Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: 3rd ODI Asia Cup 2012 - 15 March

Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be playing their second match of the on going Asia Cup cricket at Dacca, Bangladesh on Thursday 15 March.

Pakistan played its first match and the opening match of the Asia Cup on 11 March at Shere Bangla Stadium Mirpur Dacca with the hosts Bangladesh and won by 21 runs. Although Bangladesh played very well and Pakistan was almost at the verge of losing had Umer Gul not stood his ground in the last crucial overs. In fact it was his superb 39 runs that made the difference in the end that allowed a victory for Pakistan over Bangladesh. It may however be wrong not to mention the tons provided by Hafeez who not only scored 89, but later took two wickets too and was declared man of the match.

As for Sri Lanka, they have had a bad start and lost to spirited Indian in their first clash. India gave a target of 320 to the Sri Lankans, who failed to catch up and lost by 50 runs.

Now a word about Thursday's match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Although Pakistan had a winning start, the team does not seem to be in its full form. In fact much weight is being given to Hafeez and bowlers Saeed Ajmal and Umer Gul. The rest of the batsmen have yet to put up an impressive show, specially the ace players like captain Misbah, Younis and Afridi. Misbah's docility both as captain and batsman has been a source of great concern for Pakistan's selectors. Pakistan will have to put up an aggressive show against Sri Lanka, which though have lost to India, but has had superb cricket recently in Australia.

As for Sri Lanka, there are fitness issues. As per a recent report, Angelo Mathews is not  available for match against Pakistan due to calf injury. Malinga too has fitness problem due to injury. Although he had attended the training session today, the decision to include him in the squad or otherwise remains pending.

It may be added that Pakistan and Sri Lanka played five ODIs in 2011 and Pakistan won four of these, while Sri Lanka could manage to win just one. 

The Teams for Thursday's match are likely to include:
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene(c), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Thissara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chamara Kapugedera

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq(c), Sarfraz Ahmed(w), Aizaz Cheema, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Younis Khan, Abdur Rehman, Asad Shafiq, Hammad Azam, Nasir Jamshed, Wahab Riaz, Umar Akmal

The match will be played at the Shere Bangla stadium Mirpur, Dacca at 08:00 GMT.