After a string of low scores, Babar Azam has a chance to get back into the batting groove because both teams are likely to rest their top bowlers. Both countries’ economies are in peril, with some arguing that Sri Lanka is already in freefall.
Both are struggling under the weight of excessive foreign debt, and both are in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for debt relief. Pakistan will play Sri Lanka twice to conclude the Asia Cup. To start off, I’d want to welcome everyone to the first Debt Trap Derby.
What You Can Miss In the Beginning
Both squads have been involved in some serious chasing to get here. When Sri Lanka scored 176 against Afghanistan in Sharjah, it was a new stadium record.
Even more spectacular was Pakistan’s chase of 182 against India, which they completed with one ball to spare. Shortly afterward, Sri Lanka similarly overcame India with one ball to spare.
Although the middle and lower orders of Pakistan’s batting order collapsed against Afghanistan, leaving No. 10 Naseem Shah with the task of hitting big blows to get them across the line, this batting order has a decent body of work behind it and will come into these last two matches with some confidence.
As of late, and especially in the context of chasing, Sri Lanka’s batting has only been effective. However, they have three devastating batters Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
Mohammad Rizwan, one of only two hitters with more than 200 runs in the tournament so far, has been depended upon more extensively by Pakistan. He has 212 runs at an average of 70.66.
I would guess that Pakistan has the upper hand in the bowling department. Yet, both clubs are expected to sit out their best bowlers in this meaningless match.
Did You Find What’s In the Spotlight?
That’s 33 runs in four innings, and a strikeout rate of 117. The tournament’s finest batsman, Babar Azam, is struggling right now.
There is no clear explanation for the low scores, so maybe it is a blend of confidence and chance. There’s no way he’ll remain down for long. Maybe he’ll get another opportunity if Sri Lanka chooses to play with a less potent bowling attack this time around.
Charith Asalanka has made 0, 1, 8, and 0 so far, taking 21 balls to score 9 runs. If you think Babar’s stretch is awful, consider that. He was Sri Lanka’s breakout star in last year’s Twenty20 World Cup on these same wickets, but he seems to have struck a wall in the meantime.
He also failed to post big numbers in a local Twenty20 event just before this tournament. He will probably be given another chance to play in Sri Lanka. But competitors like Ashen Bandara, who also fared well in that home contest, are closing in fast.
Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Team News
It’s possible that Sri Lanka would bench Asitha Fernando, who has been costly, in favor of one of the younger fast bowlers like Matheesha Pathirana or Pramod Madushan.
Also, Sri Lanka may decide to rest Wanindu Hasaranga and replace him with Jeffrey Vandersay in order to prevent Pakistan from scouting him in advance of the final.
- Possible Lineups of Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Mendis (wk), 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Danushka Gunathilaka (capt), 5 Dasun Shanaka, 6 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 7 Chamika Karunaratne, 8 Jeffrey Vandersay, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Matheesha Pathirana, 11 Dilshan Madushanka
- Possible Lineups of Pakistan: 1 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 2 Babar Azam (capt), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Iftikhar Ahmed, 5 Khushdil Shah, 6 Asif Ali, 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Shadab Khan/Usman Qadir, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Mohammad Hasnain
Field Observation: Pitch and Conditions
As is customary in Dubai, the second-batting side is predicted to benefit from the surface, especially if dew forms during the second innings to make bowling more difficult. It’s the same pitch where India and Afghanistan played on Thursday, so expect it to get some usage.
Statistics & Our Prediction
After Thursday’s match between India and Afghanistan, the chasing team won 16 of the previous 18 in Dubai. To date, Hong Kong and Scotland are the only teams to lose while batting second.
Sri Lanka has played Pakistan twenty-twenty fifteen times, losing thirteen times and winning just eight. The three consecutive victories were in 2019.
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