Statbox: Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Facts and figures relating to the Group A World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Saturday.cricket Updated: Feb 26, 2011 08:56 IST
Facts and figures relating to the Group A World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan (0900 GMT) at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Saturday.
Pakistan lead 70-46 (Tied: 1; NR: 3)
In the subcontinent: Pakistan lead 34-29 (NR: 2)
In the World Cups: Pakistan lead 6-0
* Although Pakistan's adopted home country for this tournament is Sri Lanka, they are unlikely to feel very loved when they taken on the real hosts in what promises to be a pulsating fixture. Both sides know the conditions well, both have a very strong batting line up with a good mix of accumulators and aggressors. Both too have a good combination of pace and spin attack and there is very little to choose between the sides but for Sri Lanka's genuine home advantage versus Pakistan's ability to blow hot and cold.
* Both teams stamped their authority in the World Cup opening fixtures. Pakistan (WLWWW) started slowly and shakily against Kenya, stabilised, built, accumulated and then assaulted the Kenyan bowling attack to end up 300+. Sri Lanka (WWWLW) started better than Pakistan but the rest of the innings followed a same pattern for a similar, slightly higher score against Canada.
* Each of the bowling attacks pulverised the opposition with the pace bowlers being profligate and breaching the top order, before the spinners finished the job clinically. In Pakistan's case, Shahid Afridi led the charge while for Sri Lanka, the wickets were shared around.
* Sri Lanka have never beaten Pakistan in a World Cup match, but to be fair to them, the last time they faced their Asian neighbours was in 1992. This was approximately the time when Pakistan cricket was at its peak under Imran Khan's leadership, after which there has rarely been an uneventful year for them. This was also when a much more combative, aggressive Sri Lanka team was coming together under Arjuna Ranatunga's leadership.
* At the Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are neck-to-neck with five wins apiece. However, Sri Lanka have lost their last three encounters to Pakistan at the ground. Colombo has a track record of favouring the team batting first (55 wins by teams batting first as opposed to 33 by the teams chasing).
* While both teams possess great top orders and attacking lower middle orders which play spin well, the match is likely to be decided by how well the senior professionals on both sides in the middle order bind the innings and put up or chase competitive totals. From a Pakistan standpoint, Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq would carry the burden of batting for a bulk of the innings at a good pace. The very experienced duo of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara will have to wear the same mantle, once again, for Sri Lanka.