Important Match : Pakistan vs Sri Lanka : Weather, Teams and Other info

Back in the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup, which was played in the T20 format, it was Pakistan and Sri Lanka who combined to knock India out of contention for a spot in the final. Fast forward to 2023 and it’s the same two sides who will now face off in a virtual semifinal for a berth in the summit clash to play against the Rohit Sharma-led team. Sri Lanka, whose 13-match winning streak was snapped by India, look a lot more settled compared to Pakistan who have been hit by a spate of injuries.

While all the other sides who are in the Super 4 stage have posted a 300-plus total at least once in this competition, Sri Lanka are the only team to have not done so. But with so much variety in their bowling attack, they have managed to tie down the other teams and have now bowled out oppositions for 14 games in a row. Be it batting or bowling, different players have put their hands up and come to Sri Lanka’s aid, with Dunith Wellalage being the latest in the list – although his brilliant all-round performance against India went in vain.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have been hamstrung by injuries to their key pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, who are being monitored by their medical staff but may not play a further role in this Asia Cup. Shaheen Afridi too injured his finger but it didn’t seem to be a major worry as he came out to bat against India. He will now have to play a key role with the ball and hit the straps straightaway if Pakistan are to gain a position of strength. Pakistan’s batting was a let-down in their previous game as they were bundled out for 128 to lose by a mammoth 228-run margin. Babar Azam will look to lead by example but he will expect some support from the rest of the top order which has blown hot and cold.

When: Thursday, September 14 at 3:00 PM Local Time

Where: R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

What to expect: Weather-wise, a couple of spells of thunderstorms are forecast in the evening, which may lead to a curtailed game. In case both teams end up sharing points, Sri Lanka, with a better NRR, will go into the final. The India-Pakistan game saw the team batting first post a massive total and the seamers played a key role early in the second innings. But later in that match and also the next, spin proved crucial with Kuldeep Yadav bagging nine wickets in two games, and Sri Lanka using spin to bowl India out. All three games played so far in Colombo were lost by the teams chasing.

Team news:

Pakistan: Zaman Khan, called up as a replacement for Naseem, found a place in the Pakistan eleven for their next game, as did Mohammad Wasim Jr. Mohammad Haris has replaced Fakhar Zaman who has been struggling for runs recently. Saud Shakeel got into the eleven in place of Agha Salman, who was struck on his face attempting to play a sweep shot against Ravindra Jadeja. Spinner Mohammad Nawaz got into the eleven as well, in place of Faheem Ashraf. Meanwhile, A PCB release added that Rauf “continues to recover well after he felt discomfort in his right flank” while also mentioning that Shahnawaz Dahani will join the team on Thursday morning.

Playing XI: Mohammad Haris, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Zaman Khan

Sri Lanka: Despite the injury-forced absence of their key bowlers, Sri Lanka have made up for their absence with collective shows in their matches so far. They are likely to go in with an unchanged eleven as they have done throughout the competition.

Probable XI: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana.

Did you know?

– Sri Lanka last won an ODI against Pakistan in 2015, losing eight matches against them since then. These two teams last played an ODI in October 2019.

– Babar Azam’s last six innings against Sri Lanka in ODIs – 103, 101, 30, 69*, 115, 31 (last)

What they said:

“We haven’t lost a game for three months, and it’s a timely reminder for us to turn up every day, put our best on the park. It’s actually a gift that over the last two days we haven’t quite done that” – Grant Bradburn, Pakistan head coach, on the team’s loss to India.


Pakistan Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Zaman Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Nawaz, Saud Shakeel, Usama Mir, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Haris

Sri Lanka Squad: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Dushan Hemantha, Pramod Madushan, Binura Fernando, Kusal Perera


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