Match Preview

1st ODI: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka – Playing XI, Team News, Timing, Pitch Report, Weather Report

The first ODI of the three-match series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played at National Stadium Karachi. Pakistan will hope to treat the home crowd with a complete performance as the three-match series against Sri Lanka gets under way in Karachi.

It has been ten years since Karachi saw its last ODI. In that time, three World Cups have been staged, a generation has grown up, and the one-day game has been through a revolution.

It has been ten years since Karachi saw its last ODI. In that time, three World Cups have been staged, a generation has grown up, and the one-day game has been through a revolution.

National Stadium Karachi is all set to host 1st ODI between Pakistan and Sri lanka. Photo: Green Team

After a disappointing World Cup campaign, Pakistan, under their new coach Misbah-ul-Haq, and with new faces in the squad, appear to be a motivated lot. They have focused on fitness in the run-up to the series and go into the series with confidence.

After the World Cup, Sri Lanka put up three complete performances to whitewash Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series at home last month. But with senior players withdrawing from the tour of Pakistan, they face an uphill task in unfamiliar conditions.

They’ll also be worried of stand-in skipper Lahiru Thirimanne’s fitness, as the left-hander had complained of pain in his back while training ahead of the tour.

Match Details:

Date: Friday September 27, 2019

Timing: 03:00 PM PKT

Venue: National Stadium Karachi

Weather: It has been raining heavily in the lead-up to the match, which means that there is a chance a wet outfield could frustrate play. It’s expected to be a largely cloudy day in Karachi with a few sunny intervals and a gentle breeze.

Conditions / Pitch Report: A decent batting track awaits both sides with the pacers getting some help from the surface. Teams chasing have won four of the last six ODIs at the National Stadium.

Head to Head:

Matches: 153 | Pakistan: 90 | Sri Lanka: 58 | NR: 5

Form Guide:

Pakistan: W W W W L (completed matches, most recent first)

Sri Lanka: W W W L W

Team News:

1. Pakistan

Openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq will continue their partnership at the top of Pakistan’s batting order in Sri Lanka’s upcoming tour of Pakistan.

Babar Azam and Haris Sohail will play a key role in middle order. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed is expected to bat at the number five position in the batting order. Asif Ali will a play key role of finisher. The pace attack is likely to consist of fast-bowlers Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.

Misbah-ul-Haq has clarified that he will try to gain the maximum amount of profit from the batting abilities of Sarfaraz. This is why the wicket-keeper batsman will feature at number five in Pakistan’s batting line-up.

All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been replaced by batsman Iftikhar Ahmed. All-rounders Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan are also expected to feature in Pakistan’s line-up.

Pakistan’s Probable XI:

1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Imam-ul-Haq, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Haris Sohail, 5. Sarfraz Ahmed (capt/wk), 6. Asif Ali / Iftikhar Ahmed, 7. Shadab Khan 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Wahab Riaz, 10. Mohammad Amir, 11. Usman Shinwari

2. Sri Lanka

It is difficult to predict Sri Lanka’s XI, but Nuwan Pradeep may get a game owing to his experience. Lakshan Sandakan, the only specialist spinner in the squad, is also likely to play.

Sri Lanka will bank on Avishka Fernando and Lahiru Thirimanne to anchor the batting unit in the absence of Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera.

Their vacancies should be filled by Sadeera Samawickrama and Danushka Gunathilaka while Shehan Jayasuriya and Dasun Shanaka also set to feature.

Their bowling unit is well rounded with Isuru Udana and Lakshan Sandakan in their ranks while all eyes will be upon Wanidu Hasaranga, who incidentally has a hattrick in this format against Zimbabwe on debut.

Sri Lanka’s Probable XI:

1. Lahiru Thirimanne (capt), 2. Danushka Gunathilaka, 3. Avishka Fernando, 4. Sadeera Samarawickrama (wk), 5. Oshada Fernando, 6. Shehan Jayasuriya, 7. Dasun Shanaka 8. Isuru Udana, 9. Wanindu Hasaranga, 10. Lakshan Sandakan, 11. Nuwan Pradeep

Players to watch:

1. Babar Azam – Batsman, Pakistan

Babar Azam can have a good start to the series if he takes off in a batsman friendly pitch. Babar is a smart player and plays well to the situation. He has been very consistent with the runs for Pakistan and could be one of the most important players in the series.

2. Mohammad Amir – Bowler, Pakistan

Pakistan’s fast bowlers are really capable of wreaking havoc on their day. Mohammad Amir will be looking to rekindle that spark with his accurate bowling.

3. Lahiru Thirimanne – Batsman, England

With form and experience both by his side, Thirimanne is the only good candidate in Sri Lanka’s batting line-up and probably one of the batsmen to watch out.

4. Dasun Shanaka – Bowler, England

Dasun Shanaka is a force to reckon with while batting and can get a few wickets with his variations when he’s bowling.

Stats and Travia:

  • Pakistan’s most recent ODI in Karachi was also against Sri Lanka, in January 2009.
  • Pakistan have won their six most recent (completed) matches against Sri Lanka – a streak that goes back to 2017.
  • Thirimanne last captained Sri Lanka in ODIs in 2015, in New Zealand. Sri Lanka won one and lost two matches under his leadership.Babar Azam is ranked 3rd on the ODI batting charts, while Imam-ul-Haq is joint-11th. To find the best-ranking Sri Lanka batsman involved in this series, you have to go all the way down to No. 80 – Avishka Fernando


“History will be made on Friday when Karachi will host the first bilateral ODI series since January 2009. I request all local cricket fans to be part of history so that they can tell the next generation that they were at the National Stadium when an international series was played. Whoever is part of the squad of 16 at the moment are all first-team players. We’ll try to get the best 11 playing given the circumstances in every game, but any of them could step up when required.” Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed

“Since I came back into the team this year and my average has been over 40 and strike rate over 90, if you talk about the stats. I am right up there in the Sri Lanka team. It’s about performing when I get the chance. It doesn’t matter where I bat – if the team needs me to bat higher up the order I can do that, if the team needs me to bat in the middle, that’s up to me to get that challenge and perform.” Sri Lanka captain Lahiru Thirimanne on his recent performances

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