London: The battle of two Asian cricketing powers, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Bristol, is expected to be a clash in a bid to boost the morale of the teams.
The winner of this match on Friday will gain a lot psychologically as both play on the back of a win after suffering heavy defeats in the opener.
Pakistan look more experienced and stronger in all departments of the game. Sri Lanka, however, know that Pakistan are an unpredictable team and captain Dimuth Karunaratne said: “But I think we have a bit of confidence and will be trying to give our best shot. We are not overconfident as well. We will see tomorrow.”
The young captain wants a win at all costs to make it two in a row. “We just need a win as it always give us the confidence if you get full points against any team and that is what we want. Finally, we got that against Afghanistan also need to improve still in many things about batting,” he said.
Grant Flower, the Pakistan batting coach, is not bothered about the unpredictable tag and said that his team has gained confidence from the win over England. “It’s my fifth year. Yeah, we didn’t adapt well to the conditions against the West Indies. Technically, we were a bit poor on the day and I think there were a lot of nerves — it being the first World Cup match. The guys got over that against England and they showed their proper skills and it was a true test of character. I think they came through with flying colours in the second game.”
When asked how challenging could the Sri Lankans be, Flower said: “Well, you have always got to be respectful and they have got good bowlers. I have just come out of a batting meeting to see their skills and it should be a good game. And hopefully the weather holds as there is forecast for rains. I don’t think we’d be targeting any one individual, though they have got some good seamers and some spinners with very good skills. The guys are fully focused and they know what to expect.”
When asked about challenges he can expect from Pakistan, Lankan captain Karunaratne said: “If you can do that particular day well, you can be on the winning side. I think Pakistan did really well against England. They put score on the board, big scores, so after that they keep taking wickets, so those are the key areas.
“I think if you are playing any big team, you have to do put some runs on the board and give a chance for the bowlers to take wickets. If you are not doing that, you can’t achieve it. I think Pakistan, or whatever the team, you have to do the basic things right if you want to win it.”
Bristol has been mostly cloudy, which will help the pacers but there is also a threat of intermittent showers. This is a pitch on which West Indies piled up 421 runs in the warm-up game and most matches yield a total of over 300 runs.
Catch the match: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
Bristol, match starts from 1.30pm UAE
Live telecast on OSN Sports