Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, Abu Dhabi December 24, 2013

Buoyant Pakistan aim for series win

107

Match facts

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Start time 1500 local (1100 GMT)

Big picture

Following the first truly one-sided result in the tour on Sunday, Pakistan seem to have secured a marked edge in what had previously been an evenly-matched encounter. Their new advantage is down mainly to the arrival of one man.

On Sunday, Umar Gul returned from a nine-month injury layoff to provide the menace that Pakistan had lacked with the new ball, as well as control and experience with the slightly older one. Gul was not required to bowl in the death overs, but given the pace and accuracy he had achieved early on, he would likely have helped ease Pakistan's woes later in the innings as well.

Beyond Gul's own contribution, his early breakthroughs put Pakistan so far ahead of the game that Misbah-ul-Haq could reserve his best spinners until later in the innings. Saeed Ajmal didn't bowl until the 25th over and Mohammad Hafeez didn't take the ball until the 28th. This ensured a lower-order revival would be almost impossible, even for a team that bats as deep as Sri Lanka do now. Both attacks had been mediocre in the first two matches but suddenly Pakistan have discovered dynamism there. With the top order drenched in form, all parts of their ODI engine have begun to hum nicely.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, have learned some valuable lessons in the series. In a brave new ODI world where 300 is the old 250 and the mandatory Powerplay induces caution, they cannot hope to restrict the opposition without taking wickets.

Exactly how they will remedy that flaw is less certain. Nuwan Kulasekara has found more swing than any other bowler in the series but he has not bowled tightly enough to deserve a bagful. Lasith Malinga's pace has dropped significantly and he no longer seems the penetrative bowler he once was, in any case. Sri Lanka's spinners have been well-placed to attack, but Angelo Mathews has not set them fields that would spark a collapse from the opposition. In all, they have persevered with a bland, cookie-cutter strategy in the field, and cannot be surprised that Pakistan have prospered with a simple, repeated batting formula. Even the one victory Sri Lanka has scored was due mostly to a spirited effort with the bat.

Fittingly, Pakistan are now one victory away from securing the series.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: WLWLW
Sri Lanka: LWLWL

In the spotlight

With a half-century in the second match and 40 in the third, Misbah-ul-Haq has reclaimed his place atop 2013's ODI run-scorer's list - all without having reached triple figures, which each of the other batsmen in the top 10 have done. In addition to his near-superhuman consistency, Misbah has also been a fine captain in the series, setting exactly the kinds of attacking fields that Mathews could learn from. Misbah has marshaled his resources expertly too, reading his bowlers and the opposition batsmen well. If his team can complete a series win, it will be a fitting end to Misbah's ODI year.

Conversely, Dinesh Chandimal has not hit an ODI fifty in his last 17 innings. Batting at a more favourable No. 4 in this series, he has made three good starts but has still seemed far from the bright spark that hit two one-day hundreds in his first six matches. There is talk at home that he has stagnated since those early days, and if he cannot make a substantial score in either of the remaining matches, that din will only grow.

Pitch and conditions

Mathews has been fearful of dew all series, but he has finally admitted that batting first on a good batting track may not be bad move. Perhaps Sri Lanka can secure the services of Misbah's weather man, whose predictions have been correct throughout the series.

Team news

Bilawal Bhatti seems the only weak link the Pakistan attack, and there may be a case for bringing Anwar Ali in. Besides that, it is difficult to see Pakistan making changes.

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 Umar Gul, 10. Saeed Ajmal, 11. Junaid Khan

Lahiru Thirimanne remains in doubt due to a sprained right ankle. He had been replaced by Dimuth Karunaratne for the last two matches, but after Karunaratne's duck in the last match, Sri Lanka may look to give one of their young reserve batsmen a match.

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

  • After 30 innings, Dinesh Chandimal's ODI average had been 43.08 and his strike rate 78. In his 30 most recent knocks, Chandimal has averaged 21.92 with a strike rate of 67.
  • If Misbah hits 60 more runs in the next two matches, he will have had a more prolific ODI year than any batsman has managed since 2007, and the best aggregate in a non-World Cup year since 2000.

Quotes

"You have to assess the conditions and the wickets first, and then decide on the combination and what we will do first. We need to play to our strengths, but we will rethink about our strategies and go forward."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews suggests a shift in strategy may be imminent.

"The way this team is playing, all the batsmen are in form and all of them have been scoring runs, and big runs. So the confidence is high and even if you are chasing, you remain optimistic and know how to build your innings, how to pace the chase. So hopefully, we will be able to bat the same way in a chase and keep performing like this."
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has faith in his top order

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    INSHA ALLAH we will win the next match too... to end the series in confindence for the test matches.... i think and wish it will be 4-1.... best of luck for both the team.....

  • Ranjit_Perera on December 25, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    First I would like to congratulate the PAK team because they showed the winning spirit in all the departments of the game (Bowling, Batting & Fielding) and a big big hard luck for our SL team and better luck in the upcoming ODI series vs BAN & ENG.Look guys I read a lot of non sensible comments about the toss winning call of Matthews, sometimes you want him to bat and other times to bowl and at the end of the match if the result didn't go our way you guys abuse, curse and blame Matthews for his call, so please stop it now because for a strong and full-of-greats team like SL the toss should not matter at all.Anyway far from all this talk I think we 50% lost the match when Sanga-Priyanjan partnership was broken by an unlucky run-out of Sanga and the other 50% was because of our bowling department, I mean read the statistics by yourself here and it is up-to-this-date :for the last 4 ODIs played between these two teams, SL took 16 wkts and PAK took 38 wkts, you can see the difference.

