Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Dubai December 19, 2013

Bowling the concern for both teams

86

Match facts

Friday, December 20, 2013
Start time 1500 local (1100 GMT)

Big Picture

The first ODI finished in circumstances that may have left both teams with a positive outlook for the upcoming matches. Pakistan will be buoyed by the mastery of their batsmen. Mohammad Hafeez's return to form is a valuable boost to their top order, and it was not so long ago that Ahmed Shehzad made a ton against the best pace attack around, in South Africa.

Even more heartening were Sharjeel Khan and Sohaib Maqsood's innings. Both scored briskly, but responsibly - working attack out, manipulating the field and making fine judgements as per the bowling and the pitch. So many Pakistan batsmen have burned hot in their international honeymoon only to rapidly diminish after that, so their challenge is to make good on their obvious potential in the long term.

Sri Lanka, however, will be pleased at the fight from the lower order. Seekkuge Prasanna and Sachithra Senanayake hit the highest eighth-wicket stand ever in Sharjah, reviving a chase that most would have felt was irredeemable. Prasanna, in particular, has been brought into the side with the World Twenty20 in mind and to that end, his all-round contribution on Wednesday could not have been any better. He was the most economical of Sri Lanka's bowlers - the only one to go at less than five - and he again demonstrated an affinity for big-hitting that has blossomed in his game over the last 18 months.

Somewhat surprisingly for both teams, it is the bowling that must improve for the second match. Faced with fluent batsmen on a very good batting surface, Sri Lanka's bowlers were listless and unimaginative. Their fast men attempted so many yorkers between overs 32 and 50 that Pakistan's batsmen learned to expect them and exploit the inevitable errors in length.

Pakistan's bowlers will aim to be less wayward in the second match, after having allowed indiscipline to creep in towards the later stages of Sri Lanka's innings. Their fielding too, slipped from poor to abysmal in the last hour, much to the chagrin of Misbah-ul-Haq who had warned against exactly that kind of complacency before the match. They know now that Sri Lanka are among the more dangerous teams to ease off on.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: WLWWL

 Sri Lanka: LWLWW

In the spotlight

Sharjeel's 61 at the top of the order set the tone for Pakistan, but Sohaib Maqsood's 73 from 68 was arguably the more impressive innings. Maqsood not only prevented the scoring rate from waning through the middle overs, he embellished Pakistan's advantage in an innings wrought from batting intelligence, as much as skill. He worked the field beautifully in step with Hafeez and his aggressive strokes were superbly calculated. If he can consistently play similar knocks, he will ease the middle-order burden on Misbah.

At 37 Tillakaratne Dilshan's hand-eye coordination is not what it once was. Increasingly in the past year, he has missed big shots he would have connected with in his youth, and has often struggled for timing early in his innings. He has not only overcome these challenges though, he has found something within himself that has actually increased his output. He bides his time now, but when he pounces, he does so selectively and tellingly. He had averaged 134 in the five innings before his last match, and recently, he has not allowed failures to stack up in a series. He will be desperate to fire after a mediocre 30 in game one.

Pitch and conditions

Dew did not seem to have formed at Sharjah for the first match, just as Misbah had predicted at the toss. If another batting-friendly pitch is prepared, the team batting first will again have an advantage.

Team news

It is difficult to see Pakistan making more than one change to their XI, following the victory. Junaid Khan and Bilawal Bhatti were both expensive in the last match, but Junaid was also the top wicket-taker. may come into the team for the second game at the expense of one of the above.

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

Nuwan Kulasekara's absence from Wednesday's XI remains a mystery. Over the past two years, Kulasekara has been Sri Lanka's most reliable seam bowler in limited overs cricket, and moreover, his often prodigious inswing provides and edge that no other bowler can replicate at the beginning of the innings. He is likely to return in place of Suranga Lakmal.

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

Stats and trivia

  • Shahid Afridi has more wickets (62) and 50-plus scores (8) against Sri Lanka, than he does against any other nation.
  • 2013 has comfortably been Tillakaratne Dilshan's best year by average (67.20), but his worst in terms of strike rate since 2005 - before he began opening the innings.

Quote

"It's extremely important to begin a series with a win. We know what it's like to begin a series losing too. We did that against South Africa, and we did it against Sri Lanka when we toured there last year. It is important to draw first blood, albeit in a close game. But whether you win by one run or a hundred runs it's still a win, and that was important for us."
Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 22, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    Since Umar Gul is back, I think there is no place for Tanveer in the team.

  • shahnbej on December 21, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    The solution of all problem is no Misbah and Hafiz . if both will continue we will see more turtles in teams. An example of Ahmed century in last match he was look very different thanks turtle Misbah.. Very much thank you PCB.

  • RankPace on December 20, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    JUNAID Khan should be opening the bowling for Pakistan. Because with the field restrictions on, the fielders are in catching positions, including slips. That is when he is more likely to pick up wickets.

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Bowling should not be a concern for Pakistan atleast in home like conditions. Its just that they need to play the correct combination. Obviously experiments are done in making different combinations but there should be some reasonable thinking about it. In Pakistan's case, it seems, combinations are tried out just for the sake of it.

  • usama_qamar on December 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    i think it was actually the pitch which changed the things for pakistan batting. pak's bowling is good enough but that pitch was actually something more than a cement pitch...... but still i am expecting another tight match. good luck to both the teams

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    i thing afridi 100 today and 5 wicket

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Strange to hear that bowling is a concern for Pakistani team.

  • RankPace on December 20, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    I am worried that MISBAH may make some stupid like he did in the last match against South Africa. This is one captain in the world who does not allow the team so settle down.

