Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Match Preview
The two Asian giants, Pakistan and Sri Lanka take on each other in a group-stage game in the World Cup.
Sangakkara to lead Sri Lanka against Pakistan
Pakistan will play Sri Lanka in the tenth game of the World Cup 2011 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa at Hambantota. The two teams began their campaign earlier this week with a couple of one-sided games against minnow nations and this will be where the tournament will actually start for them.
Kenya were no match for Pakistan yesterday and went down by 205 runs, after Sri Lanka had brushed Canada aside by 210 in the first game that they had played. What makes the two games so eerily similar is that the sides started off slowly in both the games but came back strongly to post daunting totals in the game.
Pakistan were one of the co-hosts of the tournament but had to be pulled out due to security issues and after the kind of poor season they had last year, they would look to overcome Sri Lanka and get some momentum. Sri Lanka were the pre-tournament favourites.
Pakistan were clinical in their display against Kenya and much was because of the manner in which their batting went about their business. There were four half centurions in the innings, including the man of the match, Umar Akmal and the experienced Misbah l Haq and Younis Khan to go with Kamran Akmal.
What would have made the captain Shahid Afridi happy is the manner in which Umar Akmal batted after having lost his batting form in recent times.
The bowling line-up had three pace bowlers including Abdul Razzaq and two frontline spinners and one back-up, slow bowler. This may have to change against a side like Sri Lanka which plays spin rather well in this version of the game. Wahab Riaz could make his way into the side.
As compared to that, Sri Lanka will also have some questions to answer with respect to their bowling attack. Lasith Malinga had missed the previous game through a precautionary measure to an injury and that will mean that the side will look to get him back. Who goes out of the playing eleven is anyoneâ€™s guess, but there is a good chance that Thissara Perera may have to miss out.
Pakistan will look to their much-vaunted middle-order to get them the runs again â€“ much like how they had in the previous game, but against a much stronger bowling. Sri Lanka will need Muthiah Muralitharan to ensure that the Pakistanis are contained in the middle-overs.