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Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo

Sri Lanka wary of "dangerous" Pakistan

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Colombo

February 25, 2011

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's captain and vice-captain respectively, have both warned that Pakistan are a dangerous side that other teams will be wary of in the World Cup. Not too many people have tipped Pakistan to win the tournament, after a tumultuous year for them in which they have been plagued by off-field issues, but Jayawardene said he was surprised by the lack of hype around them.

"I find it surprising that their name is not bandied about in the mix of potential World Cup winners as they have brilliant match winners with both bat and ball," Jayawardene wrote on his blog.

Sangakkara echoed that sentiment, saying Pakistan's batsmen were dangerous. "Any opposition is wary of them and we're not going to take anything lightly or for granted," he said. He was, however, confident that his bowlers would be up to the task, particularly with what he described as a "vastly improved" pace attack. Lasith Malinga has been Sri Lanka's most successful bowler in the one-day format over the past year, and Thisara Perera, who seemed to have added a couple of yards of pace to his bowling in Sri Lanka's opening match against Canada, has been the second highest wicket-taker.

"We understand how dangerous the Pakistani batsmen are and that's the beauty of playing a side like them," Sangakkara said. "Those challenges I think the bowlers will enjoy. There's been a vast improvement for us actually to have good fast bowlers in our squad. We've got guys who bowl over 140[kph] and we've got guys who swing it as well. Both sides have good pace and good spin and I think it's going to be a battle between two teams who are looking forward to a very keen contest. Every side has a different approach and we've got our own, which we're trying to fine tune as we go along. "

Sri Lanka, along with co-hosts India, are being touted as one of the favourites to win the World Cup, but Jayawardene said even though Pakistan may not be hosting any games, they still know the conditions well. "Pakistan are just as familiar with the conditions, so they pose a huge danger to any side, especially in the knockout stage and it should be a good match," he said. "Despite what people may write or not write, we certainly are fully aware of what this Pakistan side can do to any team with seemingly little effort."

One possible setback for Sri Lanka is that there are still doubts over the readiness of Malinga for the game. He missed the match against Canada with a back strain, though Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara did the job in his absence.

"Lasith is improving very fast and we'll have to look at him," Sangakkara said. "We don't want to rush him into a big tournament like this. He is the most important player for us so we want to make sure that he is comfortable and everyone is comfortable with the decision."

The pitch at the R Premadasa has been completely re-laid ahead of the World Cup, but Sri Lanka's players have the advantage of having played on it during the domestic one-day tournament in January. Sangakkara, who praised the new pitch in Hambantota, said he thought the wicket in Colombo would be as good for batting. "In the match against Canada the wicket was good and we think even this surface will act the same," he said. "We don't' want to think too much about the pitch."

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Comments: 38 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

I am a Pakistani but I love Srilanka.Srilanka is my second home if Srilanka wins worldcup I will be as happy as Pakistan wins. I LOVE YOU SRILANKA>

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

Pakistanis set a score of 278.. will the lions beat it....??? question of the night. well i sure hope so.. jai ho sri lanka

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

might be do or die match so lankan must give their on the feild hope so dis hope will be there

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

Sri Lanka are a fantastic team, there's a bit of inexperience in the batting though but if one of Dilshan, Mahela or Sanga can contribute heavily the rest will rally around them. Please can someone ask Sanga to stop putting on a fake accent though, no matter what he can't be a westener. Doesn't matter how bad an accent he will put together he will be a Sri Lankan and he needs to be proud of that.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 8:13 GMT)

no match with the exception of Ire vs Ban has been competitive in this wc...let's hope it will be a good match today...For me Srl is the tournament favorite,,,,but i want pak to win

Posted by aamir on (February 26, 2011, 7:51 GMT)

Professional comments from srilankan team...thing which make me happy is the love and effection of Pakistani and Lankan people with each other...they(lankanas) are spiritually lifting the pakistani team to the ranks they deseve..this compelled me to say"Long-Live Lanka-Pak Friendship..."

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 7:41 GMT)

I expect pakistan to win this encounter

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 7:18 GMT)

Srikanth you are right, Pakistan eleven can make any kind of upsets either it is Ireland, Kenya or Australia :))

Posted by roshan on (February 26, 2011, 7:17 GMT)

specially Pakistan team,not consider as a one of best team by so many people..but i have death sure today match will be very closer one..we still remember 1996...WI and Australia teams rejected to play in Sri Lanka..but great Pakistani and great Indian team came here and had a friendly match with us..that was the starting point of our victory..Thanks for that...good luck for our friend(Pakistan)..but keep this mind... lions always very danger..

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 26, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

It is going to be a nail bitting match for the cricket fans from both the countries, Sri lanka is really a world class team, they have great spinners as well as the fast bowlers, Sri lanka's batting has always been having a bunch of great players. But as a Pakistani i have confidence on our team, the way they are performing and they showed up their team work in the last match, i say it is a win for Pakistan so does the history says.

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