Hambantota: Pakistan limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi has said that the comfortable win against Kenya gave Pakistan’s World Cup crusade a good start, but they will have to give “more than 100 per cent effort” if they desire to beat mighty Sri Lanka in front of their home crowd on Saturday.
Pakistan opened their World Cup campaign with a thumping 205-run win over unimpressive Kenya, but Afridi said they cannot afford to relax at any point in the tournament.
“It’s a good start but we shouldn’t be 100 per cent satisfied. There is a lot of work ahead of us still. Good teams are coming up but there are positive points from this match for the next games,” said Afridi.
When asked about the upcoming tough encounter against Sri Lanka in Colombo, Afridi said: “It will go to be a good game. If we bowl well, bat well, we will go with positive body language in the next game. We are ready, this game is gone, that will be a new day and new game, and we will have to play with more energy.”
“We know how important the next game is and Sri Lanka is the best team especially in their own conditions. We will go in with the same strength and deliver as best as we can,” he added.
The 30-year-old said that Sri Lanka would have the home-factor as their key advantage.
“Home advantage will be main factor. They are playing as a unit and that is key behind their success. The last match Sri Lanka played their fast bowlers did really well and they have a very good team combination. They’ve got good new guys in the side as well. We will have to play with our full strength and to win against them we have to give more than 100 per cent effort,” said Afridi.
The all-rounder, however noted that in spite of the home crowd backing Sri Lanka, both teams had equal knowledge of the conditions.
“I think sub-continent conditions for Asian teams are equal. They will have home crowd advantage but if we put together this kind of batting partnerships and bowling in good areas, then it should be a good match. I am very confident as a captain,” Afridi insisted.
He also said that the Pakistan batsmen would have to counter the threat of Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga and wily Muttiah Muralitharan if they desire to beat them.
“He (Malinga) is a very good bowler. I think he is coming back from an injury, so let’s see how strong he is and how much he can adjust to the conditions,” Afridi said.
“And he (Murali) has so much experience and knows how to use it so well. He is one of the best in the world. To add to it, in these conditions he is always very dangerous and he could probably turn it on marble,” he added.