Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 (T20) of the two-match series at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday.
Pakistan have been outstanding in the tour of Sri Lanka so far. They won the Test series after a long wait and recently they have won the ODI series after nine years. The win in the ODI series helped Pakistan to inch closer to seal a berth in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which will be held in England.
After suffering a humiliating defeat in the ODI series against Bangladesh earlier this year, their spot in the Champions Trophy was under threat. But after beating Sri Lanka they have resurrected their run of form in ODIs.
Now they are coming into this T20 series riding on a winning momentum and they would look to seal the tour in style.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have been the top team in this format of the game after winning the last ICC World T20 in 2012 in Bangladesh. Surprisingly, they have only played a single T20 game after their triumph in the T20 World Cup. But looking at the kind of form the hosts are in, the above-mentioned facts does not mean anything.
Sri Lanka Cricket announced the T20 squad earlier this month and they have added five uncapped players in the side. In this transition period, they are looking to rebuild their side before the ICC World T20 2016.
On the other hand, Pakistan have not made any major changes to their squad. They have just added two uncapped players to their squad in the form of left-arm pacer Zia-ul-Haq and batsman Nauman Anwar.
The wicket is likely to produce a run feast and the weather reports suggested that there are no chances of rain. So one can expect it to be a cracker-jacker of a match under the floodlights on Thursday.
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Tilakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kithruwan Vithanage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Chamara Kapugedera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Thisara Perera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Nuwan Kulasekara, Binura Fernando, Chaturanga de Silva, Milinda Siriwardene.
Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (c), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mukhtar Ahmed, Nauman Anwar, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Shah, Imad Wasim, Zia-ul-Haq.
1st T20 - Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
Venue – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Time – 7pm local time (7pm IST)