Pakistan announce Playing XI for virtual semi-final clash against Sri Lanka, make 5 changes to team that faced India

Pakistan and Sri Lanka will battle it out in what is essentially a virtual semifinal clash on Thursday, September 14 in Asia Cup 2023.

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Pakistan-Team. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

The co-hosts of Asia Cup 2023, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will lock horns in Colombo on Thursday, September 14 in a must-win match for both sides. The stakes are high as the winner of this encounter will go on to meet India in the summit clash on Sunday.

So far, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played a couple of games in the Super Four stage of the ongoing Asia Cup. They have exactly similar results, winning against Bangladesh and losing to India. Sri Lanka, however, have a better Net Run Rate and will advance in case there is a washout.

As has been the norm for Pakistan in this edition of the Asia Cup, they have announced their Playing XI one day before their match. As many as five changes have been made to the team that faced India. The 'Men in Green' suffered a devastating 228-run loss in the encounter and will hope to bounce back in the absence of two of their key pacers. Haris Rauf, who suffered pain in his right flank on the first day of the encounter against India, has been rested for the crucial encounter against Sri Lanka. Naseem Shah suffered a shoulder injury while bowling in the closing stages of India's innings and went off the field. He is also missing from the XI.

Apart from these two strike bowlers, Pakistan have decided to leave out Fakhar Zaman, who has struggled for runs in the campaign. Another name missing from the last game is all-rounder Salman Ali Agha. Fast-bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf has also been replaced by spin-bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz, keeping the nature of the pitch in mind.

The 22-year-old Mohammad Haris will be opening the innings alongside Imam-ul-Haq. Saud Shakeel, who has been sensational in red-ball cricket for Pakistan, will bat in the middle order in place of Salman. The pace-bowling duo of Naseem and Haris will be replaced by Mohammad Wasim Jr. and Zaman Khan. The latter will be making his debut in ODI cricket.

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