KARACHI: Pakistan, on Monday, opted to bat first after winning the toss against Sri Lanka as the National Stadium, Karachi braces the return of international cricket in Pakistan after a decade.
Pakistan will begin as solid favourites to win the ODI series which has been reduced to a two-match contest.
Monday’s game is likely to be a divergence with a tough Pakistan line-up looking set to push aside a depleted Sri Lanka team that is without ten of its forefront players. The absentees have abstained from the tour – the longest by an international cricket team to Pakistan since 2009 – because of security concerns.
The comparatively untried Sri Lankan batting is also expected to struggle against Pakistan’s spinners especially leggie Shadab Khan, who has taken 10 Sri Lankan wickets from five matches at an average of 16.3 – his best against any major nation.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari
Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thrimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara