PESHAWAR: The first match of the three-match T20 series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore today (Saturday).
The match is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm (PST). Pakistan will start the series as overwhelming favourites given their top ranking in the shortest format of the game and recent brilliant performances.
The return of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad has boosted the batting, while Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman are also in good form. The bowling attack of Pakistan also looked potent in the just-concluded ODI series they will be confident to put up a good show in the T20s as well. Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed will be confident of a good show due to his good team balance. The only think he has to worry about is his own batting form which was not-so-good recently.
Sarfraz said on Friday that toss will also play crucial role in the outcome of the matches as due factor will come into play in Lahore.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka, who are placed eighth in the T20 rankings, will have to play out of their skins to challenge a strong Pakistan team. They will hope to draw some inspiration from their fight in the third ODI in which they put up a good show before ultimately going down. The absence of Lasith Malinga and some other main players will also hurt the visitors.
All the T20 matches will be played in Lahore. The second match will be played on October 07, while the third and last match will be played on October 09.
Weather is expected to remain clear, however, due will play its part.
Pakistan T20 squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Ahmed Shahzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz.
Sri Lanka T20 squad: Dasun Shanaka (capt), Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Madushanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kuma.