Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah

Familiar foes in Asia Cup opener

The Preview by Andrew Fidel Fernando

February 24, 2014

Comments: 129 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Start time 1400 local (0800 GMT)

Mahela Jayawardene slammed eight fours, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Dambulla, November 16, 2013
The return of Mahela Jayawardene will bolster an injury-hit Sri Lanka © Associated Press
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup

Big Picture

While cricket boards slink around wooing the moneyed and coaxing promises of bilateral tours for the new Future Tours Programme, Pakistan and Sri Lanka raise the curtain on the Asia Cup knowing fixtures between the two nations may soon become more common. They already play each other plenty, but having risked ostracisation from cricket's oligarchy at the Singapore meeting, they may find other nations anxious about designing tours with either of them. In short: Sri Lanka v Pakistan could be the new Sri Lanka v India.

But at least if that transpires, the limited-overs encounters may produce good contests. Pakistan won the December ODI series 3-2, but three of those matches featured close finishes. In Bangladesh, the teams appear well-matched again.

Pakistan, as ever, have the better bowling side. Junaid Khan likes taking Sri Lankan wickets so much, he almost bursts a facial vein every time he does it. Sri Lanka had picked Saeed Ajmal apart during the January Tests, but he had been characteristically effective in the ODI series, as had Umar Gul. Sri Lanka matches even appear to bring the grown-up out from behind Shahid Afridi's lustrous beard and resplendently disastrous strokemaking. In the last series, he was almost consistent across two disciplines.

Sri Lanka have the better batting unit. As Tillakaratne Dilshan nurses an injured hand at home, the universe has hinted for the umpteenth time that Mahela Jayawardene should open for Sri Lanka, as both he and the team benefit from his promotion up the order. Kusal Perera has begun to move beyond the Sanath Jayasuriya-shaped shadow his career was forged in, and the middle order has mostly been effective in their two most-recent matches.

The key to the outcome in Fatullah may be whether either team can leverage close knowledge of each other's cricket. Can Pakistan continue to subdue recent-centurion Kumar Sangakkara in the same manner they had done in the UAE tour? Have Sri Lanka come upon a ploy to thwart the suddenly-monstrous Pakistan top order they had encountered in the last series? The tournament is set to be played at a breakneck pace, and a first-up victory may mean more than most.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: LWWLW
Sri Lanka: WWWWL

In the spotlight

Sohaib Maqsood's busy knocks had helped Pakistan consolidate their innings in the UAE, as he rotated the strike effectively against the likes of Sachithra Senanayake, and struck large, leg-side boundaries to entrench his team's dominance in several of those matches. Sri Lanka are again missing Rangana Herath - the bowler who often exerts control during the middle-overs - and Maqsood will hope to sustain his success in that period.

Thisara Perera had such a poor tour of the UAE, he was denied permission to go to the Big Bash League and was asked instead to train with Sri Lanka's A team. A little tough love from the selectors appears to have done him good. His unbeaten 80 in the first ODI against Bangladesh led Sri Lanka's remarkable resurgence in that match, but Thisara will want to limit the troughs in his career.

Teams news

Having had some time in limited-overs tournaments at home, Pakistan return to internationals with much the same squad that took on Sri Lanka in the UAE. Fawad Alam is one surprise inclusion, but he is unlikely to play in the tournament opener. Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali compete for the third seamer's position.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Sharjeel Khan, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Sohaib Maqsood, 5 Misbah-Ul-Haq (capt.), 6 Umar Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Bilawal Bhatti/Anwar Ali, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Two senior Sri Lanka bowlers - Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara - are unavailable, leaving the attack in less-experienced hands. Lasith Malinga and Sangakkara will return after having been rested for the third Bangladesh ODI, and Ashan Priyanjan is likely to assume a place in the middle-order.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Mahela Jayawardene, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Ashan Priyanjan, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Sachithra Senanayake, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Stats and trivia

  • Mohammad Hafeez hit 448 runs at 149.33 in the UAE series against Sri Lanka
  • Misbah-ul-Haq has hit seven 50-plus scores in his last nine international innings
  • Mahela Jayawardene averages 44.8 and strikes at 91 when opening (32 innings). His career average and strike rate are 33.3 and 78.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

@kanikandy . ha ha ha that's shows your fear dude! You are coming up with lame excuse even before the Ind vs SL match! lol. If it is not fair why your team is playing! If India has that power all trophys must be in Indian cabin! Why are pointing old series when you mention SL and comparing it with India's latest series. What happened in NZ , BD tour to SL. and you failed to win series against Pakistan too!

Posted by kanikandy on (February 25, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

even India win one or two matches here it wont be a great thing.They will prove that there are champs in subcontinent.But look at SL records against SA,AUS & ENg in there soil.They Beat Aus 2-1 in 2012 & lost 3-2 australia in australia'They Lost to Sa 3-2 in Sa.All the loosing series were evenly contested ones'They have beaten eng in England very easily.Also dont forget that india is changingicc rules and have taken over ICC powers to manipulate results of the matches every thing has arranged for Indian team comfort.So indian wins can not be consider as fair any more.

