As a matter of fact both teams excel in batting as well as bowling but fielding does give some edge to Sri Lankans while the home advantage will also give Lankans the lift against the Men in Green.
Both teams have already secured one victory each as Pakistan outclassed Kenya by 205 runs while Sri Lanka demolished Canada by 210 runs.
Pakistan’s skipper Shahid Afridi has adopted an old strategy to preserve wickets for the later part of the innings but Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has given his openers the license to tear apart the bowling attack, so it would be interesting to see how these two teams with contrasting style battle it out at the RPS where both teams have registered five victories each.
The record at this ground also slightly favors Pakistan as the Men in Green have won last three matches against Sri Lanka here. Historically, the RPS pitch favors heavily the team batting first as the team chasing here have won only 33 as against 55 won by the team batting first.
Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are a good mix of youth and experienced professionals as Pakistan have Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq while the same role is kept for Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene for the hosts.
Interestingly, the two teams have won the world cup title once where Pakistan defeated England in 1992 in Australia while Sri Lanka won it in 1996 against Australia in Lahore.
Fortunately for Pakistan, most of their batsmen have regained form just at the right time with Kamran Akmal also scoring fifty against Kenya in the last match, while Younus Khan, Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Ahmad Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, and Abdul Razzaq all have played some crucial innings in recent times.
Although, Pakistan’s opening batsmen failed to take full advantage of playing against minnows in the first game but both of them have scored centuries recently which would really give them the confidence required to beat Sri Lanka at their home.
With a day left in the all-important clash, Boom Boom Afridi said, “We shouldn’t be 100 per cent satisfied, but we are ready for the Sri Lanka match. We will play with more energy.”
Boom Boom Afridi is currently the third highest wicket-taker in the current edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup after he secured figures of 5/16 against Kenya the other day.
Sri Lanka’s premier fast bowler, Lasith Malinga, is likely to return in the side after an injury that made the team management to rest him in not-so-important match against Canada. Talking about Malinga threat, Afridi said, “He is coming back from an injury so let’s see how strong he is and how much he can adjust to the conditions”.So Guysss TElllll jldi jldiii who ll win da match..........
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