Pakistan v Sri Lanka, only Twenty20, Abu Dhabi November 24, 2011

World Twenty20 plans begin here

44

Match facts


Friday, November 25
Start time 2000 (1600 GMT)

Big Picture


Twenty20 might have become the origin of everything that is bad (or good, depending on your affiliation) about cricket, but the international Twenty20 game has had almost no role to play in that development. Consider these stats: we have had 32 Tests so far in 2011 and 139 ODIs - a number inflated by the World Cup, no doubt - but only a piddling 19 Twenty20 internationals. Comparing that number against the 74 fixtures IPL 2011 alone had, gives you even better perspective of the space T20Is occupy.

T20Is have been reduced to irrelevant one- or two-match series, shoe-horned at either end of long bilateral tours. The stakes are so low that teams don't take these games seriously. A part of the reason is the quirky scheduling of the World Twenty20. Initially planned as a biannual event that would lend context to the format, it made three London-bus appearances in four years, before hibernating out of our conscious. The next edition will be held in September 2012 in Sri Lanka, and teams will want to start drawing up plans now, after a year dominated by the World Cup and a clutch of marquee Test series.

Sri Lanka haven't looked like winning anything in the longer formats since the World Cup. Indeed, they have lost all their Test and ODI series since then. However, in that same period, they have been unbeaten in Twenty20s, and are in the middle of an impressive sequence of five successive wins. They will be desperate to extend that run and build momentum in the lead-up to the World Twenty at home, even as they seek succour from their reversals in the other formats.

Pakistan have always impressed in Twenty20s, a six-match losing run last year notwithstanding. They have won the World Twenty20 once, and made the final and the semi-finals on the other two occasions. Their fortunes next year will hinge on how the team responds to Misbah-ul-Haq's leadership. His safety-first method has been an unequivocal success in the Test and ODI versions, but it remains to be seen whether it will work in Twenty20s.

Form guide


Pakistan: WWLWL (most recent first)
Sri Lanka: WWWWW

Watch out for …


Misbah-ul-Haq is now known for his equanimity as much as his poetic forward defence. He has moulded the Pakistan side in his own image, leading to the increasing popularity of the hash-tag #TeamMisbah on Twitter. When he first announced himself, Misbah was anything but the obdurate middle-order milker that he has become now. He lit up the inaugural World Twenty20 with a bunch of audacious innings that took Pakistan to within a shot of glory. Which version of Misbah will be on display in this game?

At various points during the tour Tillakaratne Dilshan has looked tired, indignant, sad and frustrated. By the end of the ODI series, with his form and his side's fortunes in a seemingly terminal slump, his dominant expression seemed to suggest resignation. The chance to thrash it around in the shortest format should lift his spirits; on Friday, no one will question his shot-selection if he gets out playing those loose on-the-up heaves.

Team news


In Mahela Jayawardene's absence, Sri Lanka might be forced to open with Dinesh Chandimal, unless Upul Tharanga gets a look in. Given his poor ODI form, that is unlikely.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), 2 Dinesh Chandimal, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Chamara Silva, 5 Dimuth Karunaratne, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Dilruwan Perera/Kosala Kulasekara, 9 Thisara Perara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 10 Dilhara Fernando

Pakistan have 14 fit players in their squad, of which Abdur Rehman and Sarfraz Ahmed are almost sure to miss out.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Imran Farhat/Asad Shafiq, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Umar Akmal (wk), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sohail Tanvir, 9 Aizaz Cheema, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal

Stats and trivia


  • There's a Pakistan traffic-jam at the head of the list of leading wicket-takers in the format. Shahid Afridi has 53, followed by Umar Gul (47) and Saeed Ajmal (45).

  • Dilshan is one of only five T20I centurions. Jayawardene is another, but he isn't around for this game

Quotes


"It will be a new game on Friday and a change of format, so I hope the players lift themselves."
Tillakaratne Dilshan hopes a change in format will lead to a change in fortunes

"He still has a lot of cricket in him and just needs one innings to get back in touch."
Misbah-ul-Haq backs Shoaib Malik to come good soon

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sampi72 on November 25, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    If sri lanka Can not re build the 20-20 team to next world cup with Chamara silva .I can not understand why we can not test Bhanuka rajapakse at least in 20-20 format.I think he is the next Sanath Jayasuriya in Sri Lanka Cricket.We need to grow young side inthe 20-20 format under the experience of Dilly,kumar,mahela.Youngsters like Bhanuka,Kusal J,Dilshan Munaweera,sachith pathirana should be tested