Posted by faizee02 on (February 25, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

@ Mr. Sidh78. U look like to be a stats man. Kindly provide the stats regarding most number of runs conceded in ODIs by a top team. Don't tell me it is INDIA. Haahaahaaa. You given stats against AUS only. Do other teams play cricket? AND mostly, when it is ODIs, kindly give stats related to ODIs. When T/20s, give stats about T/20s. That's comon sense, isn't it? I still say that IND, PAK & SL have equal chances of winning the Asia Cup. One more question: When India would be able to develop a world class fast bowler after Kapil Dev? Specially without the help of the great Wasim Akram. LOL

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

@ kanikandy. You cannot find team spirit of Indian team even if they lost in SA and NZ but you can find team spirit of BD even if they lost to SL. too funny!. SL is going to repeat the last Asiacup performance. all the best for that!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Bad move by sri lanka and age lo Mathews. . dropping mahela down the order... When they will learn how to utilize the players respective of the situation.. tirimane. . is tuk tuk.. specialist.. Crazy captaincy.. kushal is always gamble.. like casino... If click jackpot or else empty hand.. Enjoy

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

Sharjeel Khan, Ahmad Shehzad and Muhammad Hafeez. Top order of Pakistan lacks technique to tackle new ball. On BD wickets they might be able to get some runs but in longer run not a good idea.

Posted by chapathishot on (February 25, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

@Solid_Snake: The game is tomorrow not next year .Hope you will not runaway and hide after the match. India can send a second XI and beat Bangladesh and since they had a losing streak they are desperate to take it to some one and poor Bangladesh is gonna get it LOL

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

Sri Lanka will win

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

@VKohli_theGreat : I agree, our Batsmen are average, in fact 6 months ago they were below average now they are a little better, but our bowling is the best in the world if you count on the depth of spinning with Rehman and Ajmal in Tests and Hafeez and Ajmal in ODI's. Junaid Khan and Mohammed Irfan are not as good as Steyn or Philander Ofcourse but they are still good bowlers...however our Batting is a lot better than Indian bowling. Statistically Indian bowlers concede more runs than any other team in the world, making them probably the worst bowling Unit.

Posted by blackhawk11s on (February 25, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

So , If Pakistan thrash srilanka today! we can confirm that the lankans were just survived from bangladesh.

Posted by lionslanka on (February 25, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

@ Solid_Snake

Calm down dude. Our honeymoon period is over now. Each team has to go through. When all team were on high, we were perished. When we had good time, the others were struggled. So get on work now. There is no point in scoring over other fans. We need to look at our own rather than mocking others. Meet at the end of the match. I don't think we could match even to Sri Lankans today. Hope we would win Insha allah. But we lose today, please don't make pieces of our team as you do usually.

Posted by sidh78 on (February 25, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Deaes SL and pak fan(good fans than sl fan but for some pak fans) plz check your teams records of last 3 tours against aus in australia. pak whitewashed by aus 9-0 and SL whitewashed by aus u r team whitewashed by australia by 3 times back to back.india only once whitewashed by australia.(but india also whitewashed aus 4-0) so please tell me who are the big FLATTRACK bullies.who white washed once or who white washed 3 times back to back.i give u stats for that plz refer . first we see pak records 1999-Aus 3-0 2004- Aus 3-0 2009-Aus 3-0. Whitewashed on every occasion. Now how about Sri Lanka. In Australia 2004 -Aus 1-0 2007-Aus 2-0 2012- Aus 3-0. fyi india won series in eng in 2007 and draw series(1-1) in south africa in last tour(almost won the series but rain and bad light save SA from series defeat).now u tell who are real flat track bullies.

Posted by faizee02 on (February 25, 2014, 7:49 GMT)

@ VKohli_theGreat: Look who's talking !! Yea mate, you can thrash BANG & AFG. Who thrashed you in your home soil a year ago? I am taking anything away from indian team. They are a good team, exceptional batters but average blowling side. I think this Asia Cup will be a 2-team competition i.e. Pak, SL & IND. Anyone of these three can win the tournament. Indian team has a disdvantage that they haven't win a match in the last few months. But also have an advantage that Dhoni is no leading. Kohli will lead and this may bring a new life into the team due to his attacking nature. I still back and want PAK to win. Go GREENs GO !!

Posted by kanikandy on (February 25, 2014, 7:39 GMT)

@FastTrackBully you are really a fast trck bully. i have mentioned that considering the current foam ,team spirit of Bangladesh & Indian Current lack of foam & loosing mentality & absence of Dhony BD can beat India because they no that they have beaten NZ & they can do to the fragile Indian team'

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:34 GMT)

SL will win,,, They have a quite good balance side. also they have spent time in Ban. pitches since one / half months & played really well with whitewash. GO SL,, YOU CAN DO IT

Posted by vipinchirackal on (February 25, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

india must have different teams for the matches in sub continent and abroad.players like raina and rohit can be utilised only when they play in sub continent

Posted by cyberkingjk on (February 25, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

As an Indian Fan, I support Pakistan. Good Luck Pakistan. Go and smash Srilanka by your world best bowling unit...

