Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Sharjah December 21, 2013

Battered attacks under scanner

42

Match facts

Sunday, December 22
Start time 1500 (1100 GMT)

Big Picture

Two matches into the series, there is little to pick between the sides. As clashes between these two often go, the cricket has been as entertaining as it has been tense. Both innings in the last match ebbed, flowed, stagnated and resurged. In the end, Angelo Mathews' mettle was the difference.

Two largely new trends have also emerged. Pakistan have been adept at constructing one-day innings. Since the new rules only allowing four men outside the 30-yard circle was introduced last year, teams have increasingly adopted circumspection early on, confident that boundaries would flow later on. Neither Pakistan nor Sri Lanka had been quick to embrace this strategy but, in this series so far, there have been extended periods when they have not pursued big shots.

Given Pakistan have produced two centurions already and have put up commanding totals as a result, the shift in approach appears a fruitful one, for now.

Sri Lanka have also discovered that they now bat deeper than they probably ever have in ODIs. Seekkuge Prasanna's reintroduction has added dynamism to the lower-order batting and provided another potential pinch-hitter. Nuwan Kulasekara's batting has also blossomed over the last 18 months, to the extent that he his nearing allrounder territory. And Sachithra Senanayake's touch and temperament have been telling. Given even No. 11 Lasith Malinga has an ODI fifty, the seniors at the top of the order have had their burden eased.

Again it was the bowling that let each captain down in the second match. Pakistan caught a huge break when they ran both Sri Lanka's opening batsmen out but their spinners could not consolidate that position as well as Misbah-ul-Haq might have hoped. If it wasn't for Junaid Khan's intensity through the middle overs, Sri Lanka would have chased the biggest total ever at the stadium with ease.

Sri Lanka were perhaps even more toothless with the ball. There was not much turn off the surface, but even their top spin bowler, Senanayake, bowled most of his overs around the wicket - which turned out to be a decent way to keep the boundaries down, but did not create chances. Given it is a discipline that both teams pride themselves on in ODIs, coaches and team management will search for quick solutions before their attacks deteriorate further.

Form guide

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


Sri Lanka: WLWLW

In the spotlight

Given Nuwan Kulasekara's contributions to Friday's victory, the decision to drop him for the Sharjah ODI seems even more boneheaded. For the past year he has been more valuable to the team than Lasith Malinga. Not only is he more consistent, he is secure in the field (two World Cup finals drops aside), and one of the cleanest hitters in the team once he gets his eye in. He was far from his accurate best in the opening overs of the last match but the inswing he induced prompted caution from the opposition and he was decent towards the death as well. He will hope team management does not lapse into flawed logic again, as the action returns to Sharjah.

Forget Pakistan, Junaid Khan is one of the finest fast-bowling talents anywhere. At a time when ODI totals are increasing and bowlers are having their figures drummed into the dirt, Junaid averages 22.93 after 39 matches - a far superior average to Dale Steyn, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, for instance. He bowled a series of cracking balls in an already terrific spell to waylay Sri Lanka's middle order on Friday, but the men around him in the attack could not provide adequate support. If he can maintain his rhythm for the remainder of the series and into the Tests, he will improve his already burgeoning reputation.

Pitch and conditions

Sri Lanka have been fearful of bowling second so far in the series, because they have expected dew to form. While it did hamper them in the Twenty20s, it has not so far been a major issue in the ODIs.

Team news

Sohail Tanvir has been mediocre in the last two matches, and Pakistan may consider bringing in Anwar Ali as a replacement. They are almost certain to leave the firing top order untouched.

Pakistan (probable): 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 Sohail Tanvir/Anwar Ali, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Lahiru Thirimanne's sprained right ankle will definitely rule him out of Sunday's match, but Thisara Perera and Mathews have recovered sufficiently from the niggles that ailed them. Dimuth Karunaratne could again take Thirimanne's spot, but there are two other youngsters - Ashan Priyanjan and Kithuruwan Vithanage, who may also be in the reckoning.

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

Stats and trivia

  • Kulasekara has eight more wickets than Malinga this year, at an average of 25.33 to Malinga's 30.02. Kulasekara's economy rate is also significantly better at 4.64 to Malinga's 5.34.
  • Junaid has taken three wickets in each of his last four limited-overs internationals - three ODIs and a Twenty20.

