After a washout in the first One-Day International (ODI), Pakistan and Sri Lanka will clash in the second ODI at National Stadium, Karachi, with the hopes of getting a full game. However, the weather is expected to be cloudy, but no showers are expected during the course of the match.
This will be the first ODI in four years on Pakistan soil and first for Sri Lanka in 10 years. With many big players from the Sri Lankan squad missing, Pakistan will start off as favourites, who will field a full strength side. Historically, Sri Lanka are the most successful visiting side in Pakistan, having won 20 matches, four more than the next best side – West Indies.
Pakistan have dominated Sri Lanka over the last couple of years, winning their previous six meetings. Last time Sri Lanka beat Pakistan was in 2015 when the Angelo Mathews-led side thrashed their neighbours by 165 runs at Hambantota. Pakistan also completed a 5-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka when the sides met at UAE in their most recent series, in 2017-18.
Ground details and team combination
There hasn’t been an ODI played at Karachi in the last 10 years, but there were three T20Is played recently. Based on that data, spin (6.70) were much more economical than the pacers (8.70). But the pacers got the wickets at a better rate, striking once every 20.8 deliveries compared to the spinners, who have a strike-rate of 21.8. It might be a good idea to have an extra pacer in your fantasy team.
Also with the wicket under covers for such a long time, the pacers might get a chance to make use of the sweat on the wicket and extract more bounce. With overcast conditions, the ball might nip around a bit too.
Newly appointed Pakistan vice-captain Babar Azam is a great candidate for the captaincy role. With 946 runs from 18 matches, Babar is the sixth highest run-getter in ODIs this year and has the highest average among all Pakistan batsmen (59.12), ahead of Imad Wasim (51.11) and Haris Sohail (50.72).
Imam-ul-Haq scored a century against Bangladesh in Pakistan’s final match in the World Cup, but even before that knock, he got off to many encouraging starts. Imam is not someone, who can start whacking the ball right from the first ball and needs time to build an innings. He starts off slow once he faces at least 60 deliveries, he scores a well over a strike-rate of 100. With a temperament to play the long innings, Imam could be the guy who might get a big score and double your points.
Imad Wasim has been in excellent form in ODIs since the beginning of 2018. In fact, only two other players have a batting average of over 50 and have taken 10 wickets in that period. He is a handy batsman to have in the lower middle-order and is not afraid to bowl when the field is up. With a prospect of scoring briskly and picking up crucial wickets, Imad could very well be the difference maker in the match.
21-year-old Avishka Fernando blew everyone away with his extravagant strokeplay during the 2019 World Cup. His century against West Indies was a treat to watch, as were some of his other knocks such as 49 off 39 against England and also a 75-ball 82 against Bangladesh. He is someone who is not afraid to play his shots regardless of the situation and batting in the top-order will give him more license to cut loose.
With an ODI strike-rate of 119, Dasun Shanaka is one of the most explosive batsmen lower down the order. He can change the course of the game in a matter of a few deliveries and that is what Sri Lanka will want him to do. His medium pace could also fetch him a wicket or two and though is economy rate is close to six, a strike-rate of 25.2 is not all that bad.
Suggested FanFight Team
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Avishka Fernando, Imad Wasim, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Kasun Rajitha