Rain threatens to knock Pakistan out of Asia Cup: What if PAK vs SL washed out? | Cricket

Pakistan face Sri Lanka in a virtual semi-final of Asia Cup 2023 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday. The penultimate match of the Super 4 stage will decide who will face India in the final on Sunday. The Rohit Sharma-led side confirmed their place in the final after beating Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their first two matches. Even if they lose against Bangladesh in the last Super 4 stage match on Friday, it won’t affect them in any way. The same, however, is not the case with Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Groundmen cover the pitch after as it rains at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo(AFP)
Groundmen cover the pitch after as it rains at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo(AFP)

Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh but lost to India. The equation is pretty simple now. Whoever wins the Sri Lanka vs Pakistan match, will qualify for the final. But there is a catch. With rain predicted almost every day in Colombo, the weather forecast has been one of the most important factors in this Asia Cup. Barring the Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh match, all the other Super 4 matches have been affected by rain. The India vs Pakistan match needed a reserve day to be completed while there was a short stoppage during the India vs Sri Lanka match.

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Colombo weather forecast

If weather forecasts are to be believed then the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match will be no exception. In fact, if anything, the Colombo weather can have a significant impact on the outcome of Friday’s match.

According to Accuweather, there is a high chance of rain intervening proceedings during the PAK vs SL match. There are thunderstorms predicted at 9 AM (local time), 2 PM, 5 PM and 8 PM. The chances of rain throughout the day are quite high with about 96% cloud cover.

The high chances of rain during the morning and afternoon may mean a delayed start. The chances of rain decrease towards the evening only to rise again after 8 PM. The fact that Premadasa has received consistent rainfall for the last five days, would mean the groundstaff would need a considerable amount of time to make the conditions suitable for cricket.

What if the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Asia Cup Super 4 match is washed out? If there a reserve day?

With no reserve day in place, if the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match is washed out due to rain, then both teams will share points and end the Super 4 stage on three points each but Sri Lanka will advance to the final because of their higher net run rate. Pakistan’s run rate was dented heavily because of the heavy 228-run loss to India.

The positive sign for Pakistan is that despite the weather predictions, rain has generally stayed away during the daytime. The drainage system of Premadasa is also impeccable. The match referee and the umpires would want to squeeze in at least a 20-over contest in a worst-case scenario.

If it does end up being a curtailed game, the team selection will be a crucial factor. Pakistan have already named their XI. Zaman Khan is all set to make his ODI debut against Sri Lanka He is set to replace injured Naseem Shah, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

The playing eleven announced by the Pakistan team management on Wednesday also confirmed that fast bowler Haris Rauf would sit out of the match with an injury.

Pakistan also dropped an out-of-form Fakhar Zaman and drafted Mohammad Haris at the top of the order.

Pakistan XI: Mohammad Haris, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Agha, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Zaman Khan

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