Quotes

"It was good to see our top order getting big scores - that has been much needed for our team. It's normally the biggest problem for us, but I'm really happy with the way it's been going."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has a reason to be cheerful

"Against Pakistan, the game is never over - you have to fight till the last ball is bowled, and we did that. With the bowling attack that Pakistan have, we have to fight all the time and we have to stay positive. We can't give the chance, because they will knock us down."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews knows the enemy

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • yorkslanka on December 22, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    As a cricket fan, great to see Gul back, as a Sri Lankan, not so great for us as the guy is classs !! Hoping for a Sri Lanka win but good luck to both teams as Pakistan are our cricketing brothers and the bond between our two countries will always be strong.. @the couple of trolls on here, enjoy talking to yourself as no one is rising to your baiting comments!!

  • on December 22, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    I think only change required in bowling is replacement of Sohail Tanveer with Umer Gull. Also bring Ajmal early in the power play to have early break through.

  • on December 22, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Pakistan lost their 2nd match because of Tanvir's bad bowling, he must be dropped and replace with gul. On the other hand instead of Bhatti we should give one chance to Anwar Ali. Anwar Ali is sensible bowler. Umar Akmal should be at no.3. Good Luck PK TEAM.

  • on December 22, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Good News Gul is back now Tanvir should be dropped in today's match and Bhatti should be replaced with Anwar Ali.Umar akmal shoul bat at no.3. Best of Luck Pak Team.

  • Abdul_Rehman_Shakir on December 22, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Cricket is winning in this series. Positive cricket from both sides. Love u Both teams..

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 22, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    The irony between the two sides playing this series is that; Pakistani cricketers (Specially bowlers), sadly, who we would love to have playing for different teams in IPL are not allowed to play and SL cricketers, inspite of being available and associated with different teams dont get a chance to make it to the playing XI because they are club level. (KJP for RR, TMD for MI, AM for PWI and KS for i guess SRH)

  • ICCexpert.... on December 22, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Gul has to replace Tanvir

  • akiW on December 22, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    My Sri Lankan team for this match

    1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Chandimal 4.Sanga 5.Vithanage 6.Mathews 7.Ashan 8.Kula 9.Prasanna 10.Sachithra 11.Malinga

  • NextSana on December 22, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    @Dharanidhar Chatrathy & Ramsmiley

    We have to maintain left-right combo against Pak. We can send Chandimal ahead of Sanga if Dilshan gets out. Then attacking Hafeez/Ajmal and Afridi will be much easier. I don't think we need to experiment Dimuth up in the order maybe in the last match after wining the series. I thought Dimuth batted dangerously in the last game and had some chances and also he is an opening batsman so no need to waste him in the middle order. He can prove himself in the upcoming test matches and also we have a Bangladesh tour to experiment.

    My team:

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

  • on December 22, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Pakistan will win, if Tanveir remain out. good luck Pakistan

  • yorkslanka on December 22, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    As a cricket fan, great to see Gul back, as a Sri Lankan, not so great for us as the guy is classs !! Hoping for a Sri Lanka win but good luck to both teams as Pakistan are our cricketing brothers and the bond between our two countries will always be strong.. @the couple of trolls on here, enjoy talking to yourself as no one is rising to your baiting comments!!

  • on December 22, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    I think only change required in bowling is replacement of Sohail Tanveer with Umer Gull. Also bring Ajmal early in the power play to have early break through.

  • on December 22, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Pakistan lost their 2nd match because of Tanvir's bad bowling, he must be dropped and replace with gul. On the other hand instead of Bhatti we should give one chance to Anwar Ali. Anwar Ali is sensible bowler. Umar Akmal should be at no.3. Good Luck PK TEAM.

  • on December 22, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Good News Gul is back now Tanvir should be dropped in today's match and Bhatti should be replaced with Anwar Ali.Umar akmal shoul bat at no.3. Best of Luck Pak Team.

  • Abdul_Rehman_Shakir on December 22, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Cricket is winning in this series. Positive cricket from both sides. Love u Both teams..

