Cricket World Cup 2019: Mickey Arthur tells Pakistan to stay 'ruthless' against Sri Lanka

Pakistan's 14-run win over hosts England came just three days after crashing to a seven-wicket defeat against the West Indies

Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez celebrate victory over England at Trent Bridge. Reuters
Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez celebrate victory over England at Trent Bridge. Reuters

Mickey Arthur has urged his Pakistan players to maintain their ruthless streak as they look to build on their shock win over World Cup favourites England against Sri Lanka on Friday.

Few sides are as unpredictable as Pakistan when it comes to cricket. They held their nerve to beat England by 14 runs at Trent Bridge on Monday, just three days after crashing to a seven-wicket defeat against the West Indies at the same venue.

That victory over the the World Cup hosts ended a dismal run of 11 consecutive defeats in completed one-day internationals for Arthur's side.

The South African praised his team's resolve after a "shocking" defeat in their tournament opener.

"It was just so good to see us go out and play with the belief and intensity that we had spoken about," Arthur told Agence France-Presse.

"When we put all three disciplines together we know we can beat anybody. We now need to stay consistent and ruthless."

Pakistan posted an impressive 348-8 against a potent England bowling attack, with fifties from veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez as well as Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Pacemen Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir, and leg-spinner Shadab Khan, took the wickets to restrict England to 334-9 in their 50 overs.

"You could see the hunger, the determination and the resolve to do well in batting after a horror show and then the bowlers fought hard, so we need to repeat that in the coming matches as well," Arthur said.

Pakistan hold a formidable edge over Sri Lanka at World Cups having won all seven of their previous matches dating back to the first tournament in 1975.

Pakistan will be tempted to bring in fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain for his raw pace, something that New Zealand exploited against Sri Lanka during their 10-wicket rout of their opponents in Cardiff on Saturday.

Sri Lanka come into the match having registered their first win of the tournament, against Afghanistan in Cardiff on Tuesday, to breathe life into their campaign.

But the 1996 champions will be wary of another middle-order batting collapse after they lost five wickets for 14 runs against New Zealand and seven wickets for 36 runs against Afghanistan.

Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha said he had told his batsmen to up their game.

"I don't give pep talks. I give honest talk, that's all. I tell them what has to be done. They have to come and perform," said Hathurusingha, who praised opener Kusal Perera for his 78-run knock, which helped Sri Lanka reach 201 against Afghanistan.

"He's an amazing player," Hathurusingha said. "We have given him the full licence to bat the way he wants to bat. We know that when he's come up, most of the time it's match-winning."

But one factor outside anybody's control is the weather, with persistent rain forecast for Bristol on Friday.

Published: June 6, 2019 05:10 PM

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