On March 8 2014, almost two years ago, these two teams were playing the final of Asia Cup and today both are engaged into a dead rubber. But still in the context of the T20 World Cup, match gets importance because every win prior to the big event counts. During current tournament, they faced the same fate as both were defeated by Bangladesh and India while their contest against UAE was, against all expectations, not a one-sided game. The better teams have moved on while these two sides, showing lesser quality, have lagged behind.
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and opted to field first.
They are also ailed by roughly similar concerns. The openers are a worry for Pakistan – none having hit more than 11 in the tournament. Sri Lanka have begun to fear that Tillakaratne Dilshan’s form may not recover over the next few weeks, and his partner – Dinesh Chandimal – is an improvised opener in any case. Pakistan have a few bright sparks in that top order – which features Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik – but against the top teams, they have only come good one-by-one, rather than as a collective.
In Mohammad Amir at least, this game will feature the bowler that has delivered the best spells in the tournament. In Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara and Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka have the most experienced attack. Both teams will look to their bowlers to set the standard, as the batsmen attempt to sort themselves out.
Pakistan Team: 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Sarfraz Ahmed, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Shahid Afridi (capt), 7 Iftikhar Ahmed, 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Mohammad Nawaz, 10 Mohammad Amir, 11 Mohammad Irfan
Sri Lanka Team: 1 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Shehan Jayasuriya, 4 Chamara Kapugedara, 5 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 6 Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Dushmantha Chameera