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 22, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    The irony between the two sides playing this series is that; Pakistani cricketers (Specially bowlers), sadly, who we would love to have playing for different teams in IPL are not allowed to play and SL cricketers, inspite of being available and associated with different teams dont get a chance to make it to the playing XI because they are club level. (KJP for RR, TMD for MI, AM for PWI and KS for i guess SRH)

  • ICCexpert.... on December 22, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Gul has to replace Tanvir

  • akiW on December 22, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    My Sri Lankan team for this match

    1.Dilshan 2.Kusal 3.Chandimal 4.Sanga 5.Vithanage 6.Mathews 7.Ashan 8.Kula 9.Prasanna 10.Sachithra 11.Malinga

  • NextSana on December 22, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    @Dharanidhar Chatrathy & Ramsmiley

    We have to maintain left-right combo against Pak. We can send Chandimal ahead of Sanga if Dilshan gets out. Then attacking Hafeez/Ajmal and Afridi will be much easier. I don't think we need to experiment Dimuth up in the order maybe in the last match after wining the series. I thought Dimuth batted dangerously in the last game and had some chances and also he is an opening batsman so no need to waste him in the middle order. He can prove himself in the upcoming test matches and also we have a Bangladesh tour to experiment.

    My team:

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

  • on December 22, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Pakistan will win, if Tanveir remain out. good luck Pakistan

  • on December 22, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Shohail tanvir has to be drop out from Pakistan, last match because of tanvir Pakistan last the match. He been to expensive bowler from last two matches. Umer gul should replace him in last 3 matches.

  • Messa1 on December 22, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @Dharanidhar Chatrathy SL selectors have done a good job in selecting the current set of players who are in great form and playing really well so I reckon it should NOT be changed for the rest of the series and the batting order should stay the same. Vithanage can join the team during the tests and Dimuth will bat in the opening position in test series anyways.

  • on December 22, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    i think gul should play in place of tanveer

  • on December 22, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    My preferred team & preffered batting order:

    1. Dilshan/Dimuth 2. "Little Sanath" 3. Chandimal 4. Sangakkara 5. Mathews 6. Vithanage 7. Kulasekara 8. Thisara/Ashan 9. Senanayake 10. Prasanna 11. Malinga

    Push in the youngsters in this very important match. Make them struggle and build the team for future.. Push Sangakkara down the order and give more responsibility to youngsters..

    Can anyone answer me.. How is Ashan Priyanjan? How about Ramuth rambukwella? I have seen this Ramith bowling well in T20 but dropping a catch in the covers later.. But he seems talented.. What happened to Bhanuka Rajapksa?? He is not in picture these days? He was projected as future prospect those days!!! I have heard few names like V perera, Fernando .. why are they not getting chance???

  • on December 22, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    @NextSana - Dimuth played sensibly man.. He seems to have potential.. Let him keep his place.. Given Dilshan a break and let's test Kithuruwan.. If Thirimanne is fine, my vote is for Thirimanne..

    @Samitha Suranjan Dharmasiri - i don't agree mate.. Thirimanne now has enough experience to handle things.. we haven't seem him getting out to rash shots like others.. He is good brother in long term..

    @Ramsmiley perfect mate.. I completely support you.... People are saying Thrirmanne & Chandimal are struggling at 4 & 5.. Why don't they push Sanga back and allow these guys to take control at 3 & 4??? doesn't cause any harm i feel.. Hope, Coach and captain are reading this.. You are on the spot about malinga stats

    @Neville Heethawakage No more Lakmal please.. Worst death overs bowler.. I prefer Eranga to Lakmal

  • on December 22, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    As sri lankan i think we should have change our Bowling squad for rest of the series as Pakistan did. Tharindu kawshal is the best option for me

  • on December 22, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Pakistan's problem in cricket is cronyism . Wahab Riaz is a buddy of Misbah and hewas persisted with inspite of continuing very poor performance . Similarly , Sohail Tanwir 's is a very mediocre performer and how he managed to keep his place in the Team is a big mystery . Gul was dropped because of decline in his performance . The need is for the PCB to identify and groom new talent . PCB has consistently failed to do so.

  • on December 22, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Expect another blockbuster match between two wonderful teams!!

  • Resultpredictor on December 22, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Pakistan bowling is struggling a lot, only Junaid is bowling well. SL can play Ajmal exceptionally well, so he is also struggling. Pakistan cannot win series with one bowler in form, so SL will win both ODIs and TEST series as well. Without Mahela and Herath SL is playing wonderful cricket. Credits goes to SL.

  • on December 22, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    For a change, pakistan should give the new ball to two pacers maybe junaid and bilawal and see how it works out. Give junaid just 2-3 overs early on and see if he can break through.

