The last group match of Champions Trophy tournament. At this interesting juncture, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will meet in their fight to semis. Although the match is between the seventh and the eight ODI team, it will be one of the best faceoffs in Champions Trophy arena. The reason: both are equally favorite.
Pakistan’s campaign so far has been interesting. While it rattled against India, it strung South Africa. While Sri Lanka was all smashed up in the match against South Africa, they toppled India in a calk walk. Meanwhile, in the latest fixture, India cracked up South Africa straight home off the championship. The equation is now perfectly unsettling, making the tournament thrilling.
Lasith Malinga did not impressed much in IPL, but the bowler seemed extra boosted for England. However, the team is now without its top guns in batting. The absence of Chamara Kapugedara, Kusal Perera and Upul Tharanga could create considerable road blocks. It would be an interesting occasion for captain Angelo Matthews to match the team with replacements. The team’s defense will be a critical. New entrants in Sri Lanka’s squad are Dhananjaya de Silva and Asela Gunathilaka. Also, Lakshan Sandakan is expected to join to replace Thisara Perera.
Pakistan also has its own impasse. Umar Akmal is injured, Mohammed Amir could give no wickets apart from speed, while most of the bowlers are untested. Pakistan might go for debutants in bowling as well after successful campaigns with batting debutante. Faheem Ashraf, the fast bowler might debut replacing Mohammed Hafeez.
The match is expected to complete without any rain hurdles. The matches at Cardiff are bringing up plays closer to the 300-mark. Angelo Mathews said his team is focusing on the match. He said Pakistan is “a very dangerous” team. Sri Lanka must play “really good” to beat Pakistan, the skipper added. Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez thinks the semifinal entry would be an achievement. He said, as a team, the players are getting together.
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