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Asia Cup 2023: Pakistan, Sri Lanka to meet in virtual semi-final today

AsiaAsia Cup 2023: Pakistan, Sri Lanka to meet in virtual semi-final today

India secured their spot in the final by securing convincing victories over Pakistan and a hard-fought win against Sri Lanka in the Super Fours. This comeback was a redemption of sorts following their early exit in the previous year’s Asia Cup. Now, the spotlight turns to Pakistan and Sri Lanka as they battle for a place in the final, set to take place in Colombo on Thursday, September 14.

The scenario is straightforward: the winner of today’s match will book their place final against India on Sunday. However, should rain disrupt proceedings at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium and the match gets washed out, Sri Lanka will advance due to their superior net run rate.

Pakistan have already revealed their playing XI in preparation for this must-win match, making three changes, two of which were forced. The struggling Fakhar Zaman has been replaced by Mohammad Haris, who will partner with Imam-ul-Haq as the opening batsmen. Meanwhile, the injured Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf have given way to Mohammad Wasim Jr. and Zaman Khan in the bowling department.

Captain Babar Azam, vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan, and key fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi will need to shoulder more responsibility. Babar has struggled for runs since his record-breaking performance in the first match against Nepal, while Rizwan is yet to hit top form.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, discovered a new hero in Dunith Wellalage, who nearly single-handedly steered them to victory against India. Captain Dasun Shanka’s primary concern lies with the performance of the pace attack and the struggling top order. Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne have not found their best form in this Asia Cup. With the absence of Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, their pace attack appears to lack potency.

The nature of the pitch in Colombo will be closely observed as the teams prepare for this crucial clash.

(Inputs from ANI)

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