  • Ranjit_Perera on December 25, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    First I would like to congratulate the PAK team because they showed the winning spirit in all the departments of the game (Bowling, Batting & Fielding) and a big big hard luck for our SL team and better luck in the upcoming ODI serieses vs BAN & ENG.Look guys I read a lot of non sensible comments about the toss winning call of Matthews, sometimes you want him to bat and other times to bowl and at the end of the result didn't go our way you abuse and curse and blame Matthews call so please stop it now because it for a strong and full-of-greats team like SL the toss should not matter at all.Away from all this talk I think we 50% lost the match when Sanga-Priyanjan partnership was broken by an unlucky run-out for Sanga and the other 50% was because of our all bowling department, I mean read the statistics up-to-this-date for the last 4 ODI played between these two teams; SL took 16 wkts and PAK took 38 wkts you all can see the difference regardless of the pitch behavior or nature.

  • shani88 on December 25, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    In my opinion Anwar Ali should have given chance in place of Bilawal Bhatti as he is not performing in last three ODI's its simply unethical not to give chance to proper players.

  • on December 25, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Pakistan have done series win pakistani every people is very well performis is good looking but misbah ul haq is not lucky

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on December 25, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1 Not in your wildest dreams its 2% Srilanka after they have won the toss and elected to bat you'll see Srilanka at there best today I think they'll win today and not to mention I am a Pakistani fan :)

  • AyaanChina on December 25, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Sri Lankan, decision about bat first is alarming especially when Pakistan was expecting to bat first in this match also

  • K5274 on December 25, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I dont know why people hate on the akmal brothers umar akmal is as good as gold for pakistan in limit formats and he can keep too.. Well some what it's just upto misbah and hafiz how they use him. Sarfraz Ahmed should be brought for tests only .. well he might be the only choice pakistan have for tests for a wicket keeper.

  • Yousufahmed1 on December 25, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Easy win for PAK on cards here. When your best bowler is Malinga who is the most unfit cricketer then what can you expect. PAK will cross 300 without breaking into sweat and rest will be history as we know how fragile SL batting is. 98% PAK win, 2% SL if they get lucky.

  • on December 25, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    sarfraz scored ton in a 1st class game not list A. So he can be considered for tests not ODIs. His list A avg is 28. But a decent 1st class record. For Odi's he is no way near the international batting level. For odi's M Rizwan is good choice. And for tests, i think sarfraz is way better than Adnan in terms of batting.

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    INSHA ALLAH we will win the next match too... to end the series in confindence for the test matches.... i think and wish it will be 4-1.... best of luck for both the team.....

  • Ranjit_Perera on December 25, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    First I would like to congratulate the PAK team because they showed the winning spirit in all the departments of the game (Bowling, Batting & Fielding) and a big big hard luck for our SL team and better luck in the upcoming ODI series vs BAN & ENG.Look guys I read a lot of non sensible comments about the toss winning call of Matthews, sometimes you want him to bat and other times to bowl and at the end of the match if the result didn't go our way you guys abuse, curse and blame Matthews for his call, so please stop it now because for a strong and full-of-greats team like SL the toss should not matter at all.Anyway far from all this talk I think we 50% lost the match when Sanga-Priyanjan partnership was broken by an unlucky run-out of Sanga and the other 50% was because of our bowling department, I mean read the statistics by yourself here and it is up-to-this-date :for the last 4 ODIs played between these two teams, SL took 16 wkts and PAK took 38 wkts, you can see the difference.

  • Ranjit_Perera on December 25, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    First I would like to congratulate the PAK team because they showed the winning spirit in all the departments of the game (Bowling, Batting & Fielding) and a big big hard luck for our SL team and better luck in the upcoming ODI serieses vs BAN & ENG.Look guys I read a lot of non sensible comments about the toss winning call of Matthews, sometimes you want him to bat and other times to bowl and at the end of the result didn't go our way you abuse and curse and blame Matthews call so please stop it now because it for a strong and full-of-greats team like SL the toss should not matter at all.Away from all this talk I think we 50% lost the match when Sanga-Priyanjan partnership was broken by an unlucky run-out for Sanga and the other 50% was because of our all bowling department, I mean read the statistics up-to-this-date for the last 4 ODI played between these two teams; SL took 16 wkts and PAK took 38 wkts you all can see the difference regardless of the pitch behavior or nature.

  • shani88 on December 25, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    In my opinion Anwar Ali should have given chance in place of Bilawal Bhatti as he is not performing in last three ODI's its simply unethical not to give chance to proper players.

  • on December 25, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Pakistan have done series win pakistani every people is very well performis is good looking but misbah ul haq is not lucky

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on December 25, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @Yousufahmed1 Not in your wildest dreams its 2% Srilanka after they have won the toss and elected to bat you'll see Srilanka at there best today I think they'll win today and not to mention I am a Pakistani fan :)

  • AyaanChina on December 25, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Sri Lankan, decision about bat first is alarming especially when Pakistan was expecting to bat first in this match also

  • K5274 on December 25, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I dont know why people hate on the akmal brothers umar akmal is as good as gold for pakistan in limit formats and he can keep too.. Well some what it's just upto misbah and hafiz how they use him. Sarfraz Ahmed should be brought for tests only .. well he might be the only choice pakistan have for tests for a wicket keeper.

  • Yousufahmed1 on December 25, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Easy win for PAK on cards here. When your best bowler is Malinga who is the most unfit cricketer then what can you expect. PAK will cross 300 without breaking into sweat and rest will be history as we know how fragile SL batting is. 98% PAK win, 2% SL if they get lucky.

  • on December 25, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    sarfraz scored ton in a 1st class game not list A. So he can be considered for tests not ODIs. His list A avg is 28. But a decent 1st class record. For Odi's he is no way near the international batting level. For odi's M Rizwan is good choice. And for tests, i think sarfraz is way better than Adnan in terms of batting.

  • Sugath on December 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    SL concern as I see not so much about bowling but about themselves. Mathews has to erase all that rust demonstrated by him in the last match and lead from front, not batting or bowling i mean, but in true leadership. Better have tactical strategies at the match stage and take one bite at a time when eating an elephant.

