Pakistan has won the toss and opted to bat in the crucial Super Fours match against Sri Lanka, which will commence with a delay of more than two hours after a spell of heavy rain.
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka said he would have opted to bowl first anyway because of the conditions of the outfield.
Earlier, footage broadcast on television showed the characteristic blue covers spanning the R. Premadasa Stadium as threatening grey clouds loomed above.
Since there is no “reserve day” in the Super Fours in this match a washout today would end Pakistan’s Asia Cup campaign and send Sri Lanka straight into the final.
Weather forecaster AccuWeather predicted unfavourable conditions in Colombo. According to the forecaster, there was a 93 per cent probability of rain with a 56pc chance of thunderstorms affecting the tie during the day with “a couple of showers and a thunderstorm”.
Meanwhile, the PCB has put up a video showing Pakistani cricketers “focused on the method”.
Naseem out, Zaman in
Naseem Shah was ruled out of the team’s final Super Four match. Pakistan Super League star Zaman Khan came in as a replacement and walked directly into the team, which was announced on the eve of the key match.
Shah and fellow quick Haris Rauf were injured in the team’s previous Super Four clash of the 50-over tournament, a prelude to the upcoming one-day international (ODI) World Cup.
“A big blow, picking up those little niggles, but in this same sort of thing what a fantastic opportunity for the guys coming in,” Morkel, a former South Africa fast bowler, told reporters.
“After going down against India, it’s a must-win game for us come tomorrow and I’m quite excited to see the new guys stepping in, to see their character, to see how they respond.”
Khan, 22, flew in from Pakistan and is already a popular name in national cricket after his heroics in this year’s PSL for champions Lahore Qalandars.
Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zaman Khan.
Sri Lanka side:
Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (capt), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana