Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka
|Date & Time||Friday June 7, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
Bristol County Ground
Pakistan 1.36 Sri Lanka 3.25
Pakistan face Sri Lanka on Friday with both teams picking up two points from their first two World Cup matches. Both nations suffered thrashings in their opening games but bounced back to secure victories in round two.
Pakistan only managed 105 runs in their first match against the West Indies and were eventually beaten by seven wickets. They were then given no chance against the tournament favorites England but managed to claim a stunning victory against the hosts.
Sri Lanka were all out for 136 against New Zealand in their opener and failed to take a single wicket against the Kiwis. They too looked very poor in their first game but regrouped to produce a well-executed win over Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka have their bowlers to thank for their victory over Afghanistan. Lasith Malinga claimed three wickets and rolled back the years with a couple of his trademark yorker deliveries. Nuwan Pradeep also finished with impressive figures of 4-31 from 9 overs.
Sri Lanka's batting will need to improve dramatically if they are to overcome Pakistan. After getting off to a flier in their last game, Sri Lanka went from 144-1 to 201 all out and cannot afford collapses like this against the tournament’s top sides as they will certainly be punished.
Pakistan will come into this match brimming with confidence. They shocked everyone by beating England in their previous match and will now feel they are capable of beating anyone in the competition.
It was a great all-round performance by Pakistan against England. Wahab Riaz picked up three wickets whilst Mohammad Amir and Shadab Khan both claimed two wickets each. They were also excellent in the field as the hosts failed to chase down their target.
That target was 348 runs and was an immense contrast to Pakistan's total of 105 in their opening match. Mohammad Hafeez top scored with a classy 84 from just 62 balls and Babar Azam (63) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (55) also chipped in with important innings.
Both sides will be viewing this match as a great opportunity to claim a second consecutive victory. They will both be keen to build on important wins last time out and push for a spot in the top four when the group stage comes to an end.
I think Pakistan will have the edge over Sri Lanka in this one. The manner of their victory over England will have given them huge belief for the remainder of the tournament and I can’t see Sri Lanka putting up as much of a fight in comparison to England.
Although Sri Lanka’s spirits will have been lifted after picking up their first win of the campaign, I predict Pakistan will be too strong for them on Friday and will claim the victory in Bristol.