Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st T20, Dubai December 10, 2013

Sri Lanka out to protect top ranking

  shares 109

Match facts

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Start time 2000 local (1600 GMT)

Big Picture

During the last 14 months, Sri Lanka's Twenty20 matches have had a little more edge to them than most. They have been the top-ranked side since last year's World Twenty20, and with the next global tournament approaching, it is a psychological fillip the captain Dinesh Chandimal is intent on protecting. A 0-2 loss will result in losing the top spot to Pakistan; a 1-1 result will lead to a reduction of a ranking point but Sri Lanka will stay No. 1; and a 2-0 win will bolster their position.

Aside from the prospect of achieving the top rank, these two fixtures are important for Pakistan because they are their last scheduled matches before the World Twenty20 in March. There are key places in the top order and in the bowling attack that have not yet been firmed up, and the likes of batsmen Sohaib Maqsood and Sharjeel Khan, and seam-bowlers Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali, will relish the opportunity to push themselves into the side.

A victory in Cape Town after three straight losses to South Africa will have bred some confidence, but Pakistan's squad is light on experience. While promising youngsters will likely be trialled, there is uncertainty about whether this team is up to toppling a consummate Twenty20 side like Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka will conduct experiments of their own as they seek a spin-bowling allrounder for Bangladesh. Chandimal had recently said Ramith Rambukwella was among Sri Lanka's best Twenty20 spinners, and while Rambukwella's varied offbreaks were effective on debut, he did little to allay his notoriety as an average fielder. His major competition will be legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna, who is fresh from a 32-ball 84 not out in List A cricket.

Several Sri Lanka players have also spoken of the importance of beginning the tour well, given the paucity of international cricket in the recent past, but Pakistan appear to be carrying the most momentum into the first encounter.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Sri Lanka: WWLLW
Pakistan: WWLLL



In the spotlight

There is some thought that Sri Lanka's batsmen are weak against left-armers of both varieties, and if Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir and Zulfiqur Babar all play on Wednesday, as they did against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka will find out if there is an issue that requires addressing. Sri Lanka's batting unit has also had trouble adjusting to new bowlers in the past, and with plenty of young unknowns in Pakistan's squad, that is another theory the hosts can test.

Once the most feared limited-overs bowler in the world but lately an inconsistent performer, Lasith Malinga's spells have grown more expensive as his gut has grown more cumbersome. Malinga does not need to be hyper-fit to crush toes and send stumps careening, but given he has collected only four wickets in his last eight Twenty20s, a good series here might re-establish him as one of the format's premier stars.

Team news

Saeed Ajmal was rested against Afghanistan and he may replace Babar, who had an expensive last outing. Nasir Jamshed has been omitted from the Twenty20 squad, which means Sharjeel Khan is likely to partner Ahmed Shehzad at the top of the innings again.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 4 Sohaib Maqsood, 5 Umar Akmal (wk), 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Umar Amin, 8 Bilawal Bhatti/Zulfiqur Babar, 9 Sohail Tanvir, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Mahela Jayawardene remained at home for the limited-overs series, which means Kusal Perera is almost certain to open the innings alongside Tillakaratne Dilshan. Rambukwella may be preferred to Prasanna for the first match.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Thisara Perera, 7 Ramith Rambukwella/Seekkuge Prasanna 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis

Stats and trivia

  • Malinga averages 40.50 per wicket in six Twenty20s in 2013, his worst yearly average. His economy rate remains good at 7.04.
  • Pakistan have only won one of the last six Twenty20s at Dubai International stadium

Quotes

"We leaked quite a few runs against Afghanistan so we will have to be at our best to beat Sri Lanka and Ajmal's return will help that."
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez

"We played really well in the last Twenty20 series. We're still No. 1 in the world. We've got two Twenty20s in this tour, so we've got an eye on the ranking."
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | December 12, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Chandimaal shud never be played in T20,and Thisara Parera shud be higher up..T20 is won by scoring,not by wickets i shud say...SL selection in T20 and ODI is so traditional..

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | December 11, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Pak will win T20 series will rank top because they are in much better form.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 11, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 11, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    srilanka total runs 150+

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    I have watched live Usman Khan in his last game where he indeed put down the SNGPL line up including Misbah. But I must say it is too early to call him for national side, specially against T20i good team SL. Remember, Pakistan has never been short of pacers!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 11, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    good luck Pakistan

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | December 11, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    @Sarah Khan: Pakistan is a dear brother to us..I don't mind if we lose the match.May the best team wins it.We are friends!

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | December 11, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    @warneneverchuck : This is a T20 match..Why are you talking about the tests?

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Excited for the series after the memorable win in South Africa ... Umar akmal bats more freely and naturally iin T20s mainly bcoz of the attacking captain and his batting no.4 in T20s compared to ODIs where he bats at no.6 (He is notjust a dasher but a proper batsman needs to bat at no. 4 in all forms of cricket). Sharjeel khan is another exciting player to watch. Haris sohail should play today as he is fresh from a 30 ball 60 in the final of the president T20 cup in Pakistan. Looking forward to watch the amazing and fantabulous Sangakara in this series, will miss Jaywardine ......

  • POSTED BY MadhushaDmendis on | December 11, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    It's great to read Pak brothers comments..We also support Pakistan if it isn't playing against SL .. Wish both teams good luck..hope this will be an practice match to 2014 world t-20 final..(Pak 4 out of 2times final SL 4 out of 2 times final)Hope both teams will take good use of the matches.

  • POSTED BY on | December 12, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Chandimaal shud never be played in T20,and Thisara Parera shud be higher up..T20 is won by scoring,not by wickets i shud say...SL selection in T20 and ODI is so traditional..

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | December 11, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Pak will win T20 series will rank top because they are in much better form.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 11, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 11, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    srilanka total runs 150+

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    I have watched live Usman Khan in his last game where he indeed put down the SNGPL line up including Misbah. But I must say it is too early to call him for national side, specially against T20i good team SL. Remember, Pakistan has never been short of pacers!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 11, 2013, 14:24 GMT

    good luck Pakistan

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | December 11, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    @Sarah Khan: Pakistan is a dear brother to us..I don't mind if we lose the match.May the best team wins it.We are friends!

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | December 11, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    @warneneverchuck : This is a T20 match..Why are you talking about the tests?

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Excited for the series after the memorable win in South Africa ... Umar akmal bats more freely and naturally iin T20s mainly bcoz of the attacking captain and his batting no.4 in T20s compared to ODIs where he bats at no.6 (He is notjust a dasher but a proper batsman needs to bat at no. 4 in all forms of cricket). Sharjeel khan is another exciting player to watch. Haris sohail should play today as he is fresh from a 30 ball 60 in the final of the president T20 cup in Pakistan. Looking forward to watch the amazing and fantabulous Sangakara in this series, will miss Jaywardine ......

  • POSTED BY MadhushaDmendis on | December 11, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    It's great to read Pak brothers comments..We also support Pakistan if it isn't playing against SL .. Wish both teams good luck..hope this will be an practice match to 2014 world t-20 final..(Pak 4 out of 2times final SL 4 out of 2 times final)Hope both teams will take good use of the matches.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 11, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    we love SL alot and have never drawn bad blood but still May Pak win!!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 11, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Best of luck both Srilanka and Pakistan. We are friendly nations and love each other. I am expecting a wonderful and exciting match. I am hope Pakistan will win but also expecting Srilanka to perform really well. Good luck Pakistan

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | December 11, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    sl can win in uae against new pak side . only worry is when senior players of pak or sl will retire then they dont have replacements. may the best team win here.although sl have zero test wins in aus. even in india sl have never won a test match. cant win in bouncy tracks cant win in spinning tracks of india , they need to start winning tests away from home to improve their icc test ranking.

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    It is an undoubted fact that both teams and their fans respect each other alot. Sl are like brothers to us and when pak is not playing we automatically support sl. May this bond continue forever!

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Chandimal has more runs out side Sri Lanka than in side his own country in 20--20 and ODI format

  • POSTED BY warneneverchuck on | December 11, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    How many runs sanga and magela have scored in aus. I think they can never score outside SL. Thats y SL have never won a single test in aus

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Goodluck to both the teams! It really doesnt matter who ever wins, I'll be cheering for both :)

  • POSTED BY warneneverchuck on | December 11, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Someone said see SL performance in aus. No even a single test win In AUS. That shows they r worst team from subcontinent even BD is better than SL

  • POSTED BY Nabeel.niazi on | December 11, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Pakistan have got extremely talented players coming up, just they need to be given confidence and being polished. Players like Ahmad Shahzad, Sohaib Maqsood and Bilawal Bhatti are nice future prospect. Haris Sohail should be there for Umer amin while highly ranked U-19 opener Sami Aslam should be given a chance. Inclusion of Sharjeel khan and Usman khan is great step by selectors.

  • POSTED BY Yuosufahmed on | December 11, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @ SLslider: Dear, think who should be embarassed most. Is that SL fans or your Ind fans, because of your team get thrashed all over the park by Saffas who lost to both SL and Pak in their last encounters? Who is interested in money making leagues and operating them, Is it SL or your Ind? Is that our young players or your young players score load of hundreds in flat pitches but fail to score double figures in bouncy SA pitches. To remind you, our youngsters Chandimal and Thirimanna were played extremely well in last SA tour. Infact Chandimal was the highest run scorer if my memory is correct.

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    @warneneverchuck - do you know anything about cricket ??? read the history & see how SL has performed in Austratila ..lol...

  • POSTED BY Yuosufahmed on | December 11, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: If you want to see overrated and flat pitch players, just go and see the Ind-SA series...lol

  • POSTED BY Yuosufahmed on | December 11, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: If you want to see overrated and flat pitch players, just go and see the Ind-SA series...lol

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Whenever there is a Match Between Sri-Lanka and Pakistan We don't Pakistani don't understand whom to support and both of them are equal for them.... Sri-Lankan and Pakistani always best friends of each other...

    We wish Sri-Lanka Win as equally as Pakistan Win... So best of Luck to both the Teams..

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 11, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Pakistan can beat any team the world but they can also lose to in the world

  • POSTED BY warneneverchuck on | December 11, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    SL players r highly overatted. Batsman like sanga and mahela cant even survive one over of johnson and harris. They can just score in subcontinent

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 11, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    I am not sure the rankings count for a lot in T20 but its a nice to have I guess. Malinga besides being worked out by a lot of of the better batters, also bowls alot of lose deliveries. Unfortunately there is no such thing as 'steady' with Malinga, he is either very good or very bad.

  • POSTED BY NAMAL.RP on | December 11, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    where is THIRIMANNA? :( . please give him chance as Mahela not in the side.Thirimanna is a future star for SL team.

  • POSTED BY SLslider on | December 11, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    It will be an achievement for us if we don't get bowled out in 20 overs. Just look at the stats of our captain and us SL fans will get embarrassed. He looks himself embarrassed when he goes out for the toss. We have the worst young players in the world and our seniors are more interested in money making leagues than Test matches.

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Good News is non performing Mahela is not in the team.He is the only weak link in current SL team.He is still playing because of his past performance.

  • POSTED BY junaid_bhai on | December 11, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    good to see young sharjeel is in squad but I have some reservations on his foot work & with the feet movement as well. Pakistan team needs a solid technical opener who can play at any format & can adjust on any wicket/conditions

  • POSTED BY Yousafahmed11 on | December 11, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    @ Fast_Track_Bully. You made my day. You analyzed our team perfectly. I donot know why Angelo Mathews in the team! Also,if there is no better 'medium pacer' than Ajantha Mendis , they can recruit me!

  • POSTED BY MIR-of-KASHMIR on | December 11, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Just Like any other pakistani,, SRI LANKA is my FAVOURITE Team,,It's a treat to watch the most classsic & stylish batsman "KUMAR SANGAKARA"...

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @waqs77: He has been called in to the squad. but may not play today as he will land there today.

  • POSTED BY kysior on | December 11, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Why there is place for this leap year SHAHID AFRIDI ? What will happen to this team if misbah retires ? all out below 100 every time. Pak should be kept in qualifying group along with BAN and ZIM in this t20 world cup 2014.

  • POSTED BY Yousufahmed1 on | December 11, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @ ThilankaK But SL has been thrashed by everybody still their fans don't shuttered up. Don't worry we will thrash you today. LOL

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | December 11, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Fast track bully should be applauded for his/her comment on dec 11@416gmt - he / she might talk rubbish but at least he/she spelt the names of all our players correctly!! You might also want to change your Nick to FLAT track bully..more accurate...

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 11, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    @Haiderpakawsome: Same advice to malinga and Sena because you only need to keep misbhah in for 20 overs and rest of them will be caged. LOL

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 11, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    @Haiderpakawsome: Same advice to malinga and Sena because you only need to keep misbhah in for 20 overs and rest of them will be caged. LOL

  • POSTED BY Bladerunners on | December 11, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Dilshan nd kushal have to fire in this match.if we want to win should kickout malinga.he is not bettr than avrg bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 11, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Prasanna is better than Rambukwella, Prasanna has a 18 ball 50 vs WI A, and a 32 ball 84. iin domestc Seems a better striker. He is a better and accurate skiddy leg break bowler with better domestic records. He and Sena could be a good combo.

  • POSTED BY iNsiDers on | December 11, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Best of Luck to both teams and to our Sri Lankan Brothers

  • POSTED BY Haiderpakawsome on | December 11, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Go Junaid / Ajmal and cage the lions. Target Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan. Dont worry about Kusal, Chandimal and Thiesarra. They can't fire in anyway.

  • POSTED BY NBA007 on | December 11, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    I am surprised that almost no one is talking about Pakistan's newly discovered weapon Usman. I believe he will be the key as he is left armer, good pace, swing in Dubai conditions and finally he is new (typically Lankans are nervous against debutantes)

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | December 11, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    This SL side lost to even BD at home and cakewalk for the Indians at any where any format. Thus they are placed at the bottom of Asian rankings too. It will be India, Pakistan, BD and SL. After the next WC, we can see Afgan too will emerge as winners against SL in the group stage.

  • POSTED BY Waqs77 on | December 11, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    @ t20cric.....theres no player named usman khan in the selected squad of 14. So obviously they will select playing 11 from the squad of 14. And no one will be called additionally on urgent basis untill there is some serious injury issues happened to at least 2 fast bowlers in the squad of 14. So stop saying play this play that and just think about what is possible at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Connecters on | December 11, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Pakistan Batting Order for 1st T20 Against Srilanka : 1- Hafeez, 2- Shahzad, 3-Sohaib, 4-Sharjeel, 5-Umar Akmal, 6-Haris, 7-Bilawal, 8-Afridi, 9-Saeed, 10-Junaid, 11-Usman.... Good Luck Shahino.....Pakistan Zindabaaad.......

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Well its time for some wonderful cricket as both the teams are competitive and well behaved, lets wish them luck and expect exciting cricket for over a month period and do hope that cricket is back to Pakistan as well. salutes to the Sri Lankan team and their cricketers for their lovely attitude! Regards, AA

  • POSTED BY ThilankaK on | December 11, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Thankful to SA , all IND fans mouth shuttered up !!!

  • POSTED BY ThilankaK on | December 11, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    my playing IX should be ; Dilshan, Mathews, Perera, Sangakkara†, Chandimal*, Vithanage Perera, Kulasekara, Prasanna, Senanayake, Malinga, (** Mathews should open the innings with dilshan )

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Best of luck to our team and our friend , who has helped us in so many ways.From a Sri Lankan Fan

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Best of Luck Pakistan .. .

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | December 11, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    1 Dilshan - Perform once in a bluemoon 2 Kusal Perera - who is he? 3 Kumar Sangakkara - a flat track bully 4 Dinesh Chandimal - lol 5 Angelo Mathews - big lol 6 Thisara Perera - perform against minnows 7 Ramith Rambukwella/Seekkuge Prasanna - who? 8 Nuwan Kulasekara - club level 9 Sachithra Senanayake - big hype, no hope! 10 Lasith Malinga - nightmare of kids 11 Ajantha Mendis - pity!

