The virtual semi-final of Asia Cup 2023 will be played on 14th September 2023 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is a must win game for both the sides as losing it will result in their elimination. Following is the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka preview of the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 stage.
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Preview
This game holds vital importance. Both sides are contesting for a place in the final. The winner of this game will face India in the final while the loser will go home. Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan suffered defeats from India, and both won their respective matches against Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka still played competitive cricket against India. Meanwhile, Pakistan suffered an embarrassing defeat by 220+ runs. Pakistan’s net run rate is worse than Sri Lanka which means that in case of a washout, Sri Lanka will qualify for the final. Pakistan also have had some major injury concerns, hence, their full strength side won’t be playing this must win game.
Sri Lanka have the home advantage, their team will be full strength and they have been playing good cricket as well. Their spin attack is comparatively better from Pakistan’s, so they are the likely favorites to win this game.
Pakistan Playing 11
Pakistan have made 5 changes to their side. Only 2 of them was tactical, while others were forced. Faheem and Fakhar have to sit out for this game, replacing them would be Mohammad Haris and Mohammad Nawaz. Meanwhile, Agha Salman, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah are out due to injuries and replacing them will be Zaman Khan (debut), Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Saud Shakeel.
Confirmed XI: Mohammad Haris, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (capt), M Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, M Nawaz, M Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Zaman Khan.
Sri Lanka Playing 11
Sri Lanka will surely stick with the same combination as they don’t really need a chance.
Probable XI: Dimuth Karunaratne, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, D De Silva, Dasun Shanaka (Capt), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha and Matheesha Pathirana.
Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Head to Head
Pakistan have got the better of Sri Lanka in ODI Cricket. Out of 155 matches, 92 have been won by Pakistan while 58 have gone Sri Lanka’s way, 1 ended as a tie and 4 ended without a result. However, there is a massive change when it comes to Asia Cup ODIs. Pakistan have won only 4 out of the 14 encounters in Asia Cup ODIs while Sri Lanka dominate them with 10 wins.
Players to watch out for
As far as players to watch for are concerned, Pakistan have made plenty of changes so it will be interesting to see how they cope with a new lineup in a must-win game. It will be interesting to see where Mohammad Haris bats. Chances are that he bats at the top in order to utilize the PowerPlay overs better for Pakistan.
Moreover, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam have been key for Pakistan in ODI cricket and they really need to step up in this game. With the ball, a lot will be depending on Shaheen Afridi, who has done well in this event (apart from the super 4 game against India). It will be interesting to see how Shaheen carries the attack in the absence of Rauf and Naseem.
Sri Lanka have had multiple good performers in the event. Samarawickwrama, Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka have all been very good in the event and even Dimuth Karunaratne has been decent. It will be very hard for Pakistan to get through this strong batting unit.
Charith Asalanka also caught everyone’s attention when he took 4 wickets with the ball against India. The Sri Lanka spin attack is quite deadly. Dunith Wellalage also took a fifer against India while Theekshana has been brilliant throughout the event. So the Sri Lanka spin attack will be equally threatening as their batting.