  • on December 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    I am scared today that Hafeez will play a selfish hand like the history suggests. Whenever Pakistan are in a commanding position going into the game, we have our below average Hafeez ruining the game. I can confidently say that this guy will not score more than 20 runs with a SR of 70, not that he can't do it, but he seems to be very narrow minded when it comes to playing for the team especially under Misbah. You may say I am hating on him, but trust me I am only saying this because I see him destroying the careers of Shoaib Maqsood, and Umar Akmal by batting at number 3, which should have been no 3 and 4 respectively to Maqsood and Umar, and plus blocking the entry of Harris Sohail. Also his attitude as a captain is degrading, never seems to be happy, an example is that regulation catch for Umar which he made a fuss about. This behavior may suit someone like Sir Imran Khan, not this fellow. Although, I am not a big Misbah fan, I don't see him being selfish at least.

  • i_golam on December 25, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    2 - 2 " THE RESULT " / hoping for the final countdown on the fifth !!

  • Sports4Youth on December 25, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    SARFRAZ Ahmed made a massive 165 from 198 deliveries against PIA. He should be brought in as Wicket Keeper for the remaining ODI and Test series.

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    @sportsforyouth and Muhammad taha ansari, Umar Akmal has to be removed from the keeping role, he is pathetic, even he himself hates it. The only reason be seems to be doing it is to safeguard his brothers spot in the team and not have it taken over by a specialist keeper. Saying that he should be replaced by Mohd. Rizwan not Sarfaraz, and focus on batting. No one is talking about dropping him, we need his batting and fielding in the circle. If Pakistan think he is going to be a long term prospect for keeping, than we are wrong. I just hope we don't lose many matches because of this act. Other than that our team looks balanced.

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    why thisara grab a chance to play every time??if he's not giving 100% ashan priyaranjan should play.

  • Resultpredictor on December 25, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Pakistan lost the match/series when they were favourites. So finger crossed and expecting SL win.

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    @sports for youth i dotn think u have enough cricet knowledge, sarfaraz even cannot able to stand cricket bat, his keeping fine, but in modern cricket he cannot select even in kenye team based on his batting skills

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    My Christmas Entertainment lined up.. feel free to drop me a line if you want to drop by and watch with me :))))

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Srli lanka will give tough time to Pakistan, in this match, They'll try thier best to Level the series.

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    @ sports for youth. I have scored a century today as well. can I be on pak team. why dont you people let youngsters settle? I really hate this. you guys wanted fawad alam and everytime I see his recent scores they are 0 10 20 then a fifty then again 0 5. same with all other names. unless u find a batsman who is as good as akmal. a gpod fielder as akmal. a good runner as akmal then forget saying about replacing him

  • on December 25, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    I think If Pakistan win the toss today they should go for bat first, they should carry on with the form they are in right now and put up score well over 250. at the same time Srilanka can put pressure by Batting first and let Pakistani side chase which is very uncomfortable position for them. Both Teams have fantastic lower order batting all rounder which will surely test the bowling. Pakistan Team should go in with the same squad Bilawal Bhatti is a good all rounder we have to give him more time to mature.

    Let the best team win today, Good Luck to both teams

  • Sports4Youth on December 25, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    SARFRAZ AHMED has just scored a fantastic Century against PIA. He is also a professional wicketkeeper. Definately better than Umar Akmal. Instead of bringing in an extra batsman like Amin/Shafiq who are useless in the limited overs games. Pakistan should bring in the specialist Keeper and U.Akmal should play as a specialist batsman. Akmal is also a great fiedler in the poinst/cover region.

    We dont get a good keeper in Akmal, and we loose a good fielder and batsman in Akmal if he keeps wickets.

  • gudmiddle on December 25, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Everyone would be correct in saying that Pakistan always lack consistency, they could polish this series off and continue the success. Or as more likely they will retain that same pattern of letters LWLWL!-

  • tao585 on December 25, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Sri Lanka would strike back today. I am expecting 2-2 after 4 matches.

  • RAIGM on December 25, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Pakistan must change the strategy today to level series 2-2 and lost in fifth ODI as we have seen in previous series. Go for win today pakistan, you can win today.

  • tallgrass on December 25, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    The toss will decide itl for sri lanka...mathews made a blunder by batting second on a dead track in the last game. Abu dhabi offers some movement off the air in the night...we saw it last time. It's a good gamble to swap Thisara with Lakmal and aim to bat first. Dimuth is a waste in this format...Kithruwan surely in his place. It's funny how Ajantha Mendis always gets a paid vacation!

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Surely Umar Gul is the difference, but its only viable when its a good score on board, Fortunately for Pakistan, they are going good with bat against Sri Lanka, so if today they go beyond 280 runs or out SL below 260 then Pak have a good chance to win this match and the series. Anwer Ali replacing Bilawal Bhatti will not be that much difference unless we see extraordinary performance like he did in his ODI debut against SA along with Bilawal. Best forthe Pakistan Team, keep it up!

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera 3 Dinesh Chandimal, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk) , 5. Angelo Mathews (capt), 6. Kithuruwan Vithanage, 7. Ashan Priyanjan 8. (Concentraiting the pitch) Ajantha Mendis/Seekkuge Prasanna/Suranga Lakmal, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10. Sachithra Senanayake, 11. Lasith Malinga This team should be played if Sri Lanka wants to win.

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    Induction of umer gul strengthen pakistani pace attack. Zulafqar should be given a chance in place of bhatti. He has same talent as saeed ajmal.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on December 25, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    @yohandf what's d point of having A Mendis playing. can he get even 5 runs and he might get one wicket with 70+ runs. i know ur's senior lover if u r in SL selection committee our ex-heros like Ranathunga,De-Silva,Mahanama,Thilankarahne,SJ still in the SL playing 11.

  • Muneer-Baig on December 25, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    I think it is a nightmare where Steyn is unable to get a wk in an inning and Hafeez is scoring back to back centuries.

  • alipk52 on December 25, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    As Pakistan is performing well these days, but they have tendency to lose a match after winning one, they really need to go out with all guns blazing, and Umar gul and Junnaid khan needs to put in yorkers at the death and they're so successful with that every time, because there are no other bowlers in the world who can bowl yorkers after yorkers consistantly without mistake, specialy Umar Gul seems a master to that, sadly, they are not executing the skills well (Junaid khan) and keep bowling length balls at the death, this is the reason why Sri Lanka chased 284 and almost chased down 322 in 1st ODI as well, come'on guys, do things which makes you the best!

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    sri lanka should consider upul tharanga for the future series, he is good batsmen at the top order and he can play long innings like sanga with healthy strike rate itz beter option

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Pakistan shuold replace bilawal with Anwar the balance is good otherwise,

    and balance is what lanka is lacking it is true that they bat till no 11 but too many allrounders, they need specialist batters and bowlers, as u can see after 4 down the batsmen are over or make it 5 with mathews but it releases pressure from bowling side, atmost 2 allrounders are enough like afridi and hafiz even hafiz is batter and afridi is a bowler. Good luck both, wanna see a nail biter with Pak win.

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    guys,still long way to go..its still 50-50 chance s for both teams.my gut feeling is tha sl will win 2 nite n then a dead rubber on friday but yeah pak seems to b a little more fav....so letz c how it goes!!!

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on December 25, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    if SL wont win this match they wan't radical change of d team. first Malinga should replace with Nuwan Pradeep who has 140+ speed. unfortunately Pradeep is not in d ODI squad. Lakmal is medium pace easy picking to Pak batters and if plays things got worst. even my favorite Cricketer Thisara should replace with medium pace all rounder like Dilhara Lokuhettige or Milinda Siriwardena.but both r not in d squad. and Dimuth should replace with Kithruwan or Ashan.but both still waiting 4 playing first game.i don't think they do give debut at all in this important match. it's like to same team will play then Kusal must play a blinder.kusal u r d only survivor of d team.anyway Congrats SL

  • JustIPL on December 25, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Pakistan's young guns have fired and suddenly batting vows are a history. Good for Pakistan with potent bowling and batting, they can beat anyone now.

  • Muneer-Baig on December 25, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    @Al Minidodo Warming Fawad Alam is the fantastic test player and he should be in the playing 11

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    go green go.....win the series..!!!love u pak team

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Guys for the comments on thisara.. Ur just right on the button... I have been trying to break my head to find a reason for Thisara's inclusion after 2 poor performances.. Doesn't lankans have a depth in their squad to rely on a poor performer??? Bring on a spinning allrounder in the team who bats more.. Of dilshan nature.. That balances the team.. Let's go back to 96' days and build team with spinners.. Have a try and check.. Please, put thisara aside for 1 match and feel the difference.. Bring a bowler who don't leak runs.. Figures like 10-0-70-2 with two wickets may look good but those two wickets are just pure batsmen faults rather than bowling talent..

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Can Pak fans offer any opinions on these players:

    1) Fawad Alam (batsman) - 28yrs

    2) Sadaf Hussain (Swing/Seam) - 24 yrs, 200 FC wickets@18

    3) Rehan Afridi (wk/batsman) - 21 yrs

    4) Mohammad Bilawal (bowling all rounder) - just 6 FC matches. Fantastic talent. ------------

    I wouldn't look too much at performances in UAE as any indication of long term success.

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Reality check for the srilankans.. If any other batsmen other than Sanga comes on after early wicket.. it's end of the match for them... It was a good experiment trying Karunaratne at No.3 but way too late.. By now, lankan selectors and captain would have made *some one* feel comfortable at that position other than Sanga.. They kept on pushing Sanga forever (even in less profile matches) and all side effects will be seen after Sanga retires.. I don't see a capable replacement for Sanga except Thirimanne.. But thirimanne cannot attack instantly to put back the pressure on bowling team which Sanga was able to do.. Chandimal with the new ball may be vulnerable.. Challenging days ahead for Lankans post Sanga..

    But have to appreciate Lankans for the move they made sending Dimuth ahead of Sanga.. Should have pushed Chandimal instead of Dimuth.. And push dilshan to his age old position of No.5 & should have sent Dimuth to the top where he plays test cricket..

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Don't forget guys...SL won this match and series is levelled.....and who knows what happens in the final.... Pakistan team should go all out and try to win this encounter.... Best of luck go greens

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 25, 2013, 5:54 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)

  • King_Ravanaa on December 25, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    VKohlitheGreat.. thanks for having so much interest on SL Cricket though you are from India :) your intention is clear buddy, we all know that. lol

  • lukecannon on December 25, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    bat first Mathews... Dont the experience duo Sanga and Dilshan give him any advice? Vithanage must play instead of Karunaratne. Chandimal should get a big score today. Fingers crossed for SL to come back strongly. Malinga and Kula must rattle the Pakistani top order for SL to be in even contentions. Malinga dropped the game when he dropped a sitter from Hafeez the other day.. I v never seen him drop like that for MI. Play for your country like you mean it. Good luck.

  • BestComment on December 25, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Recently SL cricket seems too have and on off days, one day they come up very sharp and the next day they are dismal,Chandimal and mathews needs to look for more singles and reduce the risky shots,better to use a pinch hitter early before the likes of chandimal and mathews comes to bat.TP does nt seems to have a proper role and have to consider the fact that PAK is not that good at chasing.