Posted by cricaddict11 on (February 25, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

I am a Sri Lankan. And i can remember the recent results when we faced India. They were a very good side. But there are some concerns about that due to the recent faliures that they were faced in most recent tours of theirs. But for me they are still a very good good as any other when they play in these type of wickets for sure. So i am asking from my fellow countrymen not to critisisze their chances in this tournament.

For me all four teams except Afganistan are having some good chance to win the tournament. I am not degrading Afganistan but i have not still seen them play to comment about them. So hoping for some close encounters from all the teams. May the better team will prevail to hold the trophy.

One more thing that i should remind the Indian friends, if you guys win this tournament, you will soon forget the thrashings that you receive from fast tracks. So keep that also in the mind.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

it wud be interesting contest pak having slight edge as ever

Posted by Solid_Snake on (February 25, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

Lol..Indian defeat is obvious after their 'Best Captain' came up with an excuse & ran away hiding somewhere..Dhoni knew what's coming so he ran away Hahaha.May be he thought that India might get another trashing by the hands of BD just like last year.This time even Afghanistan might give India some thrashing.. Champion's team 'Best Captain' thinking is like that :P India should go back home & play only in India,score piles of runs,get some more 200's in a match..Because once India visits another country,all of those things becomes only a dream :P

Posted by mihindusagar on (February 25, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

Sri Lanka will struggle in this serious. They are such a inconsistent team who have been failing against IND and PAK for long time.

Posted by agora8958 on (February 25, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

I think pak will win the match.. Match could be low scoring...

Posted by Yousufahmed11 on (February 25, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

This match should be like finals, coz we can't expect good show from our team with their current form and Dhoni's absence. We should try to get over atleast Ban or Afg. Pak and Lankans will definitely humiliate us.

Posted by Yousufahmed11 on (February 25, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

Hope we can cease our away winless streak. If we win the first match, then we will go on to win the Asia Cup. If we loose the first match, we won't be able to end our long winless streak evenif Ban and Afg are there.

Posted by MichaelBurton on (February 25, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

@Salman Sadiq :Well you can thrash Lankans, but we will definetly thrash you have only good bowlers, but the batters are very average.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

Ashan priyanjan good to play today, but we haven't our senior cricketer Dilshan so we wont as like Lahiru thirimanna for play vs Pakisthan

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 6:07 GMT)

Gud Luck Team Pakistan and we also have best wises fro Afghanistan

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 25, 2014, 6:06 GMT)

@kanikandy. lol @ your theory. India beat Aus (4-0) and Aus beat Eng (5-0). So, Ind can beat Eng according to you? Bd beast NZ @ their home only. And India too bet NZ @ home (4-0, I think). Using the same theory used by you, India beat SL and Pak last time when they met and Pak beat SL too. So, both of them can beat SL easily. lol @ SL fans.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:54 GMT)

You indians after 4succesive white washes oversea you are still commenting

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:53 GMT)

Sri Lanka (should be): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Mahela Jayawardene, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Ashan Priyanjan , 6 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Sachithra Senanayake, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 , chathuranga de silva 11 Suranga Lakmal

Posted by OCCULT on (February 25, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

After reading all these comments, I couldn't stop my laughing !! Come on guys , do you really think that India won't win a single match??? Stop dreaming and wake up guys, and pray for your teams to make a single win against INDIA... THIS TIME ITS FOR INDIA...... GOOD LUCK TEAM INDIA

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

i wish good luck for Srilankan Cricket team. It's my favourite cricket team.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

Sri Lanka (should be): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Mahela Jayawardene, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 HDRL Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Sachithra Senanayake, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Posted by kanikandy on (February 25, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

looking at the current foam,familiarity to the conditions & thebalanced team composition SL should deserve to win the ASIA CUP and Pakistantoo have a chance but it depends on few players performance.last time BAN beat NZ 3-0 and NZ beat IND 4-0'So according to the current foam & team spirit Ban should beat Indaia easily.IAlthough Indai Has beaten Sl during last few ODIs it was mainly done by single handed either Dhoni or Koli.Other wise SL is much much superior than India.Also it was Malinga Who helped India to win.Since then Sl has founda new look side with players like Kusal,Priyanjan,Lakmal,senanayake,Dhammika Sl should be able to beat india.It depends on Slselectors and they should emit Malinga And include Dhammika'

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 5:00 GMT)

Indian fans will be happy until Sri Lankans find someone with Arjuna Ranathunga's caliber. Hope Pual Farbrace will do something meaningful with his sport psychology knowledge. Recent encounters shows that they lost their confidence against india though the story is otherwise when Ranathunga captain Sri Lanka.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:58 GMT)

Nobody talking about AFG they have the best chance to win their first ODI vs test playing nation, and it can be against BD or Pak, vs BD due to their recent bad run and vs Pak everyone knows that no one knows what they gonna do on the day, they can win a test in just two sessions but they also can do a blunder.