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    @Haiderpakawsome 1)Shazad vs Dilshan Your point is absurd. Better technique doesn't mean that he's a better player. Look at sehwag for instance. So it's Dilshan!

    2) Sharjeel vs Kusa too early to say anything about them.

    3)Hafeez vs Sanga Ok, I literally fell off the chair. Hafeez is a good player, but Sanga, no doubt is one of the Best.

    4) Maqsood vs Chandimal I'd have to say Maqsood. Chandimal doesn't have what it takes to be an international player. I bet there are many promising cricketers in the SLankan domestic circuit who can do a lot better than him.

    5)Misbah vs Mathews For me, it's Misbah. Mathews is a good player asw.

    6) Akmal vs Thrimanne I haven't seen much of Thiramanne so I'll go with Akmal. I maybe wrong

    7) Afridi vs Parera Afridi.

    8) Tanvir vs Kula Again, I LMAO. Tanvir is an Avg cricketer, he's lucky to even be in the squad.

    9) Junaid vs Malinga considering past records and current form, i'm gonna go with equal.

    10)Ajmal vs Senanayke Ajmal, No doubt.

  • auzdruck on December 20, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    I am a pakistani, and I think Hafeez is not even an average player and Kumar Sangakkara is a true legend. A modern legend. An epic player by all standards. And he is not a run accumulator AT ALL! Take a bow!

  • on December 22, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    Since Umar Gul is back, I think there is no place for Tanveer in the team.

  • shahnbej on December 21, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    The solution of all problem is no Misbah and Hafiz . if both will continue we will see more turtles in teams. An example of Ahmed century in last match he was look very different thanks turtle Misbah.. Very much thank you PCB.

  • RankPace on December 20, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    JUNAID Khan should be opening the bowling for Pakistan. Because with the field restrictions on, the fielders are in catching positions, including slips. That is when he is more likely to pick up wickets.

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Bowling should not be a concern for Pakistan atleast in home like conditions. Its just that they need to play the correct combination. Obviously experiments are done in making different combinations but there should be some reasonable thinking about it. In Pakistan's case, it seems, combinations are tried out just for the sake of it.

  • usama_qamar on December 20, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    i think it was actually the pitch which changed the things for pakistan batting. pak's bowling is good enough but that pitch was actually something more than a cement pitch...... but still i am expecting another tight match. good luck to both the teams

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    i thing afridi 100 today and 5 wicket

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Strange to hear that bowling is a concern for Pakistani team.

  • RankPace on December 20, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    I am worried that MISBAH may make some stupid like he did in the last match against South Africa. This is one captain in the world who does not allow the team so settle down.

  • on December 20, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    @Haiderpakawsome 1)Shazad vs Dilshan Your point is absurd. Better technique doesn't mean that he's a better player. Look at sehwag for instance. So it's Dilshan!

    2) Sharjeel vs Kusa too early to say anything about them.

    3)Hafeez vs Sanga Ok, I literally fell off the chair. Hafeez is a good player, but Sanga, no doubt is one of the Best.

    4) Maqsood vs Chandimal I'd have to say Maqsood. Chandimal doesn't have what it takes to be an international player. I bet there are many promising cricketers in the SLankan domestic circuit who can do a lot better than him.

    5)Misbah vs Mathews For me, it's Misbah. Mathews is a good player asw.

    6) Akmal vs Thrimanne I haven't seen much of Thiramanne so I'll go with Akmal. I maybe wrong

    7) Afridi vs Parera Afridi.

    8) Tanvir vs Kula Again, I LMAO. Tanvir is an Avg cricketer, he's lucky to even be in the squad.

    9) Junaid vs Malinga considering past records and current form, i'm gonna go with equal.

    10)Ajmal vs Senanayke Ajmal, No doubt.

  • auzdruck on December 20, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    I am a pakistani, and I think Hafeez is not even an average player and Kumar Sangakkara is a true legend. A modern legend. An epic player by all standards. And he is not a run accumulator AT ALL! Take a bow!

  • RankPace on December 20, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    I agree that people comparing HAFEEZ with the legendary SANGA is childish. May I remind you guys that just recently Hafeez has lost his place in the Test Team. Also may I remind you of the MOCKERY that STYEN heaped on Hafeez in all the matches played between them. Not in a single encounter could Hafeez defy the continues attack of STYEN GUN. And untill the previous match his place in the ODI squad of doubtful. Hafeez only managed to continued in the team because of his parttime spinning options. So please be a littile resoanable before making such expections from a mediocore player like Hafeez, that too against SANGA.

    FURTHER I AM ONLY HOPING THAT IN THIS MATCH MISBAH REPLACES TANVIR WITH ANWAR ALI. BUT FRANKLY SPEAKING I THINK MISBAH WILL DISSAPOINT US.

  • Udendra on December 20, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Lakmal is the most useless bowler in the current SL setup. Can't understand how he gets a chance.

  • Maduwantha on December 20, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    I think looking at the present composition of the team SL can give a chance to either Kithruwan or Ashen at the cost of Thirimanna or SL should send one from Thisara/Nuwan/ Prasanna/Sachithra up in the order as the pinch hitter. Otherwise Thirimanna eat more balls and it will be added presure to batsmen to follow

  • Pak_Guru on December 20, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Anwar Ali must be tried instead of Tanvir today, Pak should take it one match at a time. Umar Akmal's keeping should be watched with investigative eyes, he should be dealt with serious warning if he continuous his fumblings behind the wicket. All in all two very well matched teams. SL is brilliant on paper, Gosh!! they bat deep.

  • kysior on December 20, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    If Pak score 250+ in every match..they will win more than 90% of played matches....they bowling department have each and every answer in most of the matches. Capability to take wickets in opening spell, lower the run rate and most importantly they have death bowlers.... More boost after 2015 THE RETURN OF UPCOMING LEGEND MOHAMMED AMIR..

  • on December 20, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    goodluck to Pakistan they will definitely win this ODI.sharjeel maqsood,hafiz,afridi all will score inshallah.toss winning is important.

  • Cricket_Man on December 20, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    I don't understand why Pakistan is persisting with Sohail Tanvir. His fielding is below par, his bowling has been mediocre lately and his batting clicks once a year. Anwar Ali should play in place of him. Bhatti just needs to sort out his length, he has been bowling either too short or half-volleys. Hopefully it would be another high-scoring game today.

  • Solid_Snake on December 20, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Sports4Youth:If Misbah still doubts Junaid.then God bless him..After Irfan What we got is Junaid who is a decent Pacer far better than Tanvir. & wahab Riaz.. His Avg is so good but still he comes in and out of the team from some time now..What a bad way of shaking Junaid's confidence

  • thamindujayaweera on December 20, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    @ Haiderpakawsome what a comparison man, wow! lol

  • on December 20, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    i cant stop laughing by seeing some posts regarding the comparison of Hafeez with a living legend Sanga

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 20, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Hope it is a flat track so atleast sanga can score some runs here. Otherwise its another one of those big thrashings for SL.

  • Sahil0007 on December 20, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Please let me know where the match is? On top of your preview u have written sharjah And on the tour fixtures at the right hand side it is mentioned Dubai sports city ?

  • Falew on December 20, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    (1)Dilshan(2)Kusal(3)Sanga(4)Chandimal/Thirimanne(5)Mathews(6)Kithruwan(7)Thisara(8)Seekuge(9)Kule(10)Sachithra(11)Malinga

    SLC never understand that crisis of Chandi and Thirimanne.According to me we can't include both Chandi and Thiri to a one team.Specially with that big hitters like Thisara,Kule,Seekuge,Sachithra.We all know Chandi and Thiri usually take few time to settle on the crease.As a result of that players like Thisara,Kule gets very few balls to attack.We have Sanga,Dilshan,Mathews to anchor the innings.But can't understand how to play a ODI match with five players with 70+ strike rate.Please drop Chandi or Thiri from the team and bring a aggressive player like Kiththa,Angelo Perera...Please do that SLC.

  • TheAnalyzer on December 20, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @Haiderpakawsome: Kusal vs Sharjeel?? Ok too early to say who is better.. What you will know soon.. Sanga and hafees?? Really?? I cant stop laughing.. According to you all the pakistan players are better than SL.. We will see.. Sharjeel and maqsood are good.. But when someone starts with high perfomance,, with the time only he can go towards the low performance like naseer jamshed.. We should have a talk after the today's match..

  • TheAnalyzer on December 20, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    You guys really think hafees can be compared with sanga?? I saw some comparisons.. No comments..

  • Prema1948 on December 20, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Even if we lose few matches for the start, the positions of 37 year old Dilshan & Sangakkara should be given to youngsters. There are more than enough youngsters to replace them though the J&Ps are very much ignorant about this very fact. The Country would gain nothing in playing them too long in these positions. By the way, Ajantha Mendis has always been asked to carry water to make way for henchmen since 2011 though he has performed brilliantly in the 2011 WC and has been a bowler of rare breed that has taken four 6-wkt hauls in all forms of LO Internationals in his very short career. Just because he has failed once or twice on very slow tracks, shouldn't be a case to ignore him and create opportunities to henchmen. The J&Ps should respect him for what he has done both at Domestic and International levels, unlike some jokers that have failed 10-15 times at a stretch during their International careers. (One may verify stats at Cricinfo)

  • NextSana on December 20, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    My Team This is the best team right now.

    1. Kusal 2. Dilshan 3. Chandimal 4. Sanga 5. Mathews 6. Kithuruwan 7.Thisara 8.Kulasekara 9. Senanayake 10. Prasanna 11. Malinga

    We have to bowl as much as of Senanayake, Kulasekara and Dilshan in first 30 overs bowling second. Kula is useless in final stages with due coming into play.

  • Yousufahmed1 on December 20, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    @ Haiderpakawsome I completely agree with your comparison. But between sanga and hafeez I would say sanga is more consistent but he scores for himself, and SL never wins a match when Sanga scores but when hafeez scores Pak wins most of the times and when you add hafeez's bowling ability then he is miles ahead of sanga as a utility player coz if sanga doesn't keep then parera or chandimal can keep. And I would say chandimal should keep so he will have something to do as we know how much he contributes with his batting.

  • salman7246 on December 20, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    My eleven: 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Sohaib Maqsood, 5 Misbah ul Haq (capt), 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Bilawal Bhatti, 9 Anwar Ali, 10. Saeed Ajmal, 11. Junaid Khan

    I see a century in this match from Shehzad, Sharjeel or Sohaib. Three most promising youngesters pakistan has produced. I hope that Misbah leaves his "DEFENSIVE" approach in this match. He was nowhere in 1st match.

  • on December 20, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    Sri Lanka should replace t.perera with kuasekara. Although he might not swing it he has more control n wil do a better job when batting

  • Haider-pak-awsome on December 20, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Anyone knows if Pak whitewash SL 5-0 would they climb in ICC ranking to No 4?

  • Haider-pak-awsome on December 20, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Here is direct comparision Shehzad Vs Dilshan, Shehzad better in technique. Sharjeel Vs Kusal, Anytime Sharjeel. Hafeez Vs Sanga, equal. Maqsood vs Chandimal - No comparision. Bcoz only Maqsood is odi player. Misbah Vs Angelo, Misbah for sure. Akmal vs Thirimanne, again No comparision. Bcoz only Akmal is odi player. Shahid Vs Thisara, ofcourse Afridi. Bhatti vs Mendis / Prasanna, equal. Tanvir vs Kula, anytime Tanvir given conditions in UAE, Ajmal vs Senanayake, same like legend vs a university student. Junaid Vs Malinga, Junaid by miles. Finally Pak Vs SL, 5-0 to Pak anytime.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on December 20, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    i have to say to 2 seniors if you can't play more than 90% SR better not to play and allow youngster to play. other than Sanga 2 Specialist Wicket Keepers in our side. and Dili is too easy part time bowler 4 Pak who handle spinning well.

  • shahnbej on December 20, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I don't know Why everyone is geting worry for bowling, last match's wicket was batting Paradise and our bowlers were not mantely ready for high scoring match. My concern is not bowlers but both Pakistani captains, who are over or miss using bowlers. An example is Irfan and other is Usman, one got over used and other .......

  • SLslider on December 20, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    All we do is lose and we label ourselves LIONS. We can't play on flat tracks, we can't play on green tracks, we can't play on slow tracks. All we can do is fight. Well when your most talented batsmen are chandimal and thirrimanne then what can we expect. As a Sri Lankan I have to admit that this is the most hopeless team of SL ever but my fellow fans will still not see the reality but will come up with some new excuses. Our team losing the tag of being a dangerous team. The day has come when any team will be happy to play us to boost their ranking or to get some confident like NZ C team did, when NZ A team was comprehensively beaten by BAN but their C team won a match and could pose a fight as well. Lead the way LIONS.

  • Yousufahmed1 on December 20, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    Definition of LEGEND in Sri Lanka. Any batsman who has an average of 30 is a Legend of the game. LOL. Going by that definition every team in the world even ZIm and BAN has at least 5-6 LEGENDS in their team and top teams are carrying 8 LEGENDS every time they take the field. LOL.

  • on December 20, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    my playing 11. kusal , dilli, sanga , prassana,chandi, thiri/kithruwan, angi, tissara, sachitra, kula , mali Sl should send prassana , tissara or kula after 2 down to increase run rate in middle phase. this helps sl to put a daunting total. good luck for both teams

  • on December 20, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    mzm149, what's up with your bias against Karachi players? Every time there's talk of bringing anyone in from Karachi, you go nuts. Please get over your bias, we are all Pakistanis, and last time I checked, Karachi is a part of Pakistan; and perhaps without a doubt the premier domestic regional team. Take some time out to check records, Karachi has won 19 QeA Trophies, while Lahore has four.

  • TrueIndian4ever on December 20, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    I think pakistan should really keep playing Usman Khan as he needs to be given consistent chances so he can learn and grow.

  • Morfi on December 19, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    Id bring Anwer Ali in for Sohail Tanwir, not Bhatti. And Junaid, Ajmal shd finish 10 overs each. Maybe Hafeez and Afridi 9 each and Bhatii and Anwer 6 each. That shd be more balanced.

  • on December 19, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    Why Anwer Ali got dropped off after being man of the match in the first match he played against south Africa. he is far better bowler and batsman than sohail Tanveer .

  • on December 19, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    I don't understand what is the approach of misbah. He made his habit to ignore junaid khan and give chance to awkward bowlers like sohail tanvir n hafeez.junaid khan should be given chance to bowl in the beginning so that early breakthrough help pak.hafeez made a century but against poor bowlers who doesn't know how to trap hafeez by slightly swinging the ball. If this is form then check it against steyn. I bet he cannot reach even double figure.:-)

  • Iddy on December 19, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    @mzm149. Whilst I agree that Pakistan batting has struggled in the past, it has looked much more stronger since the inclusion firstly of Maqsood and now Sharjeel. In addition Afridi has played with more maturity in the last 3 games. As a result I believe Misbah can play with less pressure. Although Umar Akmal has looked out of form recently he has proved to be very dangerous and could regain his form. My point being Pakistan looks much better now in the batting deparment. Sharjeel and Maqsood are also capable of clearing the ropes. Just now need Irfan and Gul to join Junaid, Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez in the bowling department, then I believe it will be a well balanced and an awesome team. Thanks.

  • on December 19, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    I've said it once and i am goiing to say it again,if pakistan dont get irfan and gul back in time for the t20 wc 2014 we are going to be in trouble ! The previous match was a perfect example of how bad tanvir and bhatti were..even anwar ali isnt that good if it isnt a seaming wicket,maybe try bringing wahab back atleast he can bowl quick and pick mohammed talha who has been bowling above 145 kph in the domestic circuit.

  • CrazyforcricketIII on December 19, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Hey Guys! Stop bashing Misbah for anything and everything. We just won a match against very strong team and he was the captain. You may disagree with his tactics but still give him the credit for the win. He may have preference - who to play and he does not have to agree with your assessment every time. I thought that he gave chance to lot of new and good bowling and batting talent. He did not come to bat when he thought that other can do a better job. Over all he did well. Best of luck with the other matches too!

  • rezauk on December 19, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    I think this will be an entertaining series with no outside favourite. SL have always led from the front with changes in batting style and aren't afraid to attack the top International bowlers. I think Pakistan must let their young bowlers gain more experience. For me Umar Gul has served Pakistan well but his time has passed and hasn't contributed with ball/bat in his last 2 years. Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz also aren't consistent enough although occasionallt bat well. Talking of batting M Hafeez has plenty of abillty however he need's to bat at 6 against serious pace - it's pointless , let younger technical batsmen take on the quickies and I don't mean Jamshed. There have been some good signs with strike rotation recently however those run outs are an absolute joke (should be left for school cricket). Shhezad sums up Pakistan to a certain extent - getting out to a poor shots and then showing too much respect to the spinners allowing them to settle and panicking next over.

  • BowledYa on December 19, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    Guys, I was also wondering about Bhatti but having seen him bowl in the last match consistently delivering at over 140kph I understand his potential. He should be given more opportunity due to his talent and young age. If he develops into an all-rounder who can bowl at 140+kph and bat decently he will be a tremendous asset. Just be patient. It does no one good by testing high potentials for 3-4 matches and then dropping them. We don't have a good domestic system to develop them, so they need a longer run in the national team. Patience please!

  • BowledYa on December 19, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    @shahnbej First of all it is not just Misbah's decision but the coach and manager's as well, so please consider this fact before blaming Misbah blindly. Second, Bilawal is a very promising potential all-rounder. He consistently bowls at over 140 kph, which is very helpful, and his batting will come along hopefully. He should be given a fair chance due to his potential. Its easy to be an armchair captain but you have to think rationally.

  • nainil0683 on December 19, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    haha. Finally Pakistan's minor worry shifts to bowling after getting confident on batting.

  • shahnbej on December 19, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Misbah most loving cricketers are Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Azaz Cheema, Bilaval Bahtti, and he tried his best to make them permanent team member, but all of them fail to prove that they are better than JUNAID. In last match he preferred Bilaval over Afridi , because he wanted to give bilaval a good chance to prove himself.

  • mzm149 on December 19, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    O come on. Not Anwar Ali again. But we are in such pathetic situation that we don't have options. Bhatti is on decline. Sohail Tanvir is unreliable. Junaid Khan is being toyed with. He is neither given new ball nor his complete quota of 10 overs. Why don't we go with just 2 pacers. The kind of pitch we got in first game doesn't need bowlers anyway. We should bring in Rehman in stead of Bhatti.

  • mzm149 on December 19, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    The pitch was absolutely lifeless. That is why Pakistani batsmen made runs. Give them a competitive track and better bowlers, they will be back to "normal". They also deserve to improve their stats. LOL

  • on December 19, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    I am happy the combination sl has top order dil kusal sanga mj and perera kula seekkuge ss low order can make runs middle chandi / thirmanne not up to yet with anglo we will have batting 10.bowling malinga kalu anglo perera dil ss and seekkuge,can handle any wicket .t20 and one day world cup looking good.

  • Sports4Youth on December 19, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Posted by Solid_Snake on (December 19, 2013, 16:13 GMT) :

    Regarding your querry about Tanvir's regular selection. I think MISBAH is to be blamed for this selection. Earlier in the UAE against South Africa, we saw that for the first three (3) ODI's Misbah played W.Riaz & Tanvir ahead of JUNAID and Riaz went wilcketless in the three games. Somehow Misbah does not like Junaid it appears.

    MISBAH is also to be blamed also for the non-selection of FAWAD Alam in Test cricket inspite of having an average in excess of 50 in first class games. Misbah believes Fawad is not good for the higest level.

    .

  • hamza893 on December 19, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    there was not a huge amount of crowd in last game as we quite see at Sharjah,hope to se crowd coming in numbers.I request the fans to come in numbers and support their teams and lift their moral.With no cricket in Pakistan ,I feel the pain of not watching my team playing infront of us.Hoping that the teams start touring Pakistan again.

  • hamza893 on December 19, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    I hope Misbah again don't do something foolish by handing Hafeez the new ball.Try Junaid,Bhatti and two pacers with the new ball.We all know how much difficult Junaid made it for SA openers to face him with new ball,when he came in middle overs,he definetely go for some runs so nothing to blame him.Misbah should do some smart captaincy and make proper bowling changes.

    Afridi,how can I forget this man,my hero,he will the difference between both sides,Lala loves SL and whenever he is against this opposition you see him in confidence.I hope he continues with his form.Sohaib is a very watchful, fine,wristy and backfoot player.Sharfeel seems to be an angressive opener and we need that kind of guy. Best of Luck for both teams.Good luck.

  • Sports4Youth on December 19, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    Pakistan's bowlers bowling figures In the last 2 years:

    JUNAID K: 28 ODI'S, 52 wickets, Avg - 21.94, Eco - 5.03.

    M.IRFAN : 25 ODI'S, 39 wickets, Avg - 25.15, Eco - 4.57.

    UMAR GUL: 18 ODI'S, 18 wickets, Avg - 43.38, Eco - 5.57.

    S.TANIVR : 14 ODI'S, 12 wickets, Avg - 47.83 , Eco - 5.29.

    W. RIAZ : 17 ODI's, 10 Wickets, Avg - 66.60, Eco - 5.86.

    S. AJMAL : 46 ODI's, 84 Wickets, Avg - 20.95 , Eco - 4.2.

    S.AFRIDI : 37 ODI's, 39 Wickets, Avg - 35.51, Eco - 4.71

    M.HAFEEZ: 47 ODI's, 33 Wickets, Avg - 44.18 , Eco - 3.86

    Affter Comparing the above stats I am of the view that the pacers should be Junaid, Bhatti & Anwar. The spin attack is fine with Ajmal, Afridi & Hafeez.

