A confident Pakistan, eager to keep the momentum going after its emphatic win over The Netherlands in its opener here, takes on a battered Sri Lanka in its second match of the World Cup on Tuesday.
It is never going to be easy for Sri Lanka, especially for the bowling attack, to come back strongly after the way the South African batters had treated it with such disdain in posting a record-breaking World Cup score of 428 for five in the previous game at Delhi.
The conditions and the opposition may be different, with the ground being much bigger here. Sri Lanka needs to get its act together quickly to make a statement here and keep the team’s morale high.
What would be worrying for Sri Lanka is that the pacers Kasun Rajitha, left-armer Dilshan Madushanka and Maheesha Pathirana leaked 271 runs in 30 overs against South Africa.
On what is expected to be another perfect batting surface, the trio faces an uphill task against the likes of Pakistan captain Babar Azam and the in-form duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel, who have seemed to have acclamitised to the conditions.
On the other hand, it was a spirited batting show by Sri Lanka with Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka and captain Dasun Shanaka showing their class.
The first objective of Sri Lanka will be to stick to the basics and not concede too many runs while its batters need to stand up to a potent Pakistan attack which has variety and depth.
To the delight of Babar, pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and the fast and furious Haris Rauf, backed by the spin duo of Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, delivered against Netherlands.