Sri Lanka and Pakistan are scheduled to compete in the fifth match of the Super Fours stage of the 2023 Asia Cup, which will take place at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The game is set to commence at 3 pm (Indian standard time) on September 14, 2023. It is a do or die match for both teams, as whoever wins reaches the final.
Preview of Pakistan vs Sri Lanka ODI in Asia Cup 2023
India, the host of next month's World Cup, secured a 41-run victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday. This win guarantees their place in the top two of the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2023.
This outcome now sets the stage for a crucial showdown between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The winner of this match will earn a spot in Sunday's final at R Premadasa Stadium. However, if the India vs Sri Lanka match was abandoned due to weather conditions, Sri Lanka would advance to the final based on their superior net run rate, as there is currently no designated reserve day.
Recently, both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have showcased impressive performances in the ODI. Sri Lanka had enjoyed a remarkable 13 consecutive winning streak before their loss to India on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Pakistan has only suffered two defeats in their last 11 ODIs, which includes four consecutive victories against New Zealand in a 5 match ODI series that took place from April 27, 2023, to May 7, 2023.
Overall, Sri Lanka’s performance in Asia Cup 2023 is very impressive. Out of their four Asia Cup matches, they just lost one match so far, which was against India in the Super Four Round. But, still, they are facing challenges to reach the final.
Pakistan, on the other hand, also lost one match, and it was against India in the Super Four round. Out of their four matches, the most anticipated match against India in the group stage was abandoned due to rain. Then Pakistan won their first Super Four Match against Bangladesh, and after that, they lost the second Super Four Match against the arch-rival India. However, this match would have been washed out, too, if there were no reserve match. As a result, Team Pakistan is in a challenging situation right now.
Further, Pakistan has included Shahnawaz Dahani and Zaman Khan in their squad as a backup as Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf faced injury. They are doubtful for the next match.
Nevertheless, Sri Lanka holds an advantage due to their players' impressive performances, their commitment to defending the championship, and the favorable playing conditions at home. However, Pakistan also has a tough squad, and their familiarity with Sri Lankan soil positions them well to secure a victory. So, there is no doubt that the match will be highly competitive.
Probable Playing XI for Pakistan
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr., Zaman Khan/ Haris Rauf.
Probable Playing XI for Sri Lanka
Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, and Matheesha Pathirana.
PAK vs SL Head to Head ODI Matches So Far
These two teams have faced off in a total of 155 ODI matches. Pakistan has emerged victorious in 92 of these encounters, highlighting their cricketing excellence, while Sri Lanka has secured 58 wins, establishing themselves as a challenging opponent. Additionally, there has been one tied match and 4 games that ended with no result due to various factors. This extensive history of ODI battles between Pakistan and Sri Lanka mirrors the fluctuations in cricketing fortunes, and it's a source of great anticipation for cricket fans in Asia as well as worldwide.
Key Players to Watch in Pakistan Team
Despite Pakistan's poor performance in the last match against India, Fakhar Zaman was one of the top scorers with 27 runs from 50 balls. He has the ability to be a game-changer when he finds his rhythm. He has been in great form this year as he scored 640 runs from 15 matches with an average of 49.23, demonstrating his consistency. His strike rate stands at around 86.48 in 2023, which resembles his aggressive and fast-paced style of play.
Haris Rauf has become a vital asset for Pakistan in ODI cricket due to his pace and the ability to maintain economical bowling figures. So far, he has played 28 matches and took 53 wickets with 5/28 best bowling figures. However, Rauf has yet to play against Sri Lanka. So, this match will be his first appearance against Sri Lanka. He has played all four matches in this Asia Cup and took 9 wickets with 4/19 best blowing stats. However, Haris Rauf is doubtful for the next match due to injury. But scans have revealed no tear on his right flank.
Babar couldn’t give his best in the last match against India. He only scored 10 runs from 24 balls. But overall, he scored 178 runs in this Asia Cup, which consisted of 151 runs against Nepal. He has firmly established himself as one of the greatest cricketers of his generation. However, he might enter this match with an aim to prove his batting skills.
Key Players to Watch in Sri Lanka Team
His five wickets in the last match against India made him a player to watch for the next match. So far, he has taken 9 wickets in this Asia Cup from four matches. Overall, Dunith Wellalage played 13 matches for Sri Lanka and grabbed 18 wickets. But his 5/20 performance in the last match is the best of his career.
He has shown remarkable consistency in this Asia Cup, having scored 130 runs. On top of that, his bowling performance in the last match surprised the fans as he grabbed 4 wickets with a 2.0 economy rate. As a result, fans will be watching him closely with high expectations in the next match. In his overall ODI career for Sri Lanka, he has played 39 matches and accumulated a total of 1223 runs, with his highest score being 110. Therefore, we anticipate that Asalanka will make a significant impact on Sri Lanka's middle order against Pakistan.
Sadeera Samarwickrama currently ranks as the fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament, scoring a total of 167 runs across four innings. However, he scored only 17 runs in the match against India. In his overall ODI career for Sri Lanka, Sadeera has participated in 21 matches, accumulating a total of 567 runs. While he has yet to score a century, Sadeera has an admirable strike rate of 90.28.
Pakistan may not get their regular bowlers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf as they faced injury in the last match against India. Hence, Sri Lanka might have a competitive edge here. On top of that, Sri Lankans are playing on their home ground. So, the Lankans are already confident enough to give their best.
Despite the injury effect, Pakistan still possesses a quality bowling attack that can pose challenges for Sri Lanka. Considering the batting inconsistencies and the bowling strengths in both lineups, it appears to be a closely contested match. Nevertheless, with a slightly more experienced squad and a more promising batting lineup, Pakistan is expected to have an advantage in this PAK vs SL ODI in Asia Cup 2023 and is favored in our match prediction.