  • Mahaanama on December 25, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    Kusal is a game changer. So SL should give him a long term run. Tharanga might have a better average but his weakness is already exposed. It's no point giving him a change unless he can't correct his technical problems. SL should try out new batsmen like Niroshan Dickwella. Both Chandimal & Thirimanna are same type of players. At the moment Thisara is neither a bowler nor a batsman. It's impossible to see him bowling an over without giving a boundary. Since we already have too many allrounders (Mathews, Kula, Sekku, Sachitra, Dilshan etc) Thisara's place should be given to a young player like Ashan Priyanjan or Dilruwan Perera. My XI, 1)Kusal, 2)Dilshan, 3)Sanga, 4)Chandimal, 5)Dimuth/Kithruwan, 6)Mathews, 7)Ashan Priyanjan, 8)Kulasekara, 9)Sekku, 10)Sachitra, 11)Malinga

  • King_Ravanaa on December 25, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    SL definitely in a pressure cooker situation now. it is that sort of situations they came back strongly. we have witnessed the same thing in 2nd T 20 as well. also in recent tours in Aus, Sa and in Champions Trophy we have witnessed it. so it's up to men in blue to hit back with all guns blazing. this is surely going to be a thrilling contest, but win for Sri Lanka is a definite.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on December 25, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    @Kepili_Buster: If Kusal faces 30 balls he might score 40, if tharanga faces 30 balls he might score 5 or 10 and put the pressure at the others. Kusal plays the short ball way better than tharanga, his attacking can put bowlers off target. Its about time we had a aggressive opener like warner, gayle,de Kock

    Pls give Vithanage or ashan a chance both are genuine lower order batsmen who are powerful and good at rotating the strike and tonking the bowlers especially the spinners

  • yohandf on December 25, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Bowling of Sri Lanka team has to step up . Otherwise batting first or second will not make much of a difference . Fielding should be up to the standard . That is the way we can win this game . Also SL should replace Thissara with jantha mendis while Kithruwan should come in for Dimuth . Players like Thissara , Thiri or even chandimal should know that they are out of the team if dont perform . Selections should be bit more radical as there are young guys knocking the door .

  • on December 25, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    always happy to watch pakistan winning but srilanka is my second fvrt team in world of cricket soooooo best of luck to both

  • BMDeep on December 25, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Pak played wel in d last 3 matches nd if nt for sme wayward bowling nd dispirited captaincy,dey wud already have won d series by now.Hafeez is always an asset in asia and now with this form in batting,is a huge boost for Pak. IMHO,they should not get carried away by these batting performances.Nt everyday wud int crcktrs drop sitters like those.I think it wud b even better for Pak if they scored around 220-250 as they won more games than lost defending that score with their bowling.As for SL,I am sorry to say dis bt they r just hapless.1 match Sanga dont fire nd they r clueless.I also think dey packed a bunch of play and hit players and bit and pieces players lower down the order,No disrespect to Dimuth, but he is certainly not for limited ovs format.It really seem funny when Chandimal comes down the track and hit d bal straight into d hands of fielders at long. He simply doesnt hav d power to clear d fence and now is d time to concentrate more on his ground batting. I back Pak to win.

  • PeaceAlways on December 25, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Its not about how the team needs to be changed , its about how to win with the team that SL were confident when the squad was selected...To make it simple - SL needs to restrict the PAK batsmen by taking wickets..it has been the bowling and fielding that has let down the team this series...SO PULL UP UR SOCKS GUYS!

  • SR_SAJJAD on December 25, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Two Asians on Asian Soils Not many things apart Only advantage Pakistan have is Ajmal and Gul

    Lankans lacks the pace to penetrate Even Hafeez weak defence After Murali departure no wicket taking spinner has emerged in Lankan Islands

    Good Luck to Youngsters like Maqsood Sharjeel Bhatti Vithange Kausal

  • scanningmind on December 25, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Pakistan should continue playing attacking cricket . There is no doubt that Sri Lanka can turn the game in their way at any stage . They are real fighters. I agree with the analysis is that only bilawal bhatti is seem to be lightest one among all of them.Pakistan could drop him and go in the field with extra spinner like abdul rehman since has been benched for a while and Srilankan batsmen have not played him in this series so he could do the same damage what umar gul has done in 3rd ODI . besides that this XI has displayed a character so far in the series so even if they play with same XI to secure series without any experiments that not bad idea either. TOSS will play important role and if Pakistan get to chase it would be real test for them . We all that Pakistan has always been lousy chasing . I got shocked when SriLanka put Pakistan into bat first in earlier game as it was complete misjudge by SriLankan Captain . So he should take into account CHASE factor more than Dew factor.

  • on December 25, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    We need to bat first as chasing is not Pakistan's strength. Thissara's form is an issue so either we have to replace him with a bowler, but Suranga Lakmal is not good enough as a bowler. Malinga's form is a big issue since he is not taking wickets

  • on December 25, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Give an opportunity to kithuruwan vithanage. Hes a game changer. Why is SL holding him back?

  • lankan_style on December 25, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    What Lankan fans should realize is that Chandimal is playing old school cricket. He isn't suitable for MODERN one day cricket. He will obviously have a good start when he is being defensive and choosing loose balls to play, when others trying to compensate his phase and try to attack bowlers in order to chase 280+ .... Seriously , give a chance to a youngster. Stop saying SLBC is trying to bloom him into a " captain" like Mahela. Chandimal is just a overated player. Btw One or TWO CENTRURIES DONT GIVE JUSTICE to keep him in the team

  • IndianCoolGuy on December 25, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Pakistan is going to win this match and seal the series. It is far better team than Lanka. All the best Pakistan...

  • SLC-2020 on December 25, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    Kusal Perera's FAILURE RECORD: this guy has managed just 23.16 Average in 15 ODI innings..! His list-A batting average no better (28.57).!! But for the SLC selectors, this guy is good enough to eliminate an established young player like Upul Tharanaga (163 ODI innings- 5228 Runs- 33.94 Average - with 13 x100's + 28 x50's) from the squod...!!! Despite having a match winning individual score of 171 in Kingston and a 43 in his last 10 innnings.. What a shame SLC..! Kusal Perera's FAILURE RECORD in last TEN outings: 0 v New Zealand Cardiff 9 Jun 2013 ODI # 3366 6 v England The Oval 13 Jun 2013 ODI # 3370 4 v Australia The Oval 17 Jun 2013 ODI # 3374 4 v India Cardiff 20 Jun 2013 ODI # 3376 DNB v India Kingston 2 Jul 2013 ODI # 3382 2 v India Port of Spain 11 Jul 2013 ODI # 3388 9 v South Africa Colombo (RPS) 31 Jul 2013 ODI # 3401 64 v Pakistan Sharjah 18 Dec 2013 ODI # 3445 16 v Pakistan Dubai (DSC) 20 Dec 2013 ODI # 3446 7 v Pakistan Sharjah 22 De

  • on December 25, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    play with dilruwan , or randiv, senanayake unable to pressure the batsmen. why play with more allrounder it is useless. play with 5 top quality batsmen 1 batting all rounders, 2 bowling all rounders and 3 bowlers. sri lanka has lot of allrounders but it is not successful,

  • on December 25, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    Should afridi should batted up the orders .he looks he id in gud touch might get hundred and he is hungry.

