About the Match
Sealing a test series victory 2-0 against Pakistan, Sri Lanka goes into a 3-match ODI series against the visitors, with the first match scheduled to be held on 23rd Aug at Hambantota. It was a devastating blow to Pakistan as they were dominated throughout the test series and will be eager to make a comeback with a win here. Sri Lanka on the other hand is looking very good with the perfect mix of established stalwarts and young talented players on its side and will be a tough team to beat on home turf.
Angelo Mathews leads the side from the front with his patience and good leadership skills and with players like Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Chandimal, Tillakaratne and his deputy Thirimanne, he enjoys a well-balanced and confident side to confront the visitors’ ploys. Rangana Herath was astounding with his 14 wicket haul in the 2nd test match and will be leading the bowling attack in the one-day series too alongside Malinga, Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv. All-rounders Prasanna, Priyanjan and Thisara Perera can come up with a few surprises with both bat and ball and can help to stabilize the innings at tough situations too. Upul Tharanga has time and again proved his excellence with the bat and along with the stalwarts in the top order, can build strong partnerships to counter the Pakistani bowlers. The team is exuberant with its recent test series victory and will be highly confident when they stride onto the field on Saturday; they just need to keep a cool head in pressure situations to maintain the upper hand that they already have.
Misbah-ul-Haq is struggling with his form and the players are demoralized after their humiliating test series loss but they have quite a few talented players like Ahmed Shahzad, Mohammad Talha, Hafeez, Anwar Ali and Fawad Alam. The bowling squad will be led by Saeed Ajmal, who has been in top form this season and has been playing a lot of cricket; with bowlers like Wahab Riaz, who took 6 wickets in the 2nd test and Junaid Khan’s 5-wicket haul in the first innings of the 2nd test, the team is well-set to cause an upset for the home team provided the batsmen can live up to the expectations. Established players like Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Younis Khan and Sohaib Maqsood can provide stability to the innings; they just need to play smart and not make any forced errors to throw their wickets away. Overall, the team is hungry for a win here and they will come out all guns blazing to avenge their defeat.
While the test series is behind them, Pakistan will need all the determination to rise above its weaknesses and play like a well-knit unit to stay ahead; Sri Lanka, on the other hand, with the home advantage and the morale boost they received from their test victory, look better placed to win this first contest.
Sri Lanka, 1.72 @ TitanBet