Posted by AS7777 on (February 25, 2014, 4:46 GMT)

SL should go with Chathuranga de Silva as he is a very good batsman and front line left arm orthodox bowler instead of Ajantha Mendis. There's no better time to experiment with Chanthuranga as T20 world cup also in our hand soon.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

Well! Good luck! to both teams, I love watching Pak vs SL matches and I suport both teams, Hope to have a good contest. And a great series, All teams are great especially that they are Asian Teams. Lets Not argue people and support all the teams please. And a VERY WARM WELCOME for AFGHANISTAN. May the best team WIN!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 3:57 GMT)

sure... This Time Asia Cup holders will be Sri Lanka !!!Gud Luck For the Sri Lankan Team!!tq

Posted by qadir49 on (February 25, 2014, 3:31 GMT)

Pakistan will win Asia cup easily Inshallah

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (February 25, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

People who say Dhammika Prasad is better than Lakmal never have common sense. How could be better 49/3 ahead of 24/2. In ODI most important thing is Economy than No of Wickets. Prasad giving 49 against BD then he will give 70 runs against Pak and 85 runs against India. Then what d point of having getting 3 wickets or 4 wickets. Lakmal is 1000 times better than Old oddi Prasad

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (February 25, 2014, 3:13 GMT)

This Series is real captaincy test 4 Mathews who defeats against India and Pakistan. Last 4 encounters with India he manged only to win once. That particular match half of the runs scored by Upul Tharanga(174 0f 348) playing SL A team against England Lions as victim of a revenge with Chief Selector happened when playing both as opening batsmen. Against Pak he managed to win 2 out 5. Let's Hope Mathews will continue his captaincy form.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

I will guarantee that SL will make he final for sure :) ..beyond that is anybody's bet :(

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

sri lanka,india,pakistan will loose , afganistan will take asia cup this time

Posted by on (February 25, 2014, 2:48 GMT)

we need a win in this series.. we all know we are the champs in asian pitches.(and also we all know we are poor in outside :P ). come on india.. lets win one match at least.

Posted by Big_Brother_of_Cricket on (February 25, 2014, 2:38 GMT)

Again we see a lot of banter between SL fans and Indian fans. In my opinion, it's better to respect each other's performances and accept each other's superiority in different conditions. SL fans who claim that they are superior because of India performing so poorly in overseas (outside sub-continent) conditions should recognize India's superior performance against any team in sub continent conditions. Indian fans who raise claims on their superiority should respect SL's better overseas record than theirs. Bigger picture concludes that India is superior than Sri Lanka in sub-continent conditions and SL is superior than India outside the sub-continent. We better recognize this fact and appreciate them than arguing by highlighting specific tournaments or matches. Hope common sense prevail in both camps.

Posted by nickexplore on (February 25, 2014, 2:34 GMT)

If Kusal Perera gets going, watch out Pakistan! Sri Lanka seem to be peaking at the right time as evidenced by the recent Bangladesh whitewash. Sanga in commanding form and Mathews, Chandimal, Priyanjan and Thissara Perera also among the runs. With Mahela back at the top of the order SL should outscore Pakistan. Yes SL will miss Nuwan Kulasekara and Herath but there is enough bowling on hand. The winner of this match will advance to the final.

Posted by   on (February 25, 2014, 1:09 GMT)

This year SL holds the best chance to clinch the trophy. India the weakest as ever. Dhoni seems so clever in getting rid off himself from the tournament, while seizing the failures of late. - He didn't want to be the part of a losing campaign though-

Good Luck, Kohli and Co and prove yourselves if you guys can win at least a single match :P

Posted by Diaz54 on (February 25, 2014, 0:11 GMT)

Advantage Sri Lanka I would they have been playing recently against Bangladesh.

Posted by I_Love_My_India on (February 24, 2014, 23:59 GMT)

I think Pakistan is clear favorites. But I wish SL all the best to give them a run for their money.....

Posted by FSL2013 on (February 24, 2014, 23:54 GMT)

well said. no other country would like to play SL and Pakistan so these two will be playing each other for good number of years until things take another shift. May be SL and Pak should form a joint playing league and try to include BD and Afghanistan to make it more interesting. SL still did the face saving thing by passing it eventually, Pakistan is standing alone.

Posted by Desihungama on (February 24, 2014, 23:51 GMT)

Andrew- You said soon other nations will become anxious about designing tours with either of them. So what the heck other teams are playing cricket for? Don't "other" teams want to know and test strength of these two or do "others" will be readily become accustomed to these "two" lifting major trophies in near future? How are Big 3 going to look at crowing one of these 'two'? Now, you won't suggest that one of Big 3 by default will take a place in final?