  • on November 25, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Need a massive victory.. Mahela Jayawardene's absence wont effect the victory, Go Lankans Go :)

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    srilanka win but odi seris lost becous:;;;;....... win or lost we never mind we are the srilankans we love srilankaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Salam : My Lovely Team Pakistani The Gr8: Wishing you best of luck in every match : My all prayers are with you : You are causing to Bright the Name of my lovely country Pakistan the GR8 : Boom Boom Afridi : Shahid Khan Afridi Is in real the Backbone of Pakistani Team Loving you Green Shirts :

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    I wish to srilankan team.i think dilshan come to his form......

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    go team pakistan.........wish u a gud luk..

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Ajmal Iz The Best

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Why not Sarfraz ? rest Younas

  • g.narsimha on November 25, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Too much noise after beating a very deplated SL with just 2 bats man of iternational standard SAGAKARA& JAYAWARDHANE& one boler in LASITHMALNGA,rest are just playing as tharanga,dilshan& mathew are strugling.The SL team is in the process of rebuilding after retirement of key players .Hope SL will regain its lost ground with the advent young new comers like DINESH CHNDIMal,j.mendis kosala..

  • peshawarwazir on November 25, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Get rid off shoaib malik..said truly by someone that his only achievement is sania mirza and better is that he watches her games..sania mirza also haning in Shoaib malik mind during matches...better is set him complete free for sania mirza

  • sampi72 on November 25, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    If sri lanka Can not re build the 20-20 team to next world cup with Chamara silva .I can not understand why we can not test Bhanuka rajapakse at least in 20-20 format.I think he is the next Sanath Jayasuriya in Sri Lanka Cricket.We need to grow young side inthe 20-20 format under the experience of Dilly,kumar,mahela.Youngsters like Bhanuka,Kusal J,Dilshan Munaweera,sachith pathirana should be tested

  • on November 25, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Need a massive victory.. Mahela Jayawardene's absence wont effect the victory, Go Lankans Go :)

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    srilanka win but odi seris lost becous:;;;;....... win or lost we never mind we are the srilankans we love srilankaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Salam : My Lovely Team Pakistani The Gr8: Wishing you best of luck in every match : My all prayers are with you : You are causing to Bright the Name of my lovely country Pakistan the GR8 : Boom Boom Afridi : Shahid Khan Afridi Is in real the Backbone of Pakistani Team Loving you Green Shirts :

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    I wish to srilankan team.i think dilshan come to his form......

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    go team pakistan.........wish u a gud luk..

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Ajmal Iz The Best

  • on November 25, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Why not Sarfraz ? rest Younas

  • g.narsimha on November 25, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Too much noise after beating a very deplated SL with just 2 bats man of iternational standard SAGAKARA& JAYAWARDHANE& one boler in LASITHMALNGA,rest are just playing as tharanga,dilshan& mathew are strugling.The SL team is in the process of rebuilding after retirement of key players .Hope SL will regain its lost ground with the advent young new comers like DINESH CHNDIMal,j.mendis kosala..

  • peshawarwazir on November 25, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Get rid off shoaib malik..said truly by someone that his only achievement is sania mirza and better is that he watches her games..sania mirza also haning in Shoaib malik mind during matches...better is set him complete free for sania mirza

  • naiem11 on November 25, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    I believe Pakistan will win this game, they are the real champions. Indeed they last to India in a fake game in world cup semi final that was only becoz unfair cricket of highest quality was played by the umpires at that particular day, and then Mr. Misbah we all know how great he played in that game, honestly speaking he doesn't deserve to be part of ODI team. Captaincy should go back to Afridi or they can appoint Younis. Moreover why is Shoaib Malik there i can't understand. I am sorry to say he knows only one thing and he should be left for that. For Pakistan selectors who just wanted to see the performance of Afridi to give him a contract i think Boom Boom have given him the reply... Best of luck Pakistan cricket and to BOOM BOOOOOOOM........

  • AeroSyd85 on November 25, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    I wish Best of Luck for Sri Lanka. But Pakistan will have more chance of pulling put a win tonight. I cannot see a reason why they dont play Randiv. He is more than capable of batting at lower middle order too.

