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Cricket news - World Cup head to head: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka have never beaten Pakistan in World Cup. Will they this time?

June 14, 1975: Formidable Pakistan steamroll Sri Lanka

Pakistan entered the 1975 World Cup as one of the six full member nations; while Sri Lanka was invited as they were one of the top associate teams. The two sides were grouped along with West Indies and Australia, invariably they couldn't go past the league stage and Pakistan's only victory came against Sri Lanka in Nottingham as they won the one-sided contest by 192 runs.

As most weak teams would do, Sri Lanka's captain Anura Tennekoon won the toss and put the opposition into bat. Pakistan's top order could not have asked for a better way to sign off their campaign. They had already lost to Australia and West Indies, this was their final game and the top three of Sadiq Mohammad, Majid Khan and Zaheer Abbas made merry, especially Abbas who top scored with an 89-ball 97 and took Pakistan to 330/6 - the second highest total of the World Cup.

Sri Lanka were set a similar score in their previous game against Australia and ended with 276 but this time Imran Khan and Co. were too hot to handle. Tennekoon was the highest scorer with 30 and if not for the contributions from the lower order, the margin of defeat would have been more.

June 9, 1983: Sri Lanka still not up to the mark

The next time the two sides met was in the 1983 edition by which time Sri Lanka had been given full member rights. The Asian sides were pooled together with hosts England and New Zealand and all teams had to play each other twice. Involved in the second game of the opening day, Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 50 runs with Zaheer Abbas once again proving to be the thorn in the Islanders flesh with an 81-ball 82.

The script was almost similar to the one meted out to these two teams last time they met in a World Cup. Sri Lanka opted to bowl, Pakistan's top order came good with the bat to post a mammoth total and the result was also same, but the difference being the margin of defeat. Sri Lanka gave a better account of themselves and put in a serious fight to chase down the 339 that Pakistan had set.

Opening batsman Brendon Kurupppu gave Sri Lanka a solid start and though he lost a few partners, the right-hander added a 57-run stand for the fourth wicket with Arjuna Ranatunga. After his departure, the lower order led by Guy de Alwis' 56-ball 59 went for the target and fell 50 short. That effort gave them the confidence that they belong in the big league.

June 16, 1983: Imran, Qadir help Pakistan prevail

Pakistan were having the wood over their Asian counterparts in One-Day Internationals, they had lost only once to them before this encounter in Leeds and never in a World Cup. So, they had to battle hard when they met for the second time in the tournament. Imran Khan's captain's innings coupled with Abdul Qadir's five-fer ensured Sri Lanka were denied victory by 11 runs.

After winning their first game, Pakistan had lost their next two to New Zealand and England respectively and it was almost a must-win game for them. However, a spirited Sri Lanka elected to bowl and right-arm pacer Ashantha de Mel reduced Pakistan to 5 for 43. Abbas, Sri Lanka's thorn, along with the top order and Javed Miandad were back in the hut and the onus was on skipper Imran. The all-rounder found an able ally in Shahid Mahboob and the duo put on a 144-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Imran remained unbeaten on 102 and Pakistan finished with 235 with de Mel picking up a five-fer.

Sri Lanka were cruising in the run chase thanks to a 79-run association between Sidath Wettimuny and Roy Dias. Even after that partnership, Sri Lanka was under control at 2 for 162 and that is when Abdul Qadir triggered a collapse. The leg spinner went onto record his best ODI figures - 5 for 44 - to win Pakistan the game by 11 runs. Sri Lanka lost their last 8 wickets for 62 runs but the positive thing was, the margins of defeat were getting smaller.

October 8, 1987: Miandad's ton gives Pakistan a winning start

The World Cup was held outside of England for the first time with India and Pakistan playing hosts for the 1987 edition. The tournament kick-started with two Asian teams - Pakistan and Sri Lanka - featuring at the Niaz Stadium in Pakistan's Hyderabad. Javed Miandad's hundred was good enough for the home side to start their campaign with a 15-run victory.