  • Sinhaya on December 22, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    I am sure the game tonight will be a hell of a thriller. As far as the T20s were concerned, no doubt Lankan bowling was better as they managed to take more Pakistani wickets. As far as ODIs have proven so far, Pakistani bowling is far better as Pakistanis only lost 9 wickets and Lankans lost 18 wickets and that is whopping. So Lankan bowling remains a cause for concern as of now. Especially pace attack is worrisome with Malinga conceding runs. Sri Lanka should drop Malinga but I doubt if it will happen. Pakistan should replace Tanvir going by current form.

    I still feel Pakistan will win 3-2 as their confidence is high after beating SA 2-1 in SA. However, Lankans too are high after winning the 2nd ODI and achieving the most successful run chase at the DSC. Whoever who wins tonight will be the favorites to win the series. Sanga dropping down the order is smart as we lost the 1st ODI due to his slow scoring. Seekkuge coming at no. 3 is a worthy gamble.

  • on December 22, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    Misbah did not use their bowler rightly..see he dhoni and AB does in odis

  • CricketFever11 on December 22, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    It has been a cracker of a series.....................

  • shahnbej on December 21, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Misbah every move in game is so predictable that we at home know what comes next. So such a poor captaincy we can win matches. We definitely need an aggressive and unpredictable Captain who leaves everyone guessing condition. And that's only one Afridi.

  • Ramsmiley on December 21, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    I think Malinga`s stats are misleading.He conceded 70 odd runs but he bowled most of his overs after 35th..At death overs conceding 7 rpo is amazing these days as teams are expected to score at around 10 rpo wor above with wickets in hand..His overall economy is 5.14 thats unbelievable for a bowler who bowl almost all his overs at death or in power play

  • MrKessel on December 21, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    I agree with Stark62 & furthermore Sadaf Hussain currently owns a spot on top 100 bowling averages of all time in First Cricket cricket (1825-2013). What is even more impressive is the fact that he is the only Pakistani bowler which is quite a feat when you look at history of world class bowlers & Pakistan.

  • Sports4Youth on December 21, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Pakistan's bowling figures In the last 2 years:

    JUNAID K: 29 ODI'S, 55 wickets, Avg - 21.69, Eco - 5.04.

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

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

    S.TANIVR : 15 ODI'S, 12 wickets, Avg - 52.66 , Eco - 5.37.

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

    S. AJMAL : 47 ODI's, 85 Wickets, Avg - 21.22 , Eco - 4.21.

    S.AFRIDI : 38 ODI's, 41 Wickets, Avg - 34.90, Eco - 4.78

    M.HAFEEZ: 48 ODI's, 33 Wickets, Avg - 45.36 , Eco - 3.88

    AFTER LOOKING AT THE STATS ABOVE I WONDER HOW MUCH DIFFERENT IS GUL GOING TO BE FROM TANVIR?

  • AmmarRajar on December 21, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Hope Gul is included in the team...Bhati havnt impressed after his 1st game against Sa..he is not taking wickets...Irfan Gul Junaid will make agreat combo

  • on December 21, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    1 change is must and that is sohail should be dropped for anwar or umar gul. bhatti has also not did well after SA series. those yorkers he bowled were not seen yet. trying to bowl too much short.

    they might make 2 changes of anwar and gul for bhatti and tanvir.

    it will be in sharjha. 1st odi wicket was flat. and dew was also a factor. plus SL has deep batting line up. 10 can bat and hit good with no11 malinga has also got a 50 in odis. pak have to consider these factors.

    so far in 2nd t20 and both odis , pak bolwers gave away over 10 rpo in last 10 overs. need to control that.

    hopefully sohail will be dropped permanently now. irfan, umar gul junaid, bhatti and anwar are enough to choose from.

  • on December 21, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    malinge bowl 75% yokers last two game gave away over 55 runs each innings got only 3wickets .his yokers not bring him results to his liking .if this goes on next two years how effective he going to be.on plus side he very effective in aus land,next wc we have have erange and nuvan predeep and luckmal

  • on December 21, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Kulasekera is getting to be a good allrounder, but as the writer has said, the two dropped catches in two World Cup finals (ODI and 20/20) continue to haunt his fans. Kula needs to take the extra step not to become anxious or nervous in critical games like in finals of major tournaments.