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 23:32 GMT)

@Np_NY Using your logic SL should be ranked higher than India for the trashing given to India from 1995 till 2008. With regard to rankings listen to Geoff Boycotts disdain toward the biased rankings and you will figure its a biased person who does the rankings.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (February 24, 2014, 22:58 GMT)

By far best 2 teams in the T . A dress rehearsal of the F you'wd thing in game 1. Both sides will look for a good hit out in middle. Also good practice for all teams bef t20 WC. 350 will be par batting 1st.

Posted by Saadcricketlover on (February 24, 2014, 22:55 GMT)

Good luck Pak, inshallah pak will win

Posted by Temuzin on (February 24, 2014, 22:33 GMT)

@satchander: India did not lose 0-4 in NZ.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 22:29 GMT)

Where's the pitch report? Are these going to be slow-low pitches and dew will make the team bat second?

Posted by Ain_EL_Sabet on (February 24, 2014, 22:03 GMT)

Regardless who win this match , I believe both will probably go to Asia cup final anyway . I think Pakistan is the best team with its balling among the 5 teams and SriLanka believe me is the most prepared team for both asia cup and t20 wc becuz they understand and have grasped BD pitch/condition more than our BD team.

Posted by sarvat on (February 24, 2014, 21:51 GMT)

Here are chances... Pakistan- 40% Sri lanka- 35% Indian- 25%

Posted by riazulhaq on (February 24, 2014, 21:28 GMT)

i think pak ll win easliy,they always had the upper hand against sri lanka,especially in recent past,so hope for the best

Posted by riazulhaq on (February 24, 2014, 21:18 GMT)

i dont think sri lanka even qualify for the final,final would be between pak vs india,and this time pak ll beat india

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 21:17 GMT)

basically no batsman in this entire tournament, apart from Mathews or Kholi has been able to play PAK bowling in recent times. Kholi scored the runs in champions trophy against PAK n every time in the series between PAK and SRI Mathews has had to save SRI from gettin bowled out, best bowlin attack in the tournament end of. now which. bowler has what it takes to stop Hafeez or Misbah? if neither of them score shezad and maqsood will score, even if then nobody scores, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Bilawal Bhatti r waiting in the lower order to smash the weak bowling from all the teams

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 21:11 GMT)

Good tournament to rate India as underdog. Whenever we are rated underdog we did good. Less pressure makes better Indian team I guess. Pak are favourites with their batters finding form. SL and India are in same league, with SL having slight upperhand because of Dhoni's abscence. BD can surprise, but every team will be vary of them due to last Asia cup surprise. Hoping for Ind Vs Pak final.

Posted by satchander on (February 24, 2014, 20:25 GMT)

@Chathuranga Bamunuarachchige: Dude, this is Asia cup being played on sub-continental conditons. Much as I am dissapointed with India for losing 0 - 4 in NZ, I know they are a formidable team in home-like conditions which is what Bangladesh pitches are. So chill.

Posted by NP_NY on (February 24, 2014, 20:19 GMT)

@Chathuranga Bamunuarachchige: After losing 4-0 to NZ, India is still second in the rankings. One of the main reasons for this is the number of times India had thrashed SL in the last 5 years. Pakistan is going to make SL look like a minnow tomorrow.

Posted by on (February 24, 2014, 20:10 GMT)

this tym BD will win the trophy :)

Posted by BlueAndYellow on (February 24, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

This is going to be a cakewalk for PAK. I was going to wish PAK good luck, but I guess you won't need it for this match. - Indian fan

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 19:35 GMT)

Yo Predator

After loosing to New Zealand 4-0 can you guys write anything?

Posted by LIONS_ROARR on (February 24, 2014, 19:17 GMT)

Sri Lanka has the best chances to win this game. They have the best batting order out of all 5 teams. A mixture of youth and experience, extravagance and solidity. But Pak has arguably the best bowling attack so a plus to them. Then again, Sri Lanka has been in Ban for a month and won all their matches, they would hav a far better knowledge of how the Ban pitches will react to Pak pace and spin. Thus in a sense (albeit a minor one) SL has a an upper hand. Good luck to both teams! Here's to a fair and entetaining Asia Cup! Cheers!!

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

Pak will win...!!!! Go pak go.....!!!

Posted by the_predator on (February 24, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

Last 15 matches between IND-SL; IND 11- SL 3, 1 no result and most of time SL plyed with all their so called greats and INDIA played without SACHIN (barring important matches like WC)still these SL FANS keeps coming at INDIA. This time dhoni took pity on you people and given you a golden chance. he wont be there to take 15 runs of last over :). SO this time at least i expect you will beat us. If you cant beat us this time as well, please stop boring US. Theoritically Pakistan is the best team in this tournament (by miles). INDIA looks weak (with respect to subcontinental condition, but this same team very well suited in australian condition), but never know they may surprise people (including me). Everytime people written them off they gave some surprise. Here i see people are rating INDIA below BD. Good, very good....can someone show these posts to kholi? More they have less expectation better they will play.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:48 GMT)

Its all about Bat VS Ball and you all know that Numbers don't lie either.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:44 GMT)

sri lanka will win the cup. the team in good form. there r used this condison now well. day by day the getting better bangla pithc. last time asia cup sl play poorly. insha allha not this time. go boys win the cup.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

sri lanka will win the cup. there are in good form at moment. all the batsmen good nic. good luck lion.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 18:28 GMT)

insha allha sri lanka will win this mathc & win the asia cup also. because there almost in bangladesh over one month. now used these condison&team in good nic. go lion win the cup.

Posted by LankaGod on (February 24, 2014, 18:21 GMT)

@Salman Sadiq Are you for real mate? You really think Pakistan is a better side then SL. We just white washed BD in their home ground across all formats, not that I am touting this as an achievement, I do believe BD are not that far behind India and Pakistan in the current form. I do believe Pak is the second best team in the competition but having won the Asia cup last time around, it would be asking too much of consistency from your team to make any real impression this time. Dream on! And by the way why is Afridi not playing in the U-19 world cup- has he finally grown out of his teens?

Posted by Dhali_BD_Fan on (February 24, 2014, 18:00 GMT)

This is going to be a good match! SL will give a winning effort and have to fight hard against a composed Pak team. Go SL go!!!

Posted by tanstell87 on (February 24, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

Indian fan here....the World Champions India , the World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka, the Asian Champions Pakistan , the hosts Bangladesh & debutants Afghanistan...this will be a cracker of Asia Cup...all the best to all teams...

Posted by Wasantha_Senevi on (February 24, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Sri Lanka have a good chance to win this match as they are now very familiar for the BD conditions than PK. Apart from that, SL really played well against PK in recent UAE tour. They were all over against PK in test & T20s formats. Three ODI matches were very close and SL gave a tremendous fight to the host PK. So, SL will have the upper hand against PK in this match. Also, SL is the favorite to this Asia Cup. Go SL go...

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 17:12 GMT)

Chathuranga would be a better option than Mendis, Lakmal is much better than kulasekara who dishes out full tosses lately.

I predict an SL VS PAK final

My XI - 1.Kusal 2.Mahela 3.Sanga 4.Chandimal 5.Priyanjan 6.Mathews 7.Chathuranga 8.Thisara 9.Senanayake 10. Malinga 11. Lakmal

Good Luck to Both Pak <3 SL

Posted by ramz_01 on (February 24, 2014, 16:59 GMT)

@jerryman ur kidding mate, ur goin to drop TP aftr he single handedly won us a match? he z doing much better den a a chandimal @da mmnt.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

one thing for sure..good cricket to be expected with two exciting teams. Hope Sri Lanka can pull it off

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

pak team is realy gud by the comparing of sl,pak hve vry strng blow unit...AL D BST 2 BOTH TEAMS...ENJY THE GAME...

Posted by dual.citizen on (February 24, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

I wish Afgans beat India, a fitting reply to control the ICC.

Posted by Fogu on (February 24, 2014, 16:37 GMT)

"Sri Lanka matches even appear to bring the grown-up out from behind Shahid Afridi's lustrous beard and resplendently disastrous strokemaking. In the last series, he was almost consistent across two disciplines." - That says it all about Afridi. Very funny. This will be a great match. Looking forward to it.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

Pak should decimate the lankans. Unfortunate that Irfan isn't playing. Lankans are a weak side now and deserve to be annihilated by both Pak and India. Bnagalis vs lankans should be interesting else I can see Pak vs Ind final.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

i hope pak will win good luck team pakistan

Posted by priceless1 on (February 24, 2014, 16:07 GMT)

Now a days Malinga is useless and Pak batters are familiar with Senanayake , so he will be less effective against them , there for SL will have to find another strike bowler who can deliver ,otherwise they will once again struggle to contain Pak batters as we saw in UAE

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

SL should go far whilst Pakistan may taste their 1st defeat against Bangladesh after 24 consecutive matches against them but then again its unlikely.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

my team kusal,mahela,sanga,chandi,ashan,angelo,chathuranga,thisara,sachi,lakmal,malinga

Posted by mzm149 on (February 24, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

Sri Lankans are good players of spin bowling. Pakistan should go with 3 full time pace bowlers (Junaid, Gul and Talha), one specialist spinner (Ajmal), one part time spinner (Hafeez/Afridi) and one part time pacer (Bhatti/ Anwar).

Sharjeel Khan comes nowhere near Nasir Jamshed. I hope this is his last series.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

Pakistan gonna win this one INSHA ALLAH <3

Posted by jerryman on (February 24, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

SL squad seem rather balanced. Only change may be to bring in Chaturanga instead of Tissara P , who tends to leak runs . An additional spinner may strangle runs in the middle order and built pressure at the end , making wicket taking a little easier. Chaturanga is a decent bat as well . So 3 spinners in mendis, senanayake & chaturanga can hoefully restrict their 30 overs combined to about 130-140 runs and keep the chase manageable. Should be a good match . Spin will be the best open on these BD wickets , which can be low scoring

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 15:12 GMT)

WOW..This will be the most entertaining Asia Cup ever....Best of luck to all teams....

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

I would like to see some special cricket from Afghanistan cricket team... Now the game plans are changed and anything can happen on the day !!

Good luck Afghan boys ... Go and shock the biggies .. !!

Posted by KrikIndFan on (February 24, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

So far SL have the upper hand since they already had some practice matches, BD will give everyone tough fights given its their home ground, Pak have done wonders in the past as they know these sub continent pitches well. But then one has to surpass India before being crowned the Asian Kings...very exited! Let the games begin.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

both Sl and PAK have good stroke makers and evenly balanced pace attack. But SL will have a slight edge over the opponents as Sri Lankan team played some good cricket in Bangladesh and used to the conditions. All eyes will be on Thisara perera and Sachithra Senannayake.Anyway , all the best to both teams.

Posted by baji003 on (February 24, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

Shikhar Dhawan -- Rohit Sharma -- Virat Kohli (c) -- Cheteshwar Pujara -- Dinesh Karthik (wk) -- Ajinkya Rahane -- Stuart Binny -- Ravindra Jadeja -- Ravichandran Ashwin -- Bhuvneshwar Kumar -- Mohammed Shami --

Posted by Rifard_SL on (February 24, 2014, 14:20 GMT)

One more Afridi special will make it for Pakistan. He raise his standard when he plays the friendly foe. Most of the recent encounters shows this. Well set to watch some full packed thrillers.. Go Pakistan.. Go Sri Lanka..

wish u a happy birthday my dear h....

Posted by wapuser on (February 24, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

We must do not under astimate Bangladesh. Thay might do very well in This time.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

there is a good opportunity to Sri lanka to grab the Asia cup 2014 cz of their recent experience in BD. India is in hunger of win and Pakistan also in good position to win the cup. this will be the most competitive Asia cup ever. good luck all teams.

Posted by Iceman29 on (February 24, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

Good luck to both teams :) cheers from an Ind fan....

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:44 GMT)

All top three teams have equal opportunities for grab the trophy. There is no specific advantage for particular team over other two. So the team who do the well in the day will win the match, but unfortunately BD and Afgan has no chance what so ever in this tournament. Good Luck for all the teams.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

Sri Lanka always struggle in slow pitches i think Pakistan have the advantage anyway hope to see a good match

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

I think Shoib Malik should have selected for the Asia cup instead of T20 cup. He is a natural ODI player.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

The team that win the match will definitely go to final that is for sure. Good Luck for the both teams.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

hope to see best performance of Pakistan's old-youngmen tomorrow

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

srilankan people and their team players are so full of character and such nice people to an extent where you cant possibly sledge them at all.. and i believe sledging makes cricket more interesting under such circumstances.. ahh well, as a pakistani supporter i would love to see my team prevail.. so yea Good luck boys..

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

hoping to see good contest. both teams look good. pak was good in UAE. but coming from a break. where as SL performing well on these wickets. so a good match coming up. both teams can be good on any day so thats the beauty of watching these 2.

for pak: i think rest is almost certain but they can bring hafeez back as opener and bring in fawad alam in middle order. but i think they will stick to same 11 in 1st game. 1 sharjeel 2 ahmed 3 hafeez 4 maqsood 5 misbah 6 umar 7 afridi 8 anwar/ bhatti ( i would go with anwar) 9 gul 10 ajmal 11 junaid.

not much options to change here. anwar looks better than bhatti. bhatti has speed but lacks a but control.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:14 GMT)

Both Pakistan and Sri lankan teams are almost identical young teams mixed with few experience campaners but still There are few gaps in different areas . pakistan have the best fast bowling attack but Sl bowling attack is strong than them in discipline bowling used to do in resent past. sl spine bowling attack is concern they have good mixture even without Rangana but with sachitra .SL batting line up clearly well ahead than pakistani with inform Sanga and mahela even young middle order is doing very well than Pakistan. Most impotent fact is SL young batsmen playing responsibly when their team in trouble when ever seniors got out early unlike pakistan youngsters. But Afridi is key for sri lankans he can change any game at any moment specially against SL not only with bat but also with ball. if SL can get rid of afridi Sl have fair chance of winning opening match of the Asia Cup tomorrow

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

Alwayz pleasure to watch these two play :)

Posted by wapuser on (February 24, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

It is going to be an interesting tournament coz all the team looks evenly matched. Even Afghanistan can surprise us. They are full of enthusiasm. A win will boost their confidence.

Posted by Sameeratennakoon on (February 24, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

If Thisara Perera play up in the order SL might have the full advantage of him. I would love to open bat with Kusal. Because Thisara can play shots over the field rather than sensible 1s or 2s. Good luck for both teams.. From a SL fan..