The fourth encounter between the two teams in a World Cup and on all the occasions Pakistan had batted first, this time due to Imran's luck at the toss. Rameez Raja lost a couple of his partners but anchored his way to 77. Miandad was the enforcer as he gave the innings the much-needed push and scored a 100-ball 103. Then cameos from Wasim Akram and Saleem Malik took Pakistan to 267/6.

Roshan Mahanama, opening the batting, played a Rameez kind of role. He was the pivot around which Sri Lanka's batting revolved. However, there was no one who could replicate Miandad. They were brisk cameos from Aravinda de Silva and Asanka Gurusinha but it was not enough. The trio of Imran, Wasim and Qadir picked six wickets amongst themselves to ensure Pakistan's unbeaten run continued.

October 25, 1987: Pakistan complete a double over Sri Lanka

Facing Pakistan in their own den is no mean task and all the teams had to do it twice. Sri Lanka were getting closer each time the two sides met in a World Cup encounter, but this time they were blown away by a sheer dominant Pakistan side at home. Riding on the back of Saleem Malik's hundred and Qadir's three-fer, Pakistan extended their unbeaten World Cup run against Sri Lanka to five matches.

For the fifth time, Pakistan was batting first in a World Cup game against Sri Lanka. Saleem Malik was pushed to number three as the openers had added 64. However, Pakistan lost a couple more including Miandad and found themselves in trouble. The lower order of Wasim Akram, Ijaz Ahmed and Imran contributed with handy runs to take the total to 297/7.

The chase never really got going for Sri Lanka. They lost wickets at the top and could never recover. There were fifties from Ranatunga and Duleep Mendis but that only gave some respectability to their final total. All the Pakistan bowlers chipped in with Qadir being the pick. This victory took Pakistan one step closer to a semi-final spot.

March 15, 1992: Pakistan keep their chances alive with a much-needed win

It was a terrible start to the 1992 campaign for Pakistan - losing three, winning one and a no result in their first five matches. They needed a turnaround and it came against hosts Australia - beating them by 48 runs - but they needed to keep that momentum going and it was Sri Lanka next, who had won only two games and were out by the time this fixture came at the WACA, Perth.

For the first time in a World Cup meeting between these two sides, Sri Lanka were batting first and that is thanks to Aravinda de Silva winning the toss. Most of the batsmen got starts apart from Chandika Hathurasingha, but none could go past skipper de Silva's 43. In the end, Pakistan restricted them to a paltry 212/6 in 50 overs.

Pakistan's innings was much like Sri Lanka's - batsmen getting starts but not converting it into a big one. However, they had the experience of Miandad and Malik to depend on; the duo scored fifties to ensure the lower order didn't have much to do. And though the total was chased down in the final over, Pakistan were always in control of it and overhauled it with 5 balls to spare.

February 26, 2011: Afridi extends Pakistan's WC domination over Sri Lanka to seven games

Four World Cups, 19 years - That's how long these two sides didn't meet for. The tournament was back in the subcontinent with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh hosting it. The last time it was held in the Asian countries, Sri Lanka went on to win the coveted trophy and they were also the runners-up in the previous edition. However, they still couldn't break the Pakistan's winning streak even while playing them at Colombo.

Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi elected to bat and his batsmen didn't disappoint. After a steady start given by the top order, the experienced duo of Younis Khan and Misbah took over. The pair added a 104-run stand for the fourth wicket and in the process got to their respective fifties. The latter batted on and remained unbeaten on 83 whilst taking Pakistan to 277/7.

Sri Lanka's top three gave them a solid start especially the opening pair of Dilshan and Tharanga. Hafeez gave Pakistan the opening by sending back the latter before Afridi joined the action. The captain accounted for Dilshan, Sangakkara, Samarweera and Mathews - that's Sri Lanka's backbone. And when Chamara Silva's battling 57 ended in the 46th over, so were Sri Lanka's chances as they lost by 11 runs.

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