    Dislike Chamara Silva big time;{ it would be worth playing an extra bowler rather playing him. Overall, Sri lanka needs a big change in their think tank. What i can see is there is lack of regrouping at off field after a loss of the game. This could only be done by a good leader.

  • on November 25, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    pakistan always rocking... its real team playing a all time..

  • on November 25, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Go Malik Gooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!1

  • on November 25, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Malik should get retirement his tenure is no more Go Malik Go!! Rock Greens Rock !!!

  • on November 25, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    dilshan get rid of the captain...then u wil surely come back stronly with the bat.give it to mathews..he can manage it well with u sanga and mahela's advices..

  • Saqib_Sheraz on November 25, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    WTH Shoiab Malik should be swap by Asad Shafiq and move him up in the order, 3rd/4th slot.

  • on November 25, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Today Insh ALLAH the progressive Success of Pakistan..:)))))

  • on November 25, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    sri lanka is the only winner in this match,good bye pakistan,Lions never say die

  • on November 25, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    I think match will be head to head. Viewers will be enjoy.

  • on November 25, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    i am hoping it will be a high scoring entertaining game,and in my opinion both teams are well balanced while SL will feel the absence of MJ but its gonna b a very tough game.

  • on November 25, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    I would rather play Upul Tharanga over Chamara Silva

  • on November 25, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan....Shoaib Malik should be replaced by Razzaq.

  • on November 25, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    I fail to understand that why hasnt been Nuwan Kulasekera selected? Is he not fit?? Or not good enough for none of the three formats?

  • on November 25, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    Boom Boom AFRIDI \o/

  • Kiranraj007 on November 25, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    Hey... Have not seen this Dimuth Karunaratne even though watched him against England he got out early. Can anyone tell me how well he plays and his USP.. i chked his stats and they are only about averge...Well other than that i would like to see Pakistan bat Shoeb Malik at 3 and Umar Akmal at 4 in this game... reason because they are the two best T20 players... also there is a case to open with Afridi... u never know it might just be a great idea.

  • on November 25, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    get rid of shoaib malikkk !!

  • on November 25, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Only achivement of Shoaib Malik in last few years is "Sania Mirza" not cricket.

  • on November 25, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    whatever reasons srilanka will surely win

  • ubairsheikh on November 25, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    i thnk it would b a intrstng game.....But pak still fav after one day n test series victory :)

  • on November 25, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    yupp it iz on of the fine peace of match i like it very much and i hope pak will win

  • on November 25, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Salaam, Best of luck "Team Pakistan". U r rated no. 7 in ICC International Cricket Comedy) ranking, so show it to everyone that u r the real no.1 t20i team. Afridi, Akmal, Gul & Ajmal go all-out in this match. Abdur Razzaq v miss u !!!!

  • atuljain1969 on November 25, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    20-20 is the real cricket. This is the cricket we play in school, colleges. I am 100% for 20-20 cricket only.

  • on November 25, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    pakistan is favourite to win this t20 a good apportunity to climb to no.5 in icc t20 ranking most important task for pakistan is to maintain this winnig habit pakistan has wonderful bowling attack pakistan always produce quality bowler weak point of pakistan is lack of bating strength umar akmal is not consistant pakistan need batsman like Muhammad yousuf,Inzee,miadad.misbah and yunus is suitable only for test.

  • on November 25, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    pakistan will win Inshallah

  • on November 25, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Don't understand why Chamara Silva keeps getting picked?? His only consistency is his failures...

  • Guduji71 on November 25, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    I am Pakistani fan but my next faourite team is SriLanka. I hope they start doing well in Tests & ODIs. Good Luck in South Africa.

  • KP_84 on November 25, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    "Sri Lanka haven't looked like winning anything in the longer formats since the World Cup." That's not true. Sri Lanka could have won the ODI series against England and probably should have won the recently concluded ODI sereis against Pakistan. It was only in the series against Australia (who are the current no. 1 side) that they were not competitive. 'Sri Lanka haven't looked like winning anything in the Test format' would be a more accurate description of their form. That dates back to the retirement of Muralidaran last year.

