Asia Cup: Pakistan have an upper hand in opener against Sri Lanka

By Chaitan Papnai | Updated: Feb 25, 2014, 10:14 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai

New Delhi: The 12th edition of the Asia Cup will kick-start from Tuesday when defending champions Pakistan will lock horns with Sri Lanka at Fatullah, Bangladesh.

On papers, it`s quite difficult to judge which team is stronger. Both the teams have strong batting line ups and decent bowlers as well in their respective sides. But a few factors are in favour of Pakistan. In the last three ODI encounters between them, Pakistan have managed to snatch two wins against Sri Lanka`s sole victory.

Pakistan have a well-settled opening pair in Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad, which can give them a good start at the top. Their all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has also been in good form and on the top of it, he has a good track record against Sri Lanka. He is a match-winner and can give Lanka a run for their money.

Apart from that, experienced Pakistani skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has scored seven half-centuries in his last nine innings, which means the in-form skipper will be high on confidence while leading his side in the opening match.

When it come to bowling, in Bilawal Bhatti they have a promising seamer, whereas Junaid Khan has the potential to give the Sri Lankan batsmen a tough time in the middle.

Though, Pakistan have an upper hand, they can`t take Sri Lanka lightly who have won the Asia Cup four times and are strong contenders to lift the trophy this time around as well.