  • t20cric on December 19, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    Junaid has the ability to bowl better than this like he showed in the batting friendly pitches of India against a team that thrashes everyone at home. It's just that he's been dropped very often & for no reason too, he should get to play this whole series. Tanvir is the most experienced pacer on the side but he is just far too inconsistent, if he gets consistent then Pak's fast bowling problem is basically solved. Pakistan can try Anwar Ali but they need to make sure Junaid opens bowling cuz thats when he's most lethal. I didn't get to watch the match but I though surely with Pak's bowling after posting 300+ we should win by atleast 50-60 runs. Misbah needs to think logically & let Junaid open bowling & let the most economical/wicket-taking bowler finish his 10 overs. The problem is that without Irfan we have no certain bowlers to open bowling. Pakistan's fielding was, like always horrible & we need to improve that. The suggested XI is good this time. Insha allah Pakistan will beat SL

  • t20cric on December 19, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Well this is a really strange circumstance where in 2 international matches in a row Pak's batting looked stronger than their bowling. Thankfully Hafeez played a good innings yesterday after a long time but if he can average 50+ in this series then only you can say that he has regained form in batting. Sharjeel & Sohaib looked amazing when batting & now if only Ahmed can become a little more consistent our top order will be strong enough. But I think the real problem before was the middle order. Against SA Ahmed was firing almost consistently & the tail helped us to respectable totals but the middle order didn't look to good. For Pakistan's bowling I think the spinners are very experienced & they are doing most of the work but in fast bowling we need M. Irfan & Umar Gul to make fast bowling stronger. Bilawal Bhatti is starting to disappoint as his debut was great but he gradually lost it. Junaid Khan is just low on confidence from being constantly dropped, its not a talent issue cont..

  • partnershipbreaker on December 19, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    i believe its time that sanga,mahe combo took a decision on their careers cuz both chandimal & thirimanne are struggling to cope with batting at the death & captain mathews isn't consistent enough which is a serious issue. If we go forward like this we could bid the 2015 WC goodbye if our senior players plan on playing for the 2015 WC then they should atleast change the batting order bringing chandi & thiri up the order where sanga & mahe could take the lower slots

  • pakistani06 on December 19, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    if afridi had bowled his full 10 overs sri lanka never came close to this totall what is misbah thinking

  • imranmujtaba on December 19, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    why blame bowlers - it was flat wicket. not even good for spinner - SL only ost because they showed too much respect to Saeed Ajmal (who was taken apart by tail enders) and Afridi. Hafeez once proved handy on batting wicket, now he will be in the team for another year.

  • jerryman on December 19, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    from the last game , I would like 2 changes ...for SL Kulasekera to replace Tissara Perera and maybe Vithanage could replace Thririmanne ... Also may want to send a pinch hitter like Prasanna about 3 down .. if we are getting tied down in run scoring .. Any acceleration in the middle order will not ask for a high run rate in the lower order .. keeping rr to about 6 per over for the tail may be achievable.. SL must take as many singles when the boundaries are dried up.. Looking forward to a good innings by Kusal again..

  • Karnain on December 19, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    The attitudes of both Thirimanne and Chandimal doesn't suit one day cricket at all. Not only they are so limited in stroke making, the amount of dot balls they face is not exceptable at this level. Specially with Pakistan's quality spinners they find it difficult to rotate the strike enough. SL should not use them in Sub continent pitches where most of them are flat and often produce huge totals.

  • Karnain on December 19, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    In the first ODI SL got their combination wrong as they played a batsman short. Also since SL don't have Mahela for the ODI series, they must play another genuine batsman like Kithruwan Vithanage or Ashan Priyanjan. So in that case Thisara Perera is likely to be missed out and I can't understand why the captain or management send him up the order when the situation demands? In fact SL were facing a huge loss but thanks to the brave performances of Seekkuge & Sachithra they lost by only 11 runs.

  • mensan on December 19, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    I don't know why people condemn sohail tanvir. He has played in IPL, Big Bash and SA T20. Then he played champions league. He looked good everywhere. I think he is very good limited overs bowler. He has got lot of experience bowling against high class batsmen.

  • mensan on December 19, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Bilawal Bhatti is not international class. His height is inadequate for a fast bowler. Anwar Ali should be groomed instead.

  • 3ddy on December 19, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    why on earth , would you not give new ball to Junaid Khan? this is just bad thinking from captain , junaid always take wickets with new ball , he has the best average in bowling and economy , strike rate too, our very own captain is just wasting him by giving him bowl in mid overs .

  • on December 19, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    Pakistan needs a genuine wicket keeper. Umar Akmal is making too may mistakes and he leaves too many balls especailly if the ball is pitched on the leg stump by a spinner. He is also too poor with the bat these days. Some times i observe that he is not willing to keep. Wicket keeper should be sitting while the bowl is bowled but he stands. As the board is bringing in so many young bowlers and batsmen, why not give a chance to a young wicket keeper....

  • Blade-Runner on December 19, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    I am sure that Team SL is all fired up by now after that close game yesterday and expecting 'em to come all guns blazing just like they did it in the 2nd T20 match. Dilshan needs to go after spinners from the get go. Otherwise Misbah will try to dry up runs by deploying all spin attack. Its also very important to take some calculated risks against Ajmal. I thought we gave him too much respect in the 1st game. Dilshan must force Misbah to bring to pacers by going after spinners and throwing 'em off the balance, specially Hafeez. Then Kusal can milk pacers at will.

    They can shuffle the batting order too, according to the situation. We've got many power hitters down the order and sending one of 'em at no. 4 or 5 won't be a bad idea, specially in a situation where we are falling behind the required rate.

    Bringing another spin bowling-allrounder in place of Thiri may also pay dividends.

    LIONS LEAD THE WAY !!!

  • Onlinepoet2000 on December 19, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    I predict this match would be a low-scorer. You saw it here first. To satisfy fans and to maintain the balance between bat and ball we will alternate between high scoring ODIs and low scoring ones. I think this is what the cricket boards, sponsors and ground staff would ensure from now on in 50 over games. It will be the future of ODI cricket whether we like it or not.

