The toss for the 11th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Bristol County Ground on Friday has been delayed due to rain in Bristol, England.
The teams have not left the hotel.
Earlier, Pakistan’s practice session was briefly delayed by rain. Sarfaraz Ahmed, the skipper, was the first to turn up on the ground and ran a couple laps on his own. The team appeared in good spirits as it began a game of football and the mood remained upbeat during fielding, batting and bowling practice.
Both teams have so far played two matches each, and if the game gets washed out, both the teams will get one point.
The match appears to be important for Pakistan as they will be facing relatively tougher Australia and India in the upcoming games and sharing a point with Sri Lankans can potentially put Pakistan behind in the points table at the end.
Moreover, Pakistan would seek to win the match with a huge margin to counter its negative net run rate.
Bristol’s weather forecast for today is heavy rain throughout the day. At 10:30am local time or 3:00pm IST, when the match is scheduled to start, there is 80 percent chance of rain.
Locals reckon the rain won’t let up, so we could all be in for a frustrating day.
Sri Lanka have never beaten Pakistan in a World Cup match, but Dimuth Karunaratne is confident that this time his team can become the first to do so. After losing to New Zealand by ten wickets, Sri Lanka overcame a scare against Afghanistan to find some momentum, which Karunaratne said instilled a greater sense of belief in the squad.
Earlier in the tournament, Pakistan were bowled out for 105 runs by West Indies and in the next game made 348 runs to beat England. What Pakistan team turns up in their third match remains to be seen.
Pakistan’s stunning victory over World Cup favourites England has eased the pressure on Sarfaraz Ahmed’s squad before today’s potentially tricky test against Sri Lanka at Bristol, batting coach Grant Flower said on Thursday.
After a crushing seven-wicket defeat by West Indies in their tournament opener, former champions Pakistan beat hosts England by 14 runs in a high-scoring contest at Trent Bridge on Monday to get their campaign back on track.
Having come into the World Cup on the back of a 4-0 series hammering by England, which was followed by a warm-up defeat by minnows Afghanistan, Flower said that downing Eoin Morgan’s men had helped settle the nerves in the dressing room.
“I definitely do sense a bit of confidence … since we’ve won. It took off a lot of the pressure definitely, having gone through that string of defeats,” Flower told a news conference.
“Psychologically, that lifts a weight from their shoulders. And to score (close to) 350 against a very good England attack, the guys are relieved.
“We didn’t adapt well to conditions against West Indies … there were nerves … the guys got over that against England and showed their proper skills. It was a true test of character and they came through with flying colours in the second game.”
Sri Lanka have made a similarly patchy start, capitulating to New Zealand before seeing off a determined Afghanistan in a thriller. Flower said Dimuth Karunaratne’s team cannot be taken lightly.
“You have always got to be respectful and they have got good bowlers. I have just come out of a batting meeting to see their skills. And it should be a good game,” former Zimbabwe batsman Flower added.
“Hopefully the weather stays away. It’s a bit poor, the forecast. But I don’t think we’d be targeting any one individual though they have got some good seamers and some spinners with very good skills.”