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 25, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Oh so its the same old story again, SL performs badly, their fans calling for replacing the non performing set of players with a new non talented set of players. SL cricket to come out of the T20 mindset and get in some proper cricket players. Thisara Perera was supposedly the best allrounder of the world and I can clearly see all Kula, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kusal Perera etc all going his way not soon but very soon. If quitting playing T20 is all that it takes for a while, do it I say. For one last time, its of batting & bits of bowling does not make a amazing players.

  • on December 25, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    No need to make any change in this one dayer,however if you win this one also give rest to hafeez ,ajmal & afridi. try haris zulficar babar anwar ali and give chance to asad shafiq also .Don't don,t mess up with sharjee,l shoaib maqsood and bilawal otherwise they will meet the same fate as that of nasir jamshed azhar ali and umar amin

  • Lion83 on December 25, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Drop Thissara and bring a fast bowler. SL has enough batting depth even without thissara

  • shahnbej on December 25, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Only on change is needed for next match and that is Anwar should be in and Bhatti is out.

  • on December 25, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    Bilawal Bhatti is the weak link and should be replaced by a substantial contributor!

  • alamo9 on December 24, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Why wasting Anwar Ali..He earned Man of Match against SA... I believe that's not good enough for PCB... Bilawal Bhatti should be replace with Anwar Ali...

  • on December 24, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    Bilawal has performed only once in last 6-8 games, this undue favourtism to one player is uncalled for and unfair, glad dav whatmore contract will be ending soon, don't know what that guy M Akram pak bowling coach does, just waste of resources, anyone layman can see the common mistakes being repeated in bowling . Well done Misbah for scoring ample runs, definite credit due there, shame most of his knocks have not resulted in favourable result for pak.

    Good to see pak scoring 300 after long time, above all pak needs to show consistency now and string winning performances together rather than rare big wins. All the best for tomorrow's game, inshallah pak will win

  • greenluv on December 24, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    if Pak win this game they should rest gul, junaid , bhatti, hafeez and if possible afridi and give the chance to rest of youngsters .

  • on December 24, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    really happy for Misbah.he has been in supar hot form through out the year.tommorow Pakistan will surely secure the series..Inshallah

  • on December 24, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    After ages we have seen this depth , talent and performance by Paksitani batsmen. Everyone is doing an exceptional job( Bowlers too. ). Sincere congrats to the whole team and especially Misbah . Just don't look back now and carry this confidence forever. Everything will fall in place as we give the right people the right opportunity. Time to shine.

  • K5274 on December 24, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    I think with umar gul back in the team pakistan need to give anwar ali and Batthi more chances more they play better for them with the help and expericence of umar gul they should not be afraid to try out anything new . If pakistan win the series tomorrow I think for the last odi they Should pick a squad with young players and maybe squeeze in afridi, gul and haffez/misbah there. With Asia cup around the corner and the talent pakistan has I think every player should have someone waiting to snatch there number from them 1-11.

  • on December 24, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    SL has no chance to topple PAK in this series with an inferior and struggling pace attack, poor fielding(PAK fielding is superior in this series) and a bunch of listless and under performing youngters, who do not seem to have a game plan to suit the occasion. PAK ZINDABAD!

  • on December 24, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    have to agree with you Trueindian4ever.

  • rezauk on December 24, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Have to agree with Ahmedpakistan6 No need to drop Maqsood or any other youngster. We have to give full series to youngsters to know how good they are.We should rest Mohammad Hafeez and give chance to Haris Sohail. However Maqsood must realise that wickets are valuable. Good batsmen score highly but pull/cut rolling wrists so the ball reaches the boudary quicker.Also top batsmen are fully aware of field placings and therefore adjust shot making to find the gaps be it singles/two's etc. Also need to use soft hands to pick up singles against the quicks. Finally not every ball has to be struck with pace. What's better a fully struck shot straight at deep cover for a single or a caressed 2 forcing the fielder to sprint in. At the end of the day you only learn from experirnce. looking forward to the big tournaments we need 6 technical batsman who look forward to taling on PACE and who are able to bat at least 30 overs at a strikje rate of 100

  • warneneverchuck on December 24, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Sl is ordinary and proved in this series. They cant win in subcontinent then wher they can? No wher I believe

  • SLMaster on December 24, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    SL team selection is fine. However, SL strategies were wrong in the games and top of that they played poor. Something SL should think about, BAT first (maybe); Malinga must bowl fast (he can), then produce yorkers and low full toss once in a while; use Dilshan for bowling; avoid bowling full toss to PAK batsmen (too many full toss went over the boundary); finally take those CATCHES. PAK did not bat well either - they were lucky Malinga dropped Hafeez.

  • on December 24, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    What Pakistani fans needs to understand is that Misbah, Hafeez, and Afridi will play till the WC15 no matter how much we oppose it unfortunately, specially Hafeez, and after that they should gracefully retire. So the best scenario for us is to make them settle in the team, on the best positions. Misbah and Afridi are okay, but Hafeez must be dropped down the order, and try to fit in Harris Sohail, for one of the non-performing players. Other than that our bowling is quite good to seal the deal, with chance of Mohd. Amir coming back as well.

  • Desihungama on December 24, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Harris Sohail will only get a chance in a dead rubber. Should SL go on to win tomorrow, forget it then. Such is the irony of thought process. I commented on the day of Bilawal's success he does not look smart to me (Bowling wise) and won't last long. Anwar Ali is more deserving. At best, you need 5 overs from him but you get a sensible bat down the order which Pakistan is severely lacking and probably the main cause of their inconsistency due to Afridi's Heckle and Jeckle form.

