Who: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
Where: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, India
When: Tuesday, October 10, 2pm (08:30 GMT)
Injury-hit Sri Lanka will meet familiar foes Pakistan on Tuesday as they look to move past their opening match loss.
Pakistan will go into the match knowing they will need to improve their opening batting display despite a win against the Netherlands in their first match.
The South Asian nations will play their second match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Hyderabad in southern India.
Pakistan survived a scare against a determined Dutch side to win their first match on Friday and go into Tuesday’s match with two points and a healthy net run rate.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka were handed a 105-run loss by South Africa in New Delhi on Saturday.
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) October 9, 2023
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has admitted he knows Sri Lanka’s “strengths and weaknesses” inside out, having spent two years at the helm of his Asian rivals.
“Yeah, I know their strengths and weaknesses, so we will have plans put in place for all of them,” Arthur told the Agence France-Presse new agency on Monday.
“They are a dangerous side, so we will have to be at our best to beat them.”
Pakistan are likely to keep the same lineup for the match, handing a lifeline to out-of-form opener Fakhar Zaman, who scored just 12 against the Netherlands.
“I am not worried about his form. He is a good player and is just one innings away from a big score,” Arthur said of the only Pakistan batsman to have made a double century in ODI cricket.
Sri Lanka will also be buoyed by their two-wicket win against Pakistan last month, which propelled them to the Asia Cup final in Colombo.
Skipper Dasun Shanaka admitted his side has been hampered by the loss of three front-line bowlers but received a boost on Monday when off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana was cleared to play against Pakistan.
“I think he should be available for this game,” Sri Lanka batting coach Naveed Nawaz told reporters.
Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga were ruled out of the tournament completely through injury.
“It was tough to manage things without three key bowlers, but that is part of the game,” Shanaka said after the South Africa match.
Both teams know each other quite well, having played 156 ODIs against one another. Pakistan hold the upper hand in terms of wins with 92 to their name while Sri Lanka have 59, and one match ended in a tie.
Pakistan have come out on top in all seven meetings in the Cricket World Cup.
Pakistan: W L L W W
Sri Lanka: L L W L W
The only question facing Pakistan will be the form of opener Zaman, but Arthur said Zaman is likely to keep his place.
Sri Lanka are likely to field the same playing 11 that faced South Africa.
Here’s how both teams are expected to line up:
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmad, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (wicket-keeper), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (captain), Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka