Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi December 26, 2013

Sri Lanka seek boost ahead of Tests

72

Match facts

Friday, December 27, 2013
Start time 1500 local (1100 GMT)

Big Picture

A series that at one stage seemed competitive has all of a sudden begun to feel like a one-sided one. Pakistan have been terrific with the bat all series before reclaiming their prowess with the ball, while Sri Lanka have allowed all areas of their game to slip. An eight-wicket drubbing to follow a 113-run loss does not bode well for the visitors in the final match.

On Christmas Day, Sri Lanka were ailed by largely the same issues that have troubled them in the previous matches. The attack lacked confidence and penetration as Lasith Malinga went wicketless for the second time in the series and Nuwan Kulasekara was uncharacteristically wayward. Rangana Herath's poise and experience has also been greatly missed, as has his indomitable spirit that has seen him script limited-overs comebacks before. Herath's replacement, Ajantha Mendis, is yet to get a game.

The batting has threatened in patches, but unlike Pakistan who have found a centurion in each match and made century stands a defining feature of their innings, Sri Lanka have not managed even one triple-figure partnership. The visitors' only win was a result of several modest contributions stacked together, but ODI history suggests piecemeal efforts only rarely result in victories. Sri Lanka need a top-order man to anchor each innings, as Mohammad Hafeez has done so prolifically for Pakistan.

Strangely for Pakistan, they have played safe, intelligent, formulaic cricket with the bat that Sri Lanka have not been able to challenge. Their attack has retained the flair that is the source of its menace. Saeed Ajmal claimed his best haul in the series in the last match, while both Umar Gul and Junaid Khan continue to bowl effective spells. If Pakistan can complete a 4-1 rout in Abu Dhabi, they will arrive in the Tests on a cloud of confidence, and will also have deflated the Sri Lanka batsmen who cross over into the longest format.

Form guide

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


Sri Lanka: LLWLW

In the spotlight

Sri Lanka do not have a Dale Steyn in their ranks, but even so, Mohammad Hafeez's turnaround in ODI form has been staggering. Having not passed 35 in his last eight ODI innings, Hafeez now averages 203.50 in the series, with 147 more runs than the second-highest scorer. Hafeez seems at peace with his rhythm at the crease, and has rarely been tested by the Sri Lanka bowlers. Given his significant contributions with the ball and in the field, he is a certainty for the Man-of-the-Series award, regardless of what happens in the final match.

Ashan Priyanjan has waited on the boundary in two series before finally making his international debut, but when he did, he made it count. Exceptional square of the wicket and off the back foot, first-match nerves did not seem to affect him as he progressed to Sri Lanka's highest score of the series - 74. If he can replicate his success in the last match, he will put significant pressure on Dinesh Chandimal, who has not hit a limited-overs half-century since January, despite playing in almost every match since then. The selectors have expressed confidence in Chandimal's talent, but if they have a superior alternative of the same age, they will not be able to justify Chandimal's inclusion for long.

Team news

Shahid Afridi has flown back to Pakistan early due to personal reasons, but in any case, Pakistan may be tempted to trial young players in the dead rubber. Seam bowler Anwar Ali has been sitting on the sidelines for the whole series, as has left-handed batsman Haris Sohail. They may get a game tomorrow if Pakistan choose to rest key Test players, with the Test series starting on Tuesday.

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

Sri Lanka will almost certainly retain Priyanjan, and perhaps Kithuruwan Vithanage as well. If the surface looks like it will be receptive to turn, legspinning allrounder Seekkuge Prasanna could return in place of either Suranga Lakmal or Kulasekara.

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

Stats and trivia

  • In addition to Hafeez' monumental series average, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sohaib Maqsood and Ahmed Shehzad all have averages exceeding 50. Sri Lanka's best average for a batsman who has played more than one innings is 40 - to Angelo Mathews.
  • Junaid has taken ten wickets in the series, Ajmal seven and Gul six. The most penetrative Sri Lankan bowlers have been Suranga Lakmal and Thisara Perera with three apiece.

    Quotes

    "I think Gul set the tone right from the start, getting wickets with the new ball, and everyone else is really bowling and batting well. A series win gives us more confidence and delight."
    Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq

    "We didn't do very well in all departments. They played good cricket and were far better than us, so they deserved to win."
    Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew-Silva on December 27, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    @ lukecannon, you can't compare Kusal Perera with a TRUE talent like SJ, who had to prove his talents in the hardest-way to get into the side and keep his place in his early days, being an outstation boy. With no significant credentials at domestic level or international level, Kusal is nowhere near SJ. Unfortunately, Looks and Hype won't make a worthwhile cricketer. Kusal's pathetic 12.5 average in 10 ODIs and his domestic level list-A average proves it! Also, if Chandimal needs to be replaced, then clearly it should be PRIYANJAN, and NOT by VITHANAGE.!

  • on December 27, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    As Pakistan already shown fantastic game spirit in series they will also close this series with memorable game In sha Allah.

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Best of luck Pakistan... and Sri lanka toooo!!!!!

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    As a Pakistani, I support my team but if there is any team that I want to see win after Pakistan has to be Sri Lanka.

    Best of luck Lankans!

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 27, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Oh, all of a sudden Kusal Janith Perera is the next Sanath Jayasuriya much like Ashan Priyanjan is the next Aravinda de Silva, Angelo matthews is the next Arjuna Ranatunga, Sachitra Senanayake is the next Muttiah Muralitharan, Dinesh Chandimal the next Roshan Mahanama, Lasith Malinga the next Chaminda Vaas... Go SL, World Cup 2015 is yours to loose from here.

  • Maanjee on December 27, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    If Sri Lankans did not lose their heart and play bravely they still better then Pakistan. Good Luck both teams for today's match.

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    vithanage and priyanjan are doing good. mattew and chandi must contribute more. i really think mahela, sanga, dili and upul taranga must play every match hereafter... specially upul.. he should be the next guy to take responsibility after top 3 retires.

  • ICCexpert.... on December 27, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    If I were Hafeez, I would let the talented youngster Harris Sohail to play todays match and rest myself. But its not me its Hafeez who wants to score against the weak Sri-Lankan side, this shows the selfish attitude of the Pak seniors towards there juniors.

  • -tanZeeEeel- on December 27, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    What a turnaround of fate for Mohammad Hafeez and Dale Steyn. Steyn has not taken wicket since more than 70 overs and Hafeez has scored 3 centuries in last 4 mataches. Some mystry in their relationship. B)

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    SL bowling certainly lacks that nip which only pace can bring about. i guess addition of chaminda eranga and nuwan pradeep would help a lot and in batting department it's up to SL juniors chandimaal and thirimanne the latter is injured so young players must perform rather than always expecting senior pros to perform!

  • Andrew-Silva on December 27, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    @ lukecannon, you can't compare Kusal Perera with a TRUE talent like SJ, who had to prove his talents in the hardest-way to get into the side and keep his place in his early days, being an outstation boy. With no significant credentials at domestic level or international level, Kusal is nowhere near SJ. Unfortunately, Looks and Hype won't make a worthwhile cricketer. Kusal's pathetic 12.5 average in 10 ODIs and his domestic level list-A average proves it! Also, if Chandimal needs to be replaced, then clearly it should be PRIYANJAN, and NOT by VITHANAGE.!

  • on December 27, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    As Pakistan already shown fantastic game spirit in series they will also close this series with memorable game In sha Allah.

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Best of luck Pakistan... and Sri lanka toooo!!!!!

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    As a Pakistani, I support my team but if there is any team that I want to see win after Pakistan has to be Sri Lanka.

    Best of luck Lankans!

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 27, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Oh, all of a sudden Kusal Janith Perera is the next Sanath Jayasuriya much like Ashan Priyanjan is the next Aravinda de Silva, Angelo matthews is the next Arjuna Ranatunga, Sachitra Senanayake is the next Muttiah Muralitharan, Dinesh Chandimal the next Roshan Mahanama, Lasith Malinga the next Chaminda Vaas... Go SL, World Cup 2015 is yours to loose from here.

  • Maanjee on December 27, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    If Sri Lankans did not lose their heart and play bravely they still better then Pakistan. Good Luck both teams for today's match.

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    vithanage and priyanjan are doing good. mattew and chandi must contribute more. i really think mahela, sanga, dili and upul taranga must play every match hereafter... specially upul.. he should be the next guy to take responsibility after top 3 retires.

  • ICCexpert.... on December 27, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    If I were Hafeez, I would let the talented youngster Harris Sohail to play todays match and rest myself. But its not me its Hafeez who wants to score against the weak Sri-Lankan side, this shows the selfish attitude of the Pak seniors towards there juniors.

  • -tanZeeEeel- on December 27, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    What a turnaround of fate for Mohammad Hafeez and Dale Steyn. Steyn has not taken