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    Why the Hell Sohail Tanveer in team. Why Hafeez doesn't give chance to youngster. Already tried Sohail Tanveer and he is useless just in team becasue of personal relations :@ :@

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    @Albert_cambell thanx man for positive comment

  • POSTED BY mars2009 on | December 11, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    To my eastern neighbors , watch Usman Shinwari , a new 19 years fast bowling sensation.

  • POSTED BY Hareendra on | December 11, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    I think we need a new captain for T20. T20 is NOT Chandimal's game. He has no idea about playing this format. Let Mathews lead in all three formats and get rid of Chandimal and Thirimanne from T20.

    I would play Chandimal in ONLY Tests, so that first he learns his game.

    My Team: Dilshan, Kusal, Sanga, Kithruwan, Mathews, J.Mendis, Thisara, Kulasekara, Sachitra, A.Mendis, Malinga

    I know that J.Mendis is not in the squad, but he is ideal for this format!

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    PAKISTAN BATTING ORDER for First T20 Against Srilanka.....1-Sharjeel, 2-Shahzad, 3-Hafeez, 4- Sohaib, 5-Haris, 6-Umar, 7-Bilawal, 8-Afridi,9-Ajmal, 10-Junaid.11- Usman sharjeel

  • POSTED BY CricIndia208 on | December 11, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    India beats Sri Lanka whenever the two teams play. India beats Sri Lanka at home, away and on neutral territory. Perhaps, Pakistan should adopt India's strategy.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | December 11, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Play Usman and Haris by leaving Sohail Tanveer and Umar Amin out.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 11, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    i think thirimana is d better chois than rambukwella or prasanna

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Albert_cambell thanks for your sentiments! With Pak players joining SA leagues, may the cricketing relationship between the two countries continue to prosper!

  • POSTED BY chechong0114 on | December 11, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    I truly hope that fans will come into the various stadiums on game day too see this great contest between 2 of the most exciting teams in the modern day era. Its a cricket lover's dream and delight and i hope the people of UAE will show there delighht for great cricket and come out and support this great contest, best of luck to both teams.

  • POSTED BY Test-is-the-best on | December 11, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    I am Sri Lankan fan and Pakistan is my Second favorite team. Both teams are unpredictable specially in shorter formats and showed the ability to produce unorthodox players throughout their History. They are naturally record breakers & inventors who invented Doosra , Rever Swing, Dilscoop to embellish the game of Cricket.However both teams has not met each other for a while . This will be a testing specially for youngsters how better they perform ahead of Next WT20. Good Luck for a great tournament.

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    So glad to see this out-pouring of love for the SL team from my fellow Pakistanis.

    Sri Lanka have truly won our hearts over the years - both on and off the field, and we wish them all the very best, even when they are playing our team, because frankly Sri Lanka will always remain our non-Pakistani team :)

    (I have to admit though that in such contests I am partial to a Pakistan win, but I still want it to be an even stevens game all the way... )

    Here's to a great series, to a fiercely contested series between friendly foes... in sha Allah!

  • POSTED BY SriLankanYoungBlood on | December 11, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    all the Best Both Teams. if SL want to win Kusal should fired and good finish from Thisara,Ramith/Sekuge and Sachie. and important to Slinga and Kula to get early wickets. continue things with other bowlers. if Mendis played he should be economical. hoping Nail Biting Finish

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | December 11, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Due to absence of Jay Mahela, SL hasnt chance to win game. Due to absence of mr tuktuk, PAK has more chance to win the game.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | December 11, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    Hope to see good game, both team are strong. But wind showing as PAK has more chance to win T20. Good luck for both team.

  • POSTED BY Fijicricket on | December 10, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    @Blade-runner& Albert _Campbell- Enjoy the battle of the minnows. Hope both of you will be watching your teams instead of the SAfrica/Worldchamps India match. Please do comment on this match ( and not the one you dont see )which should be a thrilling to you both!

  • POSTED BY Cric_fever_forever on | December 10, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    hmmm srilanka starts fav tom as they are rank no1 in this format. however i want to see pak pushing them to limits. its bit tough who should win coz both are good competitive teams and my fav along with south africa. may the best teams win. cheers!!!