  • on December 19, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Seriously,Chandimaal an Thirimane are test type of players.In limited over game,other players should be looked for..and new faster bowlers including dhanajaye should be tried,malinga may be given some time out..

  • on December 19, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    i think anwar for bhatti will be only change . bhatti has been poor with ball and both anwar and bhatti are same type of batsmen . bhatti has got pace but if you arent controlling it then its no use. its mainly 2 from tanvir/ bhatti/ anwar.

    other than that i dont think they need to do anyother change. it will be same pitch so might be a bit slower than 1 st this time.

  • Zahidsaltin on December 19, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    Pakistan has the weekest fast bowling unit of the two. Bhatti and Ali are not up to the international standard.

  • on December 19, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Please, keep this Suranga Lakmal guy out of reach.. what kind of selection is this from Sanath? It is turn of Chaminda to step in and build one left arm bowler for future.. Keep this Lakmal guy out please.. He may take 1 or 2 wickets but he leaks too many runs.. This is happening from long time.. Doesn't srilanka have a better bowler than this guy? where is Nuwan Pradeep & Shaminda Eranga? May be little wayward, Eranga can extract bounce, can swing can bowl pace.. Bring him in.. Put a break to this Lakmal guy please.. Have to see some more matches to say if sekkuge can withstand in the team or not.. I think it is better for srilanks to find another batting allrounderand replace thisara perera.. Restrict thisara to onlt T20..

  • asim229 on December 19, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    By looking at Srilankan performance in the first game I feel that it will be very difficult for Pakistan to win the series if they do.Pakistan bowling is usually their strong point and batting a weak point in the last few years but looking at the way Srilankan batsmen batted against pak bowling, I don't think that they will have too much trouble against them.Also it was a good day for pak batting and its not everyday they make 300+ so if the old story repeats in the remaining matches that every player starts playing defensively around misbah and he makes a 50+ score then forget that pak can win a single game.

  • Solid_Snake on December 19, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    @Sports4Youth :I wonder why Tanvir gets chosen again & again.He is a tried and tested Failure.But still playing regularly.Most of the runs are leaked by Tanvir,He rarely gets any wicket.What's his role in the team..

  • on December 19, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Best wishes for both teams.. we can have a good show again tomorrow... well played PAK.. well played SL..

  • Sports4Youth on December 19, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    I would prefer the following team:

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

    With JUNAID opening the bowling attack. I dont like the idea of Junaid being kept to wait so long. S.TANVIR is not a wicket taker, it is not good for the team.

  • on December 19, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Pakistan should add Umar Gul to the squad given his recent form. I am not really sure why he was not selected in the first place given he is not fully fit. For the future Pakistan also need to have a proper wicket keeper instead of Umar Akmal. I would go for either Kamran Akmal or Sarfraz Ahmed. I would prefer Kamran Akmal only because he is a good attacking batsman. Umar Akmal needs to solely focus on his batting. My XI would be: 1. Sharjeel / Jamshed, 2. Shehzad, 3. Maqsood, 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Misbah, 6. Hafeez / Afridi, 7. Kamran, 8. Gul, 9. Bhatti / Anwar, 10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid.

  • Herath-UK on December 19, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Prasanna showed that he is in form & good enough to come up the order & it is all spin that throttle the runs here so I would like to bring another bowler like Ramith who could dry up runs instead of Thrimanne. This is the time to experiment ,not when all the chips down. Also Thisara should come up higher according to the match situation. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Sports4Youth on December 19, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Pakistan's bowling figures In the last 2 years:

    JUNAID K: 28 ODI'S, 52 Wickets, Avg - 21.94, Eco - 5.03.

    M.IRFAN : 25 ODI'S, 39 Wickets, Avg - 25, Eco - 4.57.

    UMAR GUL: 18 ODI'S, 18 Wickets, Avg - 43.38, Eco - 5.57.

    S.TANIVR : 14 ODI'S, 12 Wickets, Avg - 47.83 , Eco - 5.29.

    W. RIAZ : 17 ODI's, 10 Wickets, Avg - 66.60, Eco - 5.86.

    S. AJMAL : 46 ODI's, 84 Wickets, Avg - 20.95 , Eco - 4.2.

    S.AFRIDI : 37 ODI's, 39 Wickets, Avg - 35.51, Eco - 4.71

    M.HAFEEZ: 47 ODI's, 33 Wickets, Avg - 44.18 , Eco - 3.86

    After reading the above figures, I think if Pakistan pick the right team, bowling will be less of a concern for Pakistan. TANVIR's bowling has been so pathetic in the last two years in ODI matches that it will be better to bring in ANWAR ALI in his place.

    As far as batting is concerned now Pakistan look slightly more assured than before.

  • on December 19, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    best wishes for both teams

  • cricfan100 on December 19, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Sri lanka should consider replacing thirimanne with Kithruwan vithanage. Thirimanne is more suitable for test matches. It is apparent that his batting style dosen't suit his batting position. Thirimanne has very limited options to score runs. Thisara can't be considered as a batsman. Especially against an attack like pakistan thisara will be exposed very badly. Since we have seekkuge and senanayaka in the lower order I think we can play ashan priyanjana in place of thisara, adding more strength to our batting. And missing 10 overs can be completed by dilshan and mathews.