  • Amjad.Khan on December 21, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Great words by Mathews !!!

  • Stark62 on December 21, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Umar Gul is coming to the UAE but I would have liked have to seen Ehsan or Sadaf being called up instead, although we won't be needing to see Tanvir again (hopefully).

    Sadaf Hussain especially would have been a great call up because his domestic record is phenomenal and out of this world, plus he swings the ball in both directions and I would have liked to have seen his skills being tested on these duds.

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

    Thirimanne is a quality player those who bash him are people who want 7 tissara Perera type players in the batting line up..He should play as soon as he get fit..If he isn`t fit a middle order batsman should replace him..If Dimuth is playing he should bat at no 3 ..Chandimal shoud bat at 4 .

  • Sports4Youth on December 21, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    In 2013 Saeed Ajmal is the leading wicket taker in ODI's with 54 wickets @ 21.27.

    Junaid Khan is the leading wicket taker among pacemen with 45 wickets @ 22.28.

    Thease two guys are supported by Afridi, Hafees and Bhatti having good pace. Who says Pakistani bowling is not delivering. I say Misbah is not managing the bowlers well enough to get the desired results. Let Junaid open the attack with Bilawal or Anwer and they will provide breaktroughs early in the innings. BELOW ARE THE BOWLING STATS FOR 2013.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?class=2;id=2013;type=year

    .

  • Sports4Youth on December 21, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    I just hope that atleast now MISBAH drops S.TANVIR and brings in ANWAR ALI. It is difficult to comprehend why MISBAH is placing so much trust on TANVIR. Also he bats once in a couple of years, he has never won a match for pakistan with the bat. In the last 2 years Tanvir has played 15 ODI'S and taken 12 wickets @ avg 52.66. He is not a wicket taker for 50 over games. At the best he is an ok T20 bowler. Even in the SA series in the first 3 ODI's Misbah played Tanvir & Wahab ahead of Junaid. What a folly. If Misbah still persists with him, he will surely loose the next game also. Time to forget the failed oldies and move on to younsters like ANWAR ALI & BILAWAL BHATTI. When MOHAMMED IRFAN return from his injury, he can for the most potent fast bowling pair with JUNAID KHAN.

  • on December 21, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Although Umar Gul is back he might not be ready for next game and should not be risked. Sohail Tanvir should be dropped. For 3rd ODI pakistan should play Junaid, Bilawal and Anwar. For 4th ODI Gul should come in for either Anwar or Bilawal. Pakistan should also consider resting Junaid for a game, ahead of test series don't want him getting hurt like Irfan.

  • on December 21, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Pakistan just need umar akmal to bat at no. 4. No one can accelerate run rate quicker than him. Zulfiqar babar and Anwar Ali should be included in place of bhatti and tanvir.

  • shahnbej on December 21, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Return of Gul is not good news i think in home series we should try youngsters. If PCB send Usman , Talha, or Adil that was considered a good news because one of them should polished for near future.

  • on December 21, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka is very lucky to have Thirimanna injured . He always mess up the match while he is batting . Last few months selectors spent more time to find a place to bat him rather than find batsman for middle order .

  • NextSana on December 21, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    We have to bat first rather than putting Pak into bat. They are vulnerable chasing any target under lights. So with our batting line up we can easily score 300+ and bat them out of the match reagardless of 'due' present or not. Like the last ODI Dilshan needs to attack Hafeez so Kusal can thrash the faster bowlers. He is the best player of fast bowling in the team.

    We should have easily won the last match but those two runouts almost took the match away and please Sanga don't get mad after scoring a 50. This should be Kusal's and Thisara's game but I hope we get a good opening partnership. I would like to see Kithuruwan instead of Dimuth and also I hope Thiri is fine. He is a great fielder and hope he can come back hard in test matches.

    Our plot not giving wickets to Ajmal working really well. We should continue to take singles and rotate strike against him and attack faster bowlers and other two spinners. Good luck! Sri Lanka.

  • hamza893 on December 21, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Forget about all the story mates because Umar Gul (Guldozer) is back.WoW that is indeed the most happy news of the day that he is back for the ODI series,hopeful that he will be in the Test Squad.Junaid badly needed his experience and now I would say Pakistan will be back into the bowling form.Fasten your seats mate as Pakistan will wrap this match easily.Best of Luck Pak Team from a die hard fan.