  • on December 24, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    sl needs lakmal in place of perera , since prasanna and senayanke can bat a bit . use kula for 6-7 overs in the start and give malinga a bit long spell in the start probaly 4 overs , y aint dilshan not bowling ?

  • Ahmedpakistan6 on December 24, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    No need to drop Maqsood or any other youngster. We have to give full series to youngsters to know how good they are.We should rest Mohammad Hafeez and give chance to Haris Sohail. We can't drop Misbah because he's about to break a massive recordand didn't get a chance to play in the series but Hafeez got chance in each game. Just how India gave rest to Tendulkar in the next game after his 200 against South Africa.

  • on December 24, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    please drop Thisara and bring another fast bowler. No need of all rounder and Thisara is neither batsman nor bowler at the movement. We don't need all rounders in ODI team.

  • on December 24, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    dear friends , two t20 and two one days were the good fight matches in which every body got hedging on both sides, but the last match was one sided, so i again suggest that a good match is coming in which we have a good hedging on both sides, so if lanka bats first just bet on lnka and then after the first innings bet on pak, then after 10 overs bet on lanka again, if lanka bats first lanka will win, and if pak bats first again , just bet on pak, but be careful again one sided match can come , bc lnkan batting is struggling, so be careful. if lanka bats first, lanka will win, and if pak batsfirst, u can do hedging, i am seeing this series 2 all,then the final decider.

  • on December 24, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Replacing Bilawal Bhatti for Anwar Ali would be a good move but replacing him with Harris Sohail wouldn't be half bad either. We have five bowlers without him already.

  • on December 24, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    if pak opner given good start then pakistan win one sided

  • mzm149 on December 24, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Pakistan should drop Sohaib Maqsood and bring in Haris Sohail in next game. If Sohaib Maqsood is to be retained, Sharjeel should be dropped, Hafeez should open with Ahmed Shehzad and Haris Sohail should come in middle order. Bhatti should be dropped and Rahman should come in his place.

  • hamza893 on December 24, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    Pakistan will take away the series quite easily due to poor bowling from SriLanka. I don't think why Malinga is overrated when he only bowls one delivery and that is yorker.He has been very expensive throughout the series.Pakistan bowling will boost with confidence with inclusion of Gul.Go Pak Go ...Grab the opportunity....The win is yours

  • on December 24, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    Well done to Misbah's men. They were boys but seem to have attained to the rank of men over the last month (barring Shezad/Dilshan incident!). A shame Bhatti couldn't continue his debut form so def a case to allow Anwar in. Would like to see Sharjeel and Sohaib weighing in with more than a few runs for the last 2 odi's. My sincerest hope as a Pakistani fan is that we don't, as has happened so often, fall from this form dramatically in the space of a few days.

  • Prabhash1985 on December 24, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Mathews seriously need to come up with strategies for every batsman in Pakistan team. He is helpless when someone gets going. You need to break the rhythm. It may be a field change, it may be a bowling change. He needs to analyse each batsman carefully. One thing I saw after 96 world cup was that Sri Lankans give up when someone is batting well. You need to bounce back strongly. Sri Lankans are good at fighting, but if someone starts hitting boundaries, it's the end of their match. Sri Lankans need to trust that they can win no matter what the conditions are. Mathews must boost the morale of the team. Try to see the big picture. Don't get panic. Come up with strategies to reach the ultimate goal. No one in the team are that young, they all are grown up people. They need to feel the responsibility in their hands. It's going to be very tough for Sri Lanka. But, if Sri Lanka can push the opponents back, and execute their strategies properly, it's not hard to win this match. All the best!

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    should remove tisara, sachithra & dimuth. thisara should replace from dilhara fernando. suraj randiv for sachithra. dimuth for another existing young player. sri lanka should play with 5 batsmen ( kusal/dilshan/chandi/sanga/ young batmen) batting all rounder( mathews) fast bowling all rounder( kulasekara) spining all rounder (prasanna - leg spin) off spiner ( randiv) fast bowler( (Malinga - yoker) dilhara ( bouncers))

  • AMUSMANI on December 24, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Very nice written article, i think anwar ali should give chance instead of bhatti. Rest are doing good job.

  • King_Ravanaa on December 24, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    step up to the challenge lions. Mathews please bat first if you won the toss. we can easily put up at least 350 with the batting line up we have, expose pakistans weak points when chasing. they were newer a great chasers. all the best to both teams, but i want my SL to win, which is we surely going to do.. Roar Lions

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    The consultancy from the men in green is very pleasing as much as surprising to see :)

  • BDrox11 on December 24, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Come on Sri Lanka you can win this. you are a talented and a brilliant team, roar back like real Lions, All the best to Mathews and Co. win the toss and bat 1 st, if you loose the toss, bowl with good stratergies, don't make ordinary batters world class, all the best men in BLue

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Good luck team Pakistan.I'd like to see Pak winning while chasing a big total.

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    With their batsman finding purple patch and a mix of quality pace and spin attack, which no other team possesses, Pakistan are slowly becoming a formidable unit.

  • TrueIndian4ever on December 24, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Why Misbah is so under rated? Imagine if he was playing SA, England or Austratlia, he would be called one of the greatest. Can someone help me understand please?

  • Saadcricketlover on December 24, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    This is the best pakistani team performance since the last 5-7 years i hope we can keep performing like this and win the 2015 worldcup and the t20 cup. We have the team to do the job. Unfortunately Bilawal bhatti hasn't been so good he needs to improve a lot. The good thing is that when M.Irfan returns our team will be awesome and dominant. This is also good practice for the Asia Cup 2014, which we can win. I would like to see anar ali the next match instead of B BHatti.

  • Mobi79 on December 24, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    It will be quite a bifitting end to the seson for MISBAH if he is able to achieve 60 runs in the next two innings , phenominal sports person who has steaded the ship in tough times for PAKISTAN and above the most consistent batsman in world cricket right now , May his purple patch continues , AMEEN

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Who is Misbah's weather man? :-)

    I think anwar should be included for Bilawal. Bhatti has speed but no line/length. and disappointing. Both anwar and bhatti are almost equal batsmen. Anwar deserved a chance after SA series.

    SL should bat 1st if they win the toss. This game is in Abu Dhabi. and wicket will be a bit different. Dew might not be much of a factor.

    I hope Misbah scores 60 runs and get this record for Pakistan. He is top scorer this year and already scored more runs for a Pakistan captain in a year. I think he need 2 big innings to break Pontings record for most runs by a captain overall.

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    i wish Pakistan give chance to Harris Sohail.. he seems to be made for international cricket but he needs to be given proper chance... only place he can take is Misbahz but Misbah is super-humanly consistent so not sure where to place him...Maqsood needs to be talked to by seniors and so should Sharjeel... .... for next series... Bhatti should be replaced by Irfan and tht would be gr8..... Praying it is the last nail in the coffin for Sohail Tanveer (the most useless bowler to play for Pakistan)

  • Karnain on December 24, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Thisa Perera has been given opportunities in this series but not firing with either bal or ball. His place must go to one of the debutantes and I think Ashan might hold the edje over Vithanage as he is more of an all-rounder. Dimuth has failed 3 successive innings now at the top and must be replaced.Is Malinga really useful these days?

  • Haz95 on December 24, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    Incredibly happy for Misbah, a well deserved performance to keep the most runs this year... I really want Haris Sohail in the squad but as you can see, out batting has clicked extremely well but I don't think this will be helpful on the longterm note since our Batsmen are lacking the technique to prove that they will be formidable opponents in Australia as Quality bowling would dismantle some of the gems here. Sharjeel, Hafeez are two main 1s. They are both very good batsmen[and bowler] but lack the technique which hopefully will improve. Umar is the only ahem in the batting but since he's the wicketkeeper, who else then?Haris Sohail has a good technique as he showed in his limited performance in West Indies, so yeah, groom him. Bowling is Pak Bowling at its best, simple really. And for the tests, well I believe there still needs to be a few changes...Bring in Sadaf Hussain for Irfan and Fawad Alam[55+ avg] is a must, especially since Younus is finishing..Also maybe H Sohail[50+ too]

  • Herath-UK on December 24, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    The team does well with their back against the wall & I'm sure Mathew & co will show a spirited fight back to win this game handsomely.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Herath-UK on December 24, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    The team does well with their back against the wall & I'm sure Mathew & co will show a spirited fight back to win this game handsomely.

  • Haz95 on December 24, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    Incredibly happy for Misbah, a well deserved performance to keep the most runs this year... I really want Haris Sohail in the squad but as you can see, out batting has clicked extremely well but I don't think this will be helpful on the longterm note since our Batsmen are lacking the technique to prove that they will be formidable opponents in Australia as Quality bowling would dismantle some of the gems here. Sharjeel, Hafeez are two main 1s. They are both very good batsmen[and bowler] but lack the technique which hopefully will improve. Umar is the only ahem in the batting but since he's the wicketkeeper, who else then?Haris Sohail has a good technique as he showed in his limited performance in West Indies, so yeah, groom him. Bowling is Pak Bowling at its best, simple really. And for the tests, well I believe there still needs to be a few changes...Bring in Sadaf Hussain for Irfan and Fawad Alam[55+ avg] is a must, especially since Younus is finishing..Also maybe H Sohail[50+ too]

  • Karnain on December 24, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Thisa Perera has been given opportunities in this series but not firing with either bal or ball. His place must go to one of the debutantes and I think Ashan might hold the edje over Vithanage as he is more of an all-rounder. Dimuth has failed 3 successive innings now at the top and must be replaced.Is Malinga really useful these days?

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    i wish Pakistan give chance to Harris Sohail.. he seems to be made for international cricket but he needs to be given proper chance... only place he can take is Misbahz but Misbah is super-humanly consistent so not sure where to place him...Maqsood needs to be talked to by seniors and so should Sharjeel... .... for next series... Bhatti should be replaced by Irfan and tht would be gr8..... Praying it is the last nail in the coffin for Sohail Tanveer (the most useless bowler to play for Pakistan)

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Who is Misbah's weather man? :-)

    I think anwar should be included for Bilawal. Bhatti has speed but no line/length. and disappointing. Both anwar and bhatti are almost equal batsmen. Anwar deserved a chance after SA series.

    SL should bat 1st if they win the toss. This game is in Abu Dhabi. and wicket will be a bit different. Dew might not be much of a factor.

    I hope Misbah scores 60 runs and get this record for Pakistan. He is top scorer this year and already scored more runs for a Pakistan captain in a year. I think he need 2 big innings to break Pontings record for most runs by a captain overall.

  • Mobi79 on December 24, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    It will be quite a bifitting end to the seson for MISBAH if he is able to achieve 60 runs in the next two innings , phenominal sports person who has steaded the ship in tough times for PAKISTAN and above the most consistent batsman in world cricket right now , May his purple patch continues , AMEEN

  • Saadcricketlover on December 24, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    This is the best pakistani team performance since the last 5-7 years i hope we can keep performing like this and win the 2015 worldcup and the t20 cup. We have the team to do the job. Unfortunately Bilawal bhatti hasn't been so good he needs to improve a lot. The good thing is that when M.Irfan returns our team will be awesome and dominant. This is also good practice for the Asia Cup 2014, which we can win. I would like to see anar ali the next match instead of B BHatti.

  • TrueIndian4ever on December 24, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Why Misbah is so under rated? Imagine if he was playing SA, England or Austratlia, he would be called one of the greatest. Can someone help me understand please?

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    With their batsman finding purple patch and a mix of quality pace and spin attack, which no other team possesses, Pakistan are slowly becoming a formidable unit.

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Good luck team Pakistan.I'd like to see Pak winning while chasing a big total.