  • POSTED BY saeedmirzapk on | December 10, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    best of luck pk team. I think team pakistan is hafeez ahmed shehzad sharjil khan umar amin umar akmal shahid afridi

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    I am very thankful of pak pcb to bring usman khan need gave him more chances because he is a very good bowler

    my team for 2morrow should be . ahmad shzad,sharjeel k, m hafeez,umar akmal,s maqsood,h sohil,afridi,saeed ajmal,usman khan,jounid khan,s tanveer.

    thanks

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | December 10, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    @Albert_cambell: Thank you very much for your kind wishes for Pakistan. I really appreciate your concern for Pakistan team that they cannot play cricket at home. It was a very nice gesture from CSA to arrange another tour of Pakistan to South Africa and to allow many Pakistani players to play in South African domestic tournament. Pakistani players must have learnt a lot from South African players in all three bilateral series played between these two teams this year. I wish your team best of luck for all future endeavors.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 10, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    sl win for ur sake bcoz odds r against u prove all of them wrong n there cannot b friendship between two on field teams

  • POSTED BY 2NewBalls on | December 10, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Albert_cambell We Pakistani's also salute the S.A team and its there class which has got us going now and We now have the young blood which was missing. I am very glad that Usman has been included as this young man is one nasty stumps Poacher. Cheeeers

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | December 10, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Pakistan will be an upper edge over lanka because pak have really top class spinners which are also supported by UEA conditions.they can destroy totally the batting line up of lanka . Best of luck to sharjeel khan

  • POSTED BY NextSana on | December 10, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    I hope Kusal will fire today. We are little bit vulnerable against Thanvir at the start and they have good set of fast bowlers too but still I think we have the edge in the T20 arena and also we have to bat first no matter what it gives us the upper hand cause Pak is bit off chasing and we too have a marvelous record defending T20 totals. Should be a good contest. Best of luck for the both teams.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    WOW!!!Being Pakistani I feel myself at undecided situation in showing my feelings keeping in view that Sri Lanka is our friendly foe. Best wish for both...Whosoever plays better should win! After Pak, SL and SA are my favourite teams!!! I think Pak needs to unleash Usman in 2nd T20 if not in the 1st one if Pak wins the first T20. Umer Amin needs to be replaced with better talented batter, Haris Sohail. The rest is good as S.Ajmal return to the squad!!! Good Luck PAK and SL!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    Sri Lanka currently is better side in all three formats , main reason is they rely on both senior and junior players , not on just juniors , how can juniors be trained and learned in absence of seniors , it looks very tough and difficult series for Pakistan , surely in 20 they will easily defeat Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY Albert_cambell on | December 10, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Best of luck to pakistan from a Saffa fan. I love the commitment and dedication shown by your players on the field. Never easy for a team to be competitive in international cricket after playing all their matches in neutral and away venues. Respect from a South African.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | December 10, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    This series will be a fun one to watch SL are by far our best friends in international cricket and that too after their bus was attacked at our home. SL and Pakistan are arguably the top 2 t20 teams right now. Pakistan can either go with experienced seniors or promising youngsters. Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan bowled well against Afg so those two will likely get a chance but I think Usman Khan needs to get a chance in atleast one of the t20s.

    My XI: 1.Sharjeel Khan, 2.Ahmed Shehzad, 3.Sohaib Maqsood, 4.Umar Akmal, 5.Haris Sohail, 6.Mohammad Hafeez, 7.Bilawal Bhatti/Anwar Ali, 8.Shahid Afridi, 9.Sohail Tanvir/Usman Khan, 10.Saeed Ajmal/Zulfiqar Babar, 11.Junaid Khan

    Haris Sohail definitely needs to be there instead of Amin cuz Haris' stats are far superior to Amins in every format. Although Hafeez batted good against Afg it doesn't change the fact that he should be demoted to no.6 & Sohaib promoted to no.3. Good luck to both teams

