Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka 2017, 1st ODI Match: Preview & Prediction

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Sri Lanka and Pakistan are all set to clash in UAE for a month long multi-format tournament that started on 28th September 2017. The first Test match is already underway, which would be followed by a 2nd Test after which we would have the much-awaited D/N ODI match.

Sri Lanka recently lost all matches against India in their home and they would not want to be disgraced again. They have brought the best players to compete against an already set Pakistani team. 2017 couldn’t go any better for Pakistan. They have won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy as well and they have come with almost the same team.

The 1st ODI is scheduled to be held on 13th October, 2017 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both the teams have played against each other on this ground earlier as well.

Squads

Here is a listing of the expected squad of both the teams for the 1st ODI match:

Pakistan Cricket Team:

Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Abbas, Bilal Asif and Wahab Riaz

Sri Lankan Cricket Team:

Lahiru Thirimane, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Gamage, Vishwa Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Kaushal Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera and Roshen Silva

With a balanced blend of experienced and new players, both the teams are looking forward to strengthen themselves for the upcoming World Cup and this tour is the right way to do so.

Match Prediction:

Both the teams are known for their confrontational batting style and exquisite bowling. Sri Lanka is missing the experience of Lasith Malinga who may or may not join the team later in the tournament. Even then, the team is giving tough competition to Pakistan’s cricket team. Here are some key players and match prediction:

Players like Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali and Babar Alam are tough to take a wicket off. Once they get going, it is fairly difficult to get them out, which is why they are Pakistan’s best bet to post a humungous total or easily chase one. To restrict the Sri Lankan line-up, Pakistan has bowlers like Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz. The ground favours Mohammed Amir’s style of bowling. Therefore, he would be a big problem for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankans have Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella and Dimuth Karunaratne who are experienced against Pakistan like bowling and know how to play in tough situations. These players are dependable and can guide Sri Lanka towards a series victory. With bowlers like Rangana Herath and Diruwan Perera, Sri Lankans have come prepared keeping in mind the weaknesses and strengths of Pakistani star batsmen.

Conclusion

Sri Lankans desperately need a confidence booster without which it is going to be difficult for them to come back in the game. The current progress of the test match suggests that the Sri Lankans are giving Pakistan a tough competition. This means that the outcome of the ODIs isn’t as straightforward as some might believe. Both teams have an equal chance of winning the first ODI match, but the result will highly depend on how the two tests go.

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