Pakistan will be looking to extend their domination over an inexperienced Sri Lanka when the two sides lock horns in the first game of the three-T20I series at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday.
The hosts are favorites to lift the trophy again after they clinched the preceding three-match ODI series in Karachi 2-0.
With the series, both sides will start their preparation for ICC World T20, to be held in Australia in October-November 2020.
Pakistan, the world number one T20 side, are to play three T20Is in Australia in November, host Bangladesh next year, and travel to Ireland and England before hosting Asia Cup T20. That gives them an ideal opportunity to discover the best combination for the showpiece event.
The visitors have recalled in hard-hitting opener Ahmed Shehzad and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal following their strong performance in this year’s Pakistan Super League. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who bagged 21 wickets in the event, has also been recalled.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will be aiming for a morale-boosting win in Saturday’s contest following their loss in the one-dayers. The Islanders, who are placed 8th in ICC T20 ranking, have managed to win only one of their last six T20I series.
Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka resembles the team that played the ODIs.
Pakistan hold an edge over Sri Lanka in the head-to-head record in T20Is, having won eight of 13 games they have played against each other to date. The two sides had last met in a bilateral T20I series in 2017, which Pakistan swept 3-0. They have won all of their last six encounters against their Asian rivals.
Pakistan have lost only one of the six T20I matches they have played in Lahore. In their last T20I series at the venue, against an ICC World XI, they secured a 2-1 win.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (Captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Usman Shinwari, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Hasnain, Wahab Riaz
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Madushanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana,