London: Carrying a win each in their kitty after recovering from thumping losses in their respective opening games, Pakistan and Sri Lanka face each other in the 11th Match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, on Friday, 7 June.
Despite a stunning batting collapse (from 92-0 to 201 all out), Sri Lanka managed to stave off the Afghanistan challenge in their previous fixture. The win would have served as a confidence booster after a 10-wicket rout to New Zealand in their opening game.
Dimuth Karunaratne’s side will be wary of their batting fragility; against Afghanistan, the middle-order lost four wickets for just five runs, before being bailed out by the bowlers. They run into a resurgent Pakistan side, fresh from a 14-run victory over hosts England, a win that was termed by Player of the Match Mohammad Hafeez as a ‘total team effort’.
After folding for 105 against West Indies, Pakistan’s batting unit came back strong to post 348 against England. Led by Wahab Riaz, the bowlers combined to stifle the hosts, ending a 11-match losing streak.
Babar Azam (Pakistan): Pakistan’s resolute No.3 batsman boasts a healthy ODI record against Sri Lanka, averaging 58.33, with two centuries in eight games. A fifty against England meant that Azam’s last four ODI scores read 115, 80, 22 and 63.
Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka): With the middle-order still experiencing patchy form, the onus will be on Perera to provide another strong start. Against Afghanistan, Perera looked at ease, cutting and pulling in his trademark style, as he shared a 92-run opening stand with Dimuth Karunaratne.
The forecast for Bristol is mostly cloudy, with intermittent showers expected throughout Friday. Including West Indies’ 421 in the warm-up game, the ground has witnessed three 350+ scores inside the last one month.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay