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HomeCricketMatch Preview: 1st T20I - Pakistan v Sri Lanka

Match Preview: 1st T20I – Pakistan v Sri Lanka



Last Updated on 7 years by Charbel Coorey

So then, one whitewash each.

After Sri Lanka surprisingly won the Test series 2-0, Pakistan responded with a thumping 5-0 ODI series win that left Sri Lanka on the brink of equaling their worst ever ODI run.

This series is important for both sides, for different reasons.

For Sri Lanka, they’ll want to quickly forget the nightmare that was the ODI series. Also, 2017 has been full of ODI troubles for the Lions, winning just 4 of 26 ODIs. The T20Is is an opportunity for respite, especially considering they have won five of nine matches, including series wins in South Africa and Australia.

For Pakistan, they find themselves in the opposite situation. They’ll want to build on their ODI successes, and maybe even have the series won before the 3rd T20I in Pakistan – beloved home territory.

How this one pans out will be interesting to see, with ranking ramifications as well.

Key to a Pakistan victory

Expose Sri Lanka’s inexperience.
Sri Lanka will be without Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella and Akila Dananjaya. Looking at how Pakistan’s attack performed in the ODIs, they’ll all be big losses for Sri Lanka.
If Pakistan’s impressive set of bowlers can get it in the right areas, they can rip through the Sri Lankan lineup. 
Deal with Usman Khan, then you have Hasan Ali to face, then the impressive Shadab Khan and so on…

Key to a Sri Lanka victory

Stick to what has worked for them in T20Is this year.
Yes, it has been a little while since their last T20I, but if Sri Lanka can stick to what worked in those games, it can help them here. Aggressive, confident cricket was the name of the game.
Sri Lanka’s team looks very thin on experience, so the experience of Thisara Perera is vital. The stand-in skipper must stand up.

Predicted lineups:

Pakistan: 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (c, wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Shadab Khan, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Usman Khan
Sri Lanka: 1 Dilshan Munaweera, 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 4 Mahela Udawatte, 5 Ashan Priyanjan, 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Seekuge Prasanna, 8 Thisara Perera (wk), 9 Sachith Pathirana, 10 Jeffrey Vandersay, 11 Lahiru Gamage

Stats & Facts:

  • Thisara Perera has played more matches (60) than the rest of the 16-man Sri Lanka squad combined (47).
  • Thisara Perera is the 7th captain Sri Lanka have had in all formats in 2017, after Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Rangana Herath, Chamara Kapugedara and Lasith Malinga.
  • If Pakistan win this series 3-0, they will move within one point of first-placed New Zealand.
  • Babar Azam averages 54.00 in 11 T20Is, with a strike rate of 125.94
  • Sri Lanka have won five of nine T20Is this year, including wins in Australia and South Africa.


I’ll admit that I have never heard of some of these Sri Lanka players that will line up to play today.
That is not to say they are without talent, though. However, Pakistan boast significant experience, and are in good shape to keep the juggernaut going with Sri Lanka missing key players. Pakistan to win.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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