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | December 10, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Pakistan should go with just one specialist spinner as Sri-Lankans are good players of spin bowling. Hafeez and Afridi are complete spinners. If Usman Khan is to be played, he should play instead of Junaid Khan who should be kept fit for tests and ODIs. Rest of the team looks fine except Umar Amin, whose place should be given to Harris Sohail.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 10, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Good luck pakistan and srilanka I hope it will b good contest fan from pakistan

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Connecters on | December 10, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    PAKISTAN BATTING ORDER for First T20 Against Srilanka.....1-Hafeez, 2-Shahzad, 3-Sohaib, 4-Sharjeel, 5-Haris, 6-Umar, 7-Bilawal, 8-Anwar, 9-Afridi, 10-Ajmal, 11-Junaid. PAKISTAN K SHAHEEN.... ZINDABAAD

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Since its a battle of the Titans (ICC team rankings being the basis) - the stakes are bit higher than a normal T20 match. Having said that, T20 is always a good place to blood in some youth - a bit of balance is required though. SriLankan team and fans have always been kind and supportive to Pakistan and so are we, but of course in the battle ground if that will change a little between the players, it would be intriguing.

    Best of luck to the Greens and the Blues.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    usman shenwari should should be given time in 20,20 against srilanka

  • POSTED BY Htc-Android on | December 10, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    I would suggest we should play with an extra batsman tomorrow. Pakistan has a strong bowling line up. Its better to have kithruwan at No.7 in place of Seekkuge/ramith. We dont need too many bowlers in the team. We have enough depth with the bowl. Even Dilshan can bowl some part time spin. For pinch hitting we have Nuwan and Senanayake.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    love these two teams....... no matter who wins .........

  • POSTED BY Karnain on | December 10, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    T.M Dilshan, K Perera, D Chandimal, K Sangakkarra, A Matthews, K Vithanage, T Perera, R Rambukwella, N Kulasekera, S Senanayake, L Malinga.

    Hope Chandimal will bat at 3 ahead of Sanga (highly unlikely though) and young Kithruwan Vithanage makes his debut tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY Hassan2528 on | December 10, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    go pakistan, be no 1, its gona b easy for u

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    i think Usman Khan Should Get Chance On Place Of Sohail tanvir Or Bilawal Bhatti.... Bhatti is Good Bowler But Usman Khan Is Quite Impressive and Faster Then Bilawal...

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    make thisara perera bat 2 down....

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    whoever wins it will be a good practice for both teams to give some experience to their teams and being two very good t20 sides it will be a treat for spectators.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    wish both team best of luck.....

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Time to roar again Lions, But do not hunt too much coz at the other end your brother is playing.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    pakistan shoul play with 4 spinners, hafeez afridi ajmal and babar,

  • POSTED BY dayada on | December 10, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    my sl team kusal, dilshan, sangakkara, thirimanne, chandimal, mathews, thisara, prasanna, senanayake, kulasekara, malinga.

    best of luck for both teams.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    If the suggested teams are anything to go by, SL is going in with 7 bowlers, which includes Thisara and Angelo. I do not see the point of that really. Why can't they use an extra batsman instead. May be Angelo Perera, who is a more of a batsman who can bowl a bit. Either a solid batsman like Vithanage. Because once the top 4 is gone, that lower middle order look extremely vulnerable.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Pakistan should open with Ahmad and Hafeez. Umar Amin should bat at 3. Sohaib at 4, Haris at 5, Umar Akmal at 6, Afridi 7,Bilawal 8, Tanvir 9, Ajmal 10, Usman shenwari at 11, can be given chance.

  • POSTED BY Karnain on | December 10, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    I'm afraid Mr. Andrew Fernando has got SL's combination wrong. They can't take on mighty Pakistan bowling lineup with only 4 specialist batsman and one of them is the captain Dinesh Chandimal and we all know that Mahela also won't be there. So I'm pretty sure Kithruwan Vithanage (or even Thirimanne) will be selected instead of Ajantha Mendis and Ramith Rambukwella will keep the second spinners spot provided he has landed safely in UAE.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    usman may debut in the series

  • POSTED BY saeedmirzapk on | December 10, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    best of luck team pakistan

  • POSTED BY LeftBrain on | December 10, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    SHould be a good contest, Although I wish Pakistan to win this, I have a feeling it is Sri Lanka who carries more weight in head-to-head encounters lately. Will find out tomorrow though!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Ajmal will surely be in. and in place of umar amin they can pick Anwar Ali if they want another bowler but most suitable choice is Haris sohail. he is good middle order batsman. Sohail tanvir will some how make it in playing 11. Usman may not be included because he will land in UAE just few hours before match.

