Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan revived their World Cup 2019 campaign with a 14-run victory over hosts England in a high-scoring clash, after being bundled out for paltry 105 in their opening match against the West Indies. Up next, Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka, who had a similar outing so far with a loss to New Zealand and a win against Afghanistan in last two matches at World Cup 2019. Ahead of the crucial tie, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has urged his team to "stay ruthless" at the World Cup.
The victory over England ended Pakistan's sequence of 11 consecutive defeats in One-day Internationals.
Arthur praised his team's resolve after a "shocking" defeat in their tournament opener.
"It was just so good to see us go out and play with the belief and intensity that we had spoken about," Arthur told AFP.
"When we put all three disciplines together we know we can beat anybody. We now need to stay consistent and ruthless."
Pakistan posted an impressive 348/8 against a potent England bowling attack, with fifties from veteran Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Pacemen Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir, and leg-spinner Shadab Khan, took the wickets to restrict England to 334/9 in their 50 overs.
Pakistan have won all seven of their World Cup matches against Sri Lanka dating back to the first tournament in 1975.
Pakistan will be tempted to bring in fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain for his raw pace, something that New Zealand exploited against Sri Lanka during their 10-wicket rout of their opponents in Cardiff on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan in a rain-shortened match, also in Cardiff, to breathe life into their campaign.
But the 1996 champions will be wary of another middle-order batting collapse after they lost five wickets for 14 runs against New Zealand and seven wickets for 36 runs against Afghanistan.
Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha said he had told his batsmen to up their game.
"I don't give pep talks. I give honest talk, that's all.
"I tell them what has to be done. They have to come and perform," said Hathurusingha, who praised opener Kusal Perera for his 78-run knock, which helped Sri Lanka reach 201 against Afghanistan.
"He's an amazing player," said Hathurusingha. "We have given him the full licence to bat the way he wants to bat. We know that when he's come up, most of the time it's match-winning."
But one factor outside anybody's control is the weather, with persistent rain forecast for Bristol on Friday.
Pakistan: Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt/wk), Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Imam-ul Haq, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis (wk), Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal.
Match starts at 3 PM IST.
(With AFP inputs)