Posted by santhoo24 on (February 24, 2014, 12:34 GMT)

I always admire the bowling talent Pakistan is blessed with, and the fighters with lion hearts Sri Lanka produces unlike some of the jerk of fans who make me hate these teams. In any case good luck to both teams and hope for a competetive and entertaining match, and to state the obvious, may the better team win the game. An Indian fan.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 12:32 GMT)

This is good competitive one day cricket after long time. I say this because, it has all bilateral series which mostly home side bullying the visiting, which is no fun. This ought to say lot about each team. Wish though all big players were there in all teams; Dilshan, Dhoni, Kulasekara, Herath I would say, Dhoni and Kulasekara will be bigger lost for each respective team. Pakistan point of view, have a full fit side but still looking forward to see how much of top order bullying they show cased against SL will continue through out. Ideally it should as, none other than Pakistan itself has better attacks. But India and SL will start favorite, India more, simply for their batting. But Dhoni will be missed dearly as a captain figure and finisher. Good luck to all teams :)

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (February 24, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

Based on the current performance in BD, we can predict another humiliation for SL as it was in the last Asiacup. Mediocre SL team will be bowled out under 200. Only Sangakkara and Jayawardhane will score some runs. Waiting for excuses from Mathews. will he take another leaf from Dhoni as he blamed Dew earlier?

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 12:19 GMT)

All is well.. mahela top of the order always sign of danger for the opposition whenever he bat at the top he murder the attack with his classy stroke play.. next up sanga.. The master class.. He is in his life time form.. chandi is comfortable at no 4.. He will play in that position .. how he delivered in australia playing at no 4 .. Rest all need to play around these 3 team can win more matches. . Some fire power in the lower order Mathews and this ara. ... bowling looks weak.. nevertheless. New generation cricket no value for bowler's. . Some how they will be smashed all over the park...

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 12:11 GMT)

Thisara is not reliable at No 7. If Kulasekara were there its ok that Thissara named at 7.

Posted by jasonsmithkiwi on (February 24, 2014, 12:10 GMT)

Afghan bowling looks solid, batting still needs more game time ay. Zadran and Hamid looks really good. Saw bit of hamid, surprised he generates so much pace. Surprised with the number of pacers Afghan has generated compared to a big nation like India. Even Kiwis have so few players to choose from. No wonder, we keep going back to Fulton. haaha

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

considering recent form, lakmal and eranga are the premiere fastmen for sri lanka , since eranga is not available we should play lakmal, malinga, mathews as ast bowlers. thisara not in bowling form to merit a place in this team. so go for the 3 spinners with prasanna as the allrounder. if mahela and kusal opens, thirimanne at no3, sanga 4, priyanjan 5, prasanna 6, mathews7, snd 4 bowlers will be nice. i dont like to see inconsistently inconsistent chandimal in playing 11

Posted by jasonsmithkiwi on (February 24, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

Well, i will be following the tournament mainly because of the Afghan team. Really impressed with their style of play and attitude. I want Cricket to grow as a sport and it's a pity that it's not going to happen thanks dishonest administrators in India. Very short sighted and with the allegation of Dhoni being involved in betting, it raises more question. Future not looking good for this once great sport. sigh

Posted by Lakmalnj on (February 24, 2014, 12:02 GMT)

SL should select Dhammika Prasad ahead of Lakmal. Considering two fast bowlers bowling, I don't think much of difference. But Prasad is better batsman than Lakmal. SL Don't have Kula and if Lakmal played then they have long tail.

Also I don't think inclusion of Mendis is a good selection against Pak or IND. Chathuranga De Silva is better all rounder and should give him a chance in this series.

Yes.Pak are favorite.But SL win this time if they are not meet IND in finals.

Posted by kartcric on (February 24, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

Both teams on paper look quite balanced and matched.Expect a close encounter and pretty thrilling one too

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

Pakistan team looks very balance team. Inclusion of Sharjeel, Sohaib, Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti will be a huge difference.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

I was expecting Younis Khan to be included in the squad but let's hope the youngsters would not feel us to miss him with good showings.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

Hope They"ll meet up again in the finals. Good luck guys.!

Posted by   on (February 24, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

SL really should bring back the likes of Maharoof and Randiv. Both have impressive ODI stats, and could prove useful, as the likes of Malinga, Senanayake, Mendis, and to some extent Kulasakera, are all underperforming...

Posted by naimurchowdhury32 on (February 24, 2014, 11:31 GMT)

Fatullah is a very small ground and the facilities are very poor, Asia Cup will be dissapointing because of poor facilities at grounds

Posted by SettingSun on (February 24, 2014, 11:28 GMT)

Ooh ooh, does that mean we get to see Sri Lanka v India in an ODI? I can't wait, it's been such a while!

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Tournament Results
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 8, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Afghanistan v India at Dhaka - Mar 5, 2014
India won by 8 wickets (with 106 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 4, 2014
Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 1 ball remaining)
Afghanistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 129 runs
More results »
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