 8.2 runs-per-over but those 145 kmph toe crushers were finding their mark. Mohammad Amir isn’t the same old “sultan of swing” but his off-cutter to get rid of Jos Buttler proved to be the changing point. Will the Pakistani batters run riot against the Lankan bowlers or will we witness them struggle against the short pitch deliveries.
Sri Lanka also were outclassed by West Indies in their opener but against Afghanistan, though, a mediocre target was to be sheltered, the players responded & how. The Lankans went from being in a position of strength-144/1 to 201/10. The middle order collapsed yet again & that is a huge reason for Sri Lanka to feel uneasy. Two unpredictable teams take centre stage at Bristol & the teams from Asia have a point to prove. Who’ll respond with aplomb?
READY TO WIN ON FANFIGHT?
Fasten your seat belts as FanFight brings to you World Cup fantasy cricket. Ready to compete on the best fantasy sports platform & win cash daily? Join Pakistan vs Sri Lanka on FanFight & start winning.
Where: County Ground, Bristol
When: 7th June 2019, Friday
Kick-Off time: 3:00 PM IST
Pakistan have a 90-58 games lead as far as the overall head-to-head record is concerned. At the World tournament, the teams have met 7 times & Pakistan have won all 7. In England, the men in green have gotten the better of the Lankan lions. The record at the home of cricket, 4-0 to Pakistan. In the last decade, the numbers are slightly better for Lanka. They’ve played Pakistan 42 times, won 18 & lost 23. Clearly, Pakistan have a sterner H2H record & are the favourites for tomorrow’s encounter.
Sri Lanka have a couple of changes to be made. Lahiru Thirimanne seems completely out of sorts & is likely to be replaced by Avishka Fernando. Jeevan Mendis might replace Suranga Lakmal. Kusal Mendis & Angelo Matthews have barely scored but they’ll keep their spots.
Pakistan had a sound outing in the last game & if there are no injury concerns, the same XI is expected to take the field.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI
Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c/wk), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne/Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Fakhar Zaman is only 38 ODIs old but team Pakistan relies immensely on the southpaw to get them off to flying starts. Zaman is a naturally attacking batsman & his eccentric batting style gives the Pakistani batting line-up an oomph. They’ve got the likes of Iman-Ul-Haq & Babar Azam who are technically sound but to get under the opponents’ skin, Zaman’s unorthodox style is likely to do the trick. Fakhar got off to decent starts in both the games so far with scores of 22 & 36 but for Pakistan to challenge the big boys, he’s got to start converting them into hundreds.
He’s scored 4 centuries already in ODIs. One memorable champions trophy blitz against the Indians & a double century versus Zimbabwe. He’s got the quality to bat long. The team needs him now more than ever & with the starts he’s got so far, a little more patience & application out in the middle might work nicely for him & Pakistan. He’ll be the player to watch out for.
In England, Zaman has played 11 ODIs & has scored 510 runs at 46.36. How many will he get against Sri Lanka? Does he make the cut to your FanFight fantasy cricket team?
POWERFUL, CLASSY KUSAL PERERA
If you’ve watched the Lankan top order bat, there’s only one bloke who’s showed aggression, quality & intent. Kusal Perera scored a crucial 78 against Afghanistan & looked in total control throughout his 81-ball knock. His batting approach reminds us of Sanath Jayasuriya. Especially those creamy strokes through the cover-point boundary & those flicks to the deep-square region. Perera averages a mere 25.15 in English conditions but his recent knocks have been of the highest quality. He remains side on to deliveries around the off-stump & his quick hands enable him to generate the power needed to thread the field.
Against Pakistan, he’s played 12 games & scored 428 runs at 35.66. His strike-rate against them – an impressive 105.41. He’ll be Lanka’s main man but against two left-arm pacers he’ll have his work cut out.
A STRUGGLING LANKAN MIDDLE ORDER
Angelo Mattews was promoted to number 5 in the previous game but that didn’t seem to work. He was dismissed for a blob again. Only that he faced 7 balls fewer against Afghanistan. There’s no distrust in his batting abilities but the apprehension considering his form will unquestionably strike the Sri Lankan think tank. Should he bat at number 4 or number 5? The higher the better, but Matthews’ form is extremely crucial for Sri Lanka. If he starts dominating like he knows to, the Lankans will have one less problem to worry about.
Kusal Mendis is another talented bloke who needs to get going. Scores of 0 & 2 in the two World Cup innings might have lowered his confidence but all he needs is a couple of deliveries hitting the middle of his willow. Kusal Mendis for all the “talent” he possesses has scored only one hundred in 65 games & this is the perfect launchpad for him to make a rigid mark. How much will the pair of Mendis & Matthews add against Pakistan? Can they be the game changers?
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR PAKISTAN vs SRI LANKA
FANFIGHT ON MOBILE DEVICES
FanFight is available on both Android & iOS. Download Fantasy Cricket App and watch your favourite cricketers win points for you.
iOS users can Download FanFight iOS App and start winning cash daily.
SUBSCRIBE TO GET THE LATEST UPDATES