  • chandau on November 25, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Outgoing SLC chief Upali Dharamadasa has chartered a plane from UK to import an Aston Martin as a gift to heir to King Mahinda, Namal Rajapaksha. The luxury gift is Upali's way of thanking Sri Lanka's official president in waiting, Namal, for allowing him to be "elected" as the head of SLC uncontested. Sports Minister in paper Mahindananda has been ordered by Namal, the actual sports minister, not to allow any other candidate including Thilanga Sumathipala to contest paving the way for Upali Dharmadasa to be crowned as "elected" chief of SLC. Upali's brother, Jayantha, will also be forced not to contest. Although SLC iis running with serious debts and has not paid staff and cricketers' salaries for months, Upali is planning to make a huge commission when the new contract for television rights with Ten Sports will be signed at the end of the year. It was Jayantha Dharmadasa who earlier took playboy prince Namal with him to Dubai when the previous contract was signed with Ten Sports.

  • on November 25, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Misbah and Younis khan , I must say they should be given rest in T20 format , this is fast game and it changes dramatically and require strong nerves slow responder like Mishbah and Younis not fit for the game , it require fresh blood . As Ricky Pointing and Tendulkar left it due to its fast and furious cricket both should seriously consider to play ODI's and Test cricket only , don't waste fresh talent who deserves to play in the team rather both of these icons of Pak cricket . Fresh blood is charm for T20.

  • on November 25, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    Will be good contest...I expect some fireworks from dilshan atleast this time...

  • ahamed93 on November 25, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Welllll done Sri lankaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Faizan-Ul-Haq-Fareedi on November 25, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    WIsh You Best of Luck to both but No doubt today will be diffrent game any thing can be happen but Pak has World Calss Bowlers and Allrounder that will realy a Big threat to SR. Dilshan is out of form and today against the strong bowling Attack he might failed due to the pressure

  • on November 25, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Jevan not a T20 Squad ............. BUt

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on November 25, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Jevan not a T20 Squad ............. BUt

  • Faizan-Ul-Haq-Fareedi on November 25, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    WIsh You Best of Luck to both but No doubt today will be diffrent game any thing can be happen but Pak has World Calss Bowlers and Allrounder that will realy a Big threat to SR. Dilshan is out of form and today against the strong bowling Attack he might failed due to the pressure

  • ahamed93 on November 25, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Welllll done Sri lankaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • on November 25, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    Will be good contest...I expect some fireworks from dilshan atleast this time...

  • on November 25, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    Misbah and Younis khan , I must say they should be given rest in T20 format , this is fast game and it changes dramatically and require strong nerves slow responder like Mishbah and Younis not fit for the game , it require fresh blood . As Ricky Pointing and Tendulkar left it due to its fast and furious cricket both should seriously consider to play ODI's and Test cricket only , don't waste fresh talent who deserves to play in the team rather both of these icons of Pak cricket . Fresh blood is charm for T20.

  • chandau on November 25, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Outgoing SLC chief Upali Dharamadasa has chartered a plane from UK to import an Aston Martin as a gift to heir to King Mahinda, Namal Rajapaksha. The luxury gift is Upali's way of thanking Sri Lanka's official president in waiting, Namal, for allowing him to be "elected" as the head of SLC uncontested. Sports Minister in paper Mahindananda has been ordered by Namal, the actual sports minister, not to allow any other candidate including Thilanga Sumathipala to contest paving the way for Upali Dharmadasa to be crowned as "elected" chief of SLC. Upali's brother, Jayantha, will also be forced not to contest. Although SLC iis running with serious debts and has not paid staff and cricketers' salaries for months, Upali is planning to make a huge commission when the new contract for television rights with Ten Sports will be signed at the end of the year. It was Jayantha Dharmadasa who earlier took playboy prince Namal with him to Dubai when the previous contract was signed with Ten Sports.

  • KP_84 on November 25, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    "Sri Lanka haven't looked like winning anything in the longer formats since the World Cup." That's not true. Sri Lanka could have won the ODI series against England and probably should have won the recently concluded ODI sereis against Pakistan. It was only in the series against Australia (who are the current no. 1 side) that they were not competitive. 'Sri Lanka haven't looked like winning anything in the Test format' would be a more accurate description of their form. That dates back to the retirement of Muralidaran last year.

  • Guduji71 on November 25, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    I am Pakistani fan but my next faourite team is SriLanka. I hope they start doing well in Tests & ODIs. Good Luck in South Africa.

  • on November 25, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Don't understand why Chamara Silva keeps getting picked?? His only consistency is his failures...

  • on November 25, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    pakistan will win Inshallah