Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka 2019/20: First T20I – Match Preview
On Saturday, the hosts Pakistan will play the first game of the three-match T20I series against the visitors Sri Lanka. While National Stadium (Karachi) organised all the ODIs of this Sri Lanka tour of Pakistan, Gaddafi Stadium (Lahore) is ready to host all the three T20Is.
In the latest three-match ODI series, Pakistan won the series by 2-0. After the first game was washed out in rain, the second match was rescheduled. Later, Pakistan won second and third ODI by 67 runs and five wickets respectively.
Pakistan are the no.1-ranked T20I team at present. In the last calendar year (2018), Pakistan dominated in T20I cricket. They played 19 T20Is in 2018 and won 17 matches out of those (lost two matches).
However, this year (2019), Pakistan have failed to maintain their T20I domination. While they have played four T20Is in this calendar year, they have won only once and lost the other three times. So, struggling Pakistan haven’t performed well recently in the shortest format too.
But the present situation is very different. In this Pakistan tour, many top Sri Lankan cricketers have denied travelling Pakistan. Sri Lankan T20I captain Lasith Malinga is one of them who is currently the leading wicket-taker (104 wickets) in T20I history.
Inexperienced Sri Lanka vs favourite looking no.1-ranked T20I side Pakistan
Finally, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced the inexperienced squads for this tour. While Lahiru Thirimanne led the ODI side, will lead the T20I side. Lahiru Madushanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have been added in the T20I squad while is the only exclusion from the ODI squad.
Eighth-ranked T20I side Sri Lanka are ready with the newly-looked side. While the next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is almost one year away to begin, it is the good chances for the new players to express themselves in this series to create further opportunities for themselves.
Meanwhile, , and Faheem Ashraf have returned to the Pakistan squad for the T20I series. Abid Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and injured are the three players who were in the ODI squad but have missed out the T20I series. Favourite team Pakistan will surely want to dominate in this home T20I series.
i) On 29th October 2017, Pakistan and Sri Lanka played their only T20I in Pakistan (at Lahore). Pakistan won that match by 36 runs.
ii) Pakistan have played 18 T20Is against Sri Lanka. Out of those, while Pakistan won 13 T20Is, Sri Lanka won the other five T20Is. Last time Sri Lanka beat Pakistan on 13th December 2013 at Dubai (DSC). Pakistan have won all their last six T20Is against Sri Lanka.