  • NextSana on December 19, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Dilshan needs to start aggressively against Hafeez so Kusal can play his shots against fast bowlers & relax Hafeez's bowling better if Dilly can take him out so both can play more fast bowling. We also have to decide the 1 down position I think if Dilshan gets out we need to send Chandimal ahead of Sanga to maintain left-right combination. So Kusal can attack Afridi and Chandi can repeat the process in other end with Hafeez. I am okay with Kusal playing dots against spinner if he can survives until faster bowlers are forced to play. We can replace Kula with Thirimanna or much better if we can replace both Thiri & Lakmal for Kithuruwan & Kulasekara. Please don't drop Thisara. Dew will be a factor in Dubai lot more than Sharjah but I am okay with us batting 1st. It will be around at 8-9 pm so we can ball good 25 overs & take some wickets before it makes an impact. Mathews has to bowl Kula out before 25th or better he can bowl a straight 10 over spell with Sachi. Both are good upfront.

  • Yousufahmedl on December 19, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    This should be a very good contest between what is no doubt the best 2 ODI teams today. I feel Ajmal will be determined to make mends for failing to take wickets yesterday. Also, Sangakkara will be dangerous as he will post a good score every 2nd or 3rd innings.

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  • Yousufahmedl on December 19, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    This should be a very good contest between what is no doubt the best 2 ODI teams today. I feel Ajmal will be determined to make mends for failing to take wickets yesterday. Also, Sangakkara will be dangerous as he will post a good score every 2nd or 3rd innings.

  • NextSana on December 19, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    Dilshan needs to start aggressively against Hafeez so Kusal can play his shots against fast bowlers & relax Hafeez's bowling better if Dilly can take him out so both can play more fast bowling. We also have to decide the 1 down position I think if Dilshan gets out we need to send Chandimal ahead of Sanga to maintain left-right combination. So Kusal can attack Afridi and Chandi can repeat the process in other end with Hafeez. I am okay with Kusal playing dots against spinner if he can survives until faster bowlers are forced to play. We can replace Kula with Thirimanna or much better if we can replace both Thiri & Lakmal for Kithuruwan & Kulasekara. Please don't drop Thisara. Dew will be a factor in Dubai lot more than Sharjah but I am okay with us batting 1st. It will be around at 8-9 pm so we can ball good 25 overs & take some wickets before it makes an impact. Mathews has to bowl Kula out before 25th or better he can bowl a straight 10 over spell with Sachi. Both are good upfront.

  • cricfan100 on December 19, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Sri lanka should consider replacing thirimanne with Kithruwan vithanage. Thirimanne is more suitable for test matches. It is apparent that his batting style dosen't suit his batting position. Thirimanne has very limited options to score runs. Thisara can't be considered as a batsman. Especially against an attack like pakistan thisara will be exposed very badly. Since we have seekkuge and senanayaka in the lower order I think we can play ashan priyanjana in place of thisara, adding more strength to our batting. And missing 10 overs can be completed by dilshan and mathews.

  • on December 19, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    best wishes for both teams

  • Sports4Youth on December 19, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Pakistan's bowling figures In the last 2 years:

    JUNAID K: 28 ODI'S, 52 Wickets, Avg - 21.94, Eco - 5.03.

    M.IRFAN : 25 ODI'S, 39 Wickets, Avg - 25, Eco - 4.57.

    UMAR GUL: 18 ODI'S, 18 Wickets, Avg - 43.38, Eco - 5.57.

    S.TANIVR : 14 ODI'S, 12 Wickets, Avg - 47.83 , Eco - 5.29.

    W. RIAZ : 17 ODI's, 10 Wickets, Avg - 66.60, Eco - 5.86.

    S. AJMAL : 46 ODI's, 84 Wickets, Avg - 20.95 , Eco - 4.2.

    S.AFRIDI : 37 ODI's, 39 Wickets, Avg - 35.51, Eco - 4.71

    M.HAFEEZ: 47 ODI's, 33 Wickets, Avg - 44.18 , Eco - 3.86

    After reading the above figures, I think if Pakistan pick the right team, bowling will be less of a concern for Pakistan. TANVIR's bowling has been so pathetic in the last two years in ODI matches that it will be better to bring in ANWAR ALI in his place.

    As far as batting is concerned now Pakistan look slightly more assured than before.

  • Herath-UK on December 19, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Prasanna showed that he is in form & good enough to come up the order & it is all spin that throttle the runs here so I would like to bring another bowler like Ramith who could dry up runs instead of Thrimanne. This is the time to experiment ,not when all the chips down. Also Thisara should come up higher according to the match situation. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • on December 19, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Pakistan should add Umar Gul to the squad given his recent form. I am not really sure why he was not selected in the first place given he is not fully fit. For the future Pakistan also need to have a proper wicket keeper instead of Umar Akmal. I would go for either Kamran Akmal or Sarfraz Ahmed. I would prefer Kamran Akmal only because he is a good attacking batsman. Umar Akmal needs to solely focus on his batting. My XI would be: 1. Sharjeel / Jamshed, 2. Shehzad, 3. Maqsood, 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Misbah, 6. Hafeez / Afridi, 7. Kamran, 8. Gul, 9. Bhatti / Anwar, 10. Ajmal, 11. Junaid.

  • Sports4Youth on December 19, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    I would prefer the following team:

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

    With JUNAID opening the bowling attack. I dont like the idea of Junaid being kept to wait so long. S.TANVIR is not a wicket taker, it is not good for the team.

  • on December 19, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Best wishes for both teams.. we can have a good show again tomorrow... well played PAK.. well played SL..

  • Solid_Snake on December 19, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    @Sports4Youth :I wonder why Tanvir gets chosen again & again.He is a tried and tested Failure.But still playing regularly.Most of the runs are leaked by Tanvir,He rarely gets any wicket.What's his role in the team..