Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka dates back to the earliest days of ODI cricket. Pakistan and Sri Lanka first squared off against one another in ODI cricket in 1975, just four years after the first ODI match. In their illustrious history, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have competed against each other in bilateral series to the finals in international tournaments. Their friendly rivalry can be highlighted by the fact that Pakistan has played their most ODI matches against Sri Lanka while Sri Lanka has competed in their 2nd highest number of ODI matches against Pakistan. Both teams are former World Champions.
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka History:
Pakistan and Sri Lanka might know each other better than anyone. They’ve gone toe-to-toe with one another in all formats and in every big event, there is. They’ve been World Champions in the same decade. They’ve both played almost the same number of ODI contests. Pakistan has won 464 of their 879 ODIs and Sri Lanka has secured victory in 379 out of their 835 ODI matches. Overall records show that Pakistan slightly has the upper hand. In the 153 times that Pakistan and Sri Lanka clashed with each other, Pakistan won 90 times while Sri Lanka defeated them in 58 matches with 1 tie and 4 no results.
Pakistan has outshined Sri Lanka on multiple stages and this must be subconsciously in the minds of Sri Lankan players. They’ll be looking for payback. Ironically, both teams have not been performing up to mark since CT 2017. Sri Lanka has been struggling to bat wise since the departure of Kumar Sangakkara while Pakistan is struggling with their opening pair. It’s difficult to say who will come out on top in their match.
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka – Cricket World Cup Faceoff:
Pakistan and Sri Lanka are set to square off on 7th June 2019 in Bristol County Ground in Bristol, England. The ground is unpopular, only hosting 17 ODI matches. There are equal numbers of wins for teams batting first or second. So toss won’t be a huge factor here. Looking at the numbers, Pakistan has the upper hand and this will provide confidence to their players. Sri Lanka recently lost a series 5-0 against Pakistan in 2018. Pakistan’s performance against Sri Lanka has generally been well. Hafeez has 4 centuries against Sri Lanka in ODIs and if selected for the WC squad, he’ll be looking forward to adding another century to his name.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s strength lies in their spinners. The likes of Akila Dhananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan can make it difficult for Pakistan to score runs. The pressure will definitely be on Sri Lanka but we know how quickly the Pakistan batting line-up can break down. Sri Lanka will have to direct their bowlers to focus on picking up early wickets and not allow Pakistan batsmen to settle.
Judging by the statistics and recent performances, Pakistan will win this match. They have a good bowling line-up and their batsmen are comfortable batting against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will have to come up with a completely new strategy in order to strangle Pakistan’s score. If Sri Lanka can pick up early wickets, Pakistan might do something unconventional that would result in catastrophe for them. Whatever the result, it will be one hell of a contest.