    1- ahmed 2- Sharjeel 3- Hafeez 4- Umar Akmal 5- Maqsood 6- Haris 7-Bhatti 8- Afridi 9- Tanvir 10- Ajmal 11-Junaid.

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | December 10, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    pakistan should play usman shinwari instead of sohail tanvir

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | December 10, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Can't wait to see our Lion cub, Kusal Perera goes off like a bazooka from the get go :P He is in a terrific touch and his every shot comes right outta the screws. I'm expecting some great fireworks tomorrow.

    In SL line-up, everyone can clear the rope easily except Mendis. Thisara, Slinga and Kula have good bowling records against Pakistan. So I'm expecting a win for Sri Lanka. (I wish all best to Pakistan too)

    LIONS LEAD THE WAY !!!!

    SL XI : Kusal / Dilly / Sanga / Chandimal / Mathews / Thisara / Kula / Prasanna / Sachi / Mendis / Slinga.

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 10, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    K Perera, T Dilshan, K Sangakkarra, D Chandimal, K Vithanage, A Matthews, T Perera, S Senanayake, S Prasanna, N Kulasekera, L Malinga.

    NO Rambukwella or thrimanne, the better. Prasanna, Sena,Kula all can bat very well.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 10, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    need to win this

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 10, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Good luck both team

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 10, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    Good luck both team

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 10, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    need to win this

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 10, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    K Perera, T Dilshan, K Sangakkarra, D Chandimal, K Vithanage, A Matthews, T Perera, S Senanayake, S Prasanna, N Kulasekera, L Malinga.

    NO Rambukwella or thrimanne, the better. Prasanna, Sena,Kula all can bat very well.

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | December 10, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Can't wait to see our Lion cub, Kusal Perera goes off like a bazooka from the get go :P He is in a terrific touch and his every shot comes right outta the screws. I'm expecting some great fireworks tomorrow.

    In SL line-up, everyone can clear the rope easily except Mendis. Thisara, Slinga and Kula have good bowling records against Pakistan. So I'm expecting a win for Sri Lanka. (I wish all best to Pakistan too)

    LIONS LEAD THE WAY !!!!

    SL XI : Kusal / Dilly / Sanga / Chandimal / Mathews / Thisara / Kula / Prasanna / Sachi / Mendis / Slinga.

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | December 10, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    pakistan should play usman shinwari instead of sohail tanvir

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Ajmal will surely be in. and in place of umar amin they can pick Anwar Ali if they want another bowler but most suitable choice is Haris sohail. he is good middle order batsman. Sohail tanvir will some how make it in playing 11. Usman may not be included because he will land in UAE just few hours before match.

    1- ahmed 2- Sharjeel 3- Hafeez 4- Umar Akmal 5- Maqsood 6- Haris 7-Bhatti 8- Afridi 9- Tanvir 10- Ajmal 11-Junaid.

  • POSTED BY LeftBrain on | December 10, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    SHould be a good contest, Although I wish Pakistan to win this, I have a feeling it is Sri Lanka who carries more weight in head-to-head encounters lately. Will find out tomorrow though!!!

  • POSTED BY saeedmirzapk on | December 10, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    best of luck team pakistan

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    usman may debut in the series

  • POSTED BY Karnain on | December 10, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    I'm afraid Mr. Andrew Fernando has got SL's combination wrong. They can't take on mighty Pakistan bowling lineup with only 4 specialist batsman and one of them is the captain Dinesh Chandimal and we all know that Mahela also won't be there. So I'm pretty sure Kithruwan Vithanage (or even Thirimanne) will be selected instead of Ajantha Mendis and Ramith Rambukwella will keep the second spinners spot provided he has landed safely in UAE.