Asia Cup (Super Four), PAK vs SL: Key player battles
Pakistan will face a belligerent-looking Sri Lanka in Friday's Super Four clash in Asia Cup. Both teams have looked ominous in the tournament underway. While they have qualified for the final, one could still anticipate cracking exhibitions in this fixture. Mohammad Rizwan and Naseem Shah are must-sees from Pakistan, while Kusal Mendis and Dilshan Madushanka hold impetus for SL. We decode the player battles.
Naseem Shah vs Kusal Mendis
19-year-old Naseem has breathed fire since making his T20I debut. The right-armer put the world to notice with figures worth 2/27 versus India. Naseem, who has a propensity to click 140kmph, can rampage with the new ball. To negate his spell, SL would be hoping an in-form Kusal, who has slammed two fifties in the tourney, to clobber him across the park.
Mohammad Rizwan vs Dilshan Madushanka
It has been a lone effort from wicket-keeper batter Rizwan on the scoring front. He has compiled 212 runs in the tourney, averaging 70.66. SL will have to pull curtains to his stay, right in the PP overs. Left-armer Mandushanka will be entrusted with the same He can swing either way and can bowl yorkers and shorter ones to uproot the former.
Shadab Khan vs Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Shadab Khan continues to pile miseries onto the batters in middle-overs. His googlies and leg-breaks can trump even the best batters, leaving them clueless during their stay. SL have a hard-hitter in Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who can disrupt the former's rhythm with ease. The southpaw has belted his kind, having amassed 48 T20I runs at 48.00, all while striking at a healthy 120.00.
Dasun Shanaka vs Mohammad Nawaz
Middle-order batter Dasun Shanaka continued his sensational run with the willow, bashing an 18-ball 33* against India. He found success in the must-win affair against Bangladesh (45). The southpaw has a chink in his armor. He averages a meek 16.76 against spinners in T20Is (dismissals: 21). Mohammad Nawaz can cash in on the same. He has been tight with his lengths in the tourney.
Wanindu Hasaranga vs Fakhar Zaman
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will be relied heavily upon to plunder wickets right after the PP overs. He will be up against Fakhar Zaman, who despite having a great run in T20s in 2022, has struggled to muster runs in the tourney. Plus, the southpaw averages only 26.00 and has been dismissed 11 times in this interval. Who comes on top? Only time will tell.