Pakistan v Sri Lanka: Momentum the key in Bristol

Pakistan and Sri Lanka enter Friday's match in Bristol aiming to build some much-needed momentum at the Cricket World Cup.

Miserable opening defeats left both sides reeling, but the two bounced back to win their second matches.

Pakistan will particularly feel they have something to offer at this tournament after halting England in their tracks earlier this week in a thrilling 14-run triumph.

That win ended a run of 11 consecutive losses in completed ODIs and Sarfraz Ahmed's men can approach a winnable third fixture with some positivity.

Sri Lanka also got on the board against Afghanistan, but they had been on a similarly dismal run. Their only other ODI victory this year came against Scotland.

Even that win over Afghanistan included a remarkable collapse that threatened to let their opponents back into the match, and Sri Lanka might have their work cut out again.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

There looked to be no end to Pakistan's misery when they slumped to another defeat against West Indies in a humiliating opener, only to then bounce back and stun hosts and favourites England at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Sri Lanka similarly appeared set for a miserable stay in England when they started with a humbling defeat to New Zealand, but victory over Afghanistan restored some pride.

WHAT THEY SAID

Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower: "You have always got to be respectful and [Sri Lanka] have got good bowlers. I have just come out of a batting meeting to see their skills - and it should be a good game."

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne: "We just needed a win. It always gives us the confidence if you get a win, against any team, with any team, that is what we want. Finally, we got that."

OPTA FACTS

- Pakistan have won their last six ODIs against Sri Lanka, as well as all seven of the sides' Cricket World Cup meetings.

- Sri Lanka have not enjoyed back-to-back ODI wins in England and Wales since May-June 2014, winning one, losing six and drawing one since then.

- Nuwan Pradeep claimed bowling figures of 4-31 off nine overs against Afghanistan, his career-best figures in the format.

- Victory for Sri Lanka last time out ended a run of 21 consecutive ODI defeats when Lasith Malinga had featured for his country.

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