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  • hamza893 on December 21, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Forget about all the story mates because Umar Gul (Guldozer) is back.WoW that is indeed the most happy news of the day that he is back for the ODI series,hopeful that he will be in the Test Squad.Junaid badly needed his experience and now I would say Pakistan will be back into the bowling form.Fasten your seats mate as Pakistan will wrap this match easily.Best of Luck Pak Team from a die hard fan.

  • NextSana on December 21, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    We have to bat first rather than putting Pak into bat. They are vulnerable chasing any target under lights. So with our batting line up we can easily score 300+ and bat them out of the match reagardless of 'due' present or not. Like the last ODI Dilshan needs to attack Hafeez so Kusal can thrash the faster bowlers. He is the best player of fast bowling in the team.

    We should have easily won the last match but those two runouts almost took the match away and please Sanga don't get mad after scoring a 50. This should be Kusal's and Thisara's game but I hope we get a good opening partnership. I would like to see Kithuruwan instead of Dimuth and also I hope Thiri is fine. He is a great fielder and hope he can come back hard in test matches.

    Our plot not giving wickets to Ajmal working really well. We should continue to take singles and rotate strike against him and attack faster bowlers and other two spinners. Good luck! Sri Lanka.

  • on December 21, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Sri Lanka is very lucky to have Thirimanna injured . He always mess up the match while he is batting . Last few months selectors spent more time to find a place to bat him rather than find batsman for middle order .

  • shahnbej on December 21, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Return of Gul is not good news i think in home series we should try youngsters. If PCB send Usman , Talha, or Adil that was considered a good news because one of them should polished for near future.

  • on December 21, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Pakistan just need umar akmal to bat at no. 4. No one can accelerate run rate quicker than him. Zulfiqar babar and Anwar Ali should be included in place of bhatti and tanvir.

  • on December 21, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    Although Umar Gul is back he might not be ready for next game and should not be risked. Sohail Tanvir should be dropped. For 3rd ODI pakistan should play Junaid, Bilawal and Anwar. For 4th ODI Gul should come in for either Anwar or Bilawal. Pakistan should also consider resting Junaid for a game, ahead of test series don't want him getting hurt like Irfan.

  • Sports4Youth on December 21, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    I just hope that atleast now MISBAH drops S.TANVIR and brings in ANWAR ALI. It is difficult to comprehend why MISBAH is placing so much trust on TANVIR. Also he bats once in a couple of years, he has never won a match for pakistan with the bat. In the last 2 years Tanvir has played 15 ODI'S and taken 12 wickets @ avg 52.66. He is not a wicket taker for 50 over games. At the best he is an ok T20 bowler. Even in the SA series in the first 3 ODI's Misbah played Tanvir & Wahab ahead of Junaid. What a folly. If Misbah still persists with him, he will surely loose the next game also. Time to forget the failed oldies and move on to younsters like ANWAR ALI & BILAWAL BHATTI. When MOHAMMED IRFAN return from his injury, he can for the most potent fast bowling pair with JUNAID KHAN.

  • Sports4Youth on December 21, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    In 2013 Saeed Ajmal is the leading wicket taker in ODI's with 54 wickets @ 21.27.

    Junaid Khan is the leading wicket taker among pacemen with 45 wickets @ 22.28.

    Thease two guys are supported by Afridi, Hafees and Bhatti having good pace. Who says Pakistani bowling is not delivering. I say Misbah is not managing the bowlers well enough to get the desired results. Let Junaid open the attack with Bilawal or Anwer and they will provide breaktroughs early in the innings. BELOW ARE THE BOWLING STATS FOR 2013.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?class=2;id=2013;type=year

    .

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

    Thirimanne is a quality player those who bash him are people who want 7 tissara Perera type players in the batting line up..He should play as soon as he get fit..If he isn`t fit a middle order batsman should replace him..If Dimuth is playing he should bat at no 3 ..Chandimal shoud bat at 4 .

  • Stark62 on December 21, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Umar Gul is coming to the UAE but I would have liked have to seen Ehsan or Sadaf being called up instead, although we won't be needing to see Tanvir again (hopefully).

    Sadaf Hussain especially would have been a great call up because his domestic record is phenomenal and out of this world, plus he swings the ball in both directions and I would have liked to have seen his skills being tested on these duds.