The action comes thick and fast in the Cricket World Cup, with a double header taking place on Tuesday morning. The later game at 9:30am takes place in Hyderabad, where Pakistan take on Sri Lanka. We’ve taken a look at this fixture and given you our suggested bets.
Pakistan (4/9) come into this second group game on the back of a confidence-boosting victory against the Netherlands, which looked unlikely at times.
After falling to 38/3 early on, after the dismissals of Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq and skipper Babar Azam, Pakistan were able to rebuild thanks to Muhammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel, who both hit 68. Another mini-collapse saw them fall to 186-6, before some really valuable late runs from Mohammed Nawaz and Shadab Khan saw them reach 286.
Netherlands looked to be cruising to that total, when Vikramjit Singh (52) and Bas de Leede (67) were looking comfortable together. However, as he often does, Haris Rauf changed the dynamic with a couple of quick wickets and the Dutch just couldn’t find another partnership, ultimately falling 81 runs short.
Grant Bradburn’s men will be delighted with avoiding that banana skin of a result but he will also be a little concerned at how easily Pakistan’s much vaunted batting lineup fell away, against some fairly mediocre bowling.
Next up is a Sri Lanka (9/5) side that was involved in a truly remarkable game in Delhi on Saturday. Numerous records tumbled as South Africa bludgeoned a massive 428 – the highest ever score recorded in a World Cup.
The Proteas had three centurions, with Aiden Markram clubbing the fastest ever ton in this competition, his 49-ball effort beating the previous 50-ball record from Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien, against England in 2011.
The Lions gave it a good go in response but were always likely to fall short against such a huge total and despite half-centuries by Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka and skipper Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 326.
The surface and conditions in Hyderabad should be more to the liking of Sri Lanka’s spin-heavy attack, who took some huge punishment in Delhi.
Pakistan are expected to keep the same XI who pulled off the victory against the Netherlands.
Pakistan (from): Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.
Sri Lanka are sweating on the fitness of spin star Maheesh Theekshana, who missed the opening game with a niggling hamstring issue.
Sri Lanka (from): Dasun Shanaka (c), Kusal Mendis (vc), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Kumara, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushan Hemantha.
Sri Lanka most sixes – 19/10
Sri Lanka certainly didn’t hold back in their attempt to chase down South Africa’s tournament record score, smashing a massive 17 maximums in the process.
Meanwhile, Pakistan only cleared the ropes on three occasions against the Netherlands, so I fancy the Lions to hit more sixes in this one.
Haris Rauf top PAK wicket taker – 3/1
The 29-year-old took a few overs to find his feet in the opening game but was ultimately the catalyst that won the game for the Men in Green.
A bundle of energy as always, Rauf first bounced out Teja Nidamanuru before trapping Dutch captain Scott Edwards in front of his wicket.
Rauf finished off the innings and took 3/43 from his nine overs. When Pakistan are desperate for a wicket, he is their go to bowler and along with Shaheen Shah Afridi, formed a dynamic duo at the start and end of the innings.