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Sunday , 17 December 2017
/ AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

Sri Lanka Lock Horns With Pakistan in Virtual Quarterfinal

All said, Group B is comparatively easier and rightly so when opening two games went in favor of favorites India and South Africa but now the group provides two knockout games. Firstly, India taking on South Africa, secondly Sri Lanka clash with Pakistan. Winners of respective games qualifies for semifinals and losers go home.

Sri Lanka have their confidence high after comprehensive victory over defending champions. It was class performance from Islander especially the way batsman applied themselves under pressure. Out suspended, Upul Tharanga made way for Danushka Gunathilaka who grabbed opportunity with both hands and scored 72 runs. Partnerships best defines Sri Lankan inning, they converted small into big and got the best result eventually.

Can batsman repeat their performance one again? If they do so it will be hard for Pakistan to stop them. Meanwhile, Bowlers really needs to understand their responsibility and provide early breakthrough. Lasith Malinga, experience contender took two wickets in last game but went little expensive.

Pakistan would fancy their chances of qualifying for knockouts after they defeated South Africa in rain curtailed game by 19 runs. Though it was rain interrupted game but Pakistan performance cannot be ruled out. They bowled well to restrict Proteas to 219 runs and while chasing they were at good position to chase the total.

Fakhar Zaman, all eyes will be on him. He gave Pakistan a flying start but could not stay long at crease and could add only 31 runs.

Hasan Ali has been in fine form recently and he showed it once again by grabbing three wickets in his possible eight overs. Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir forms strong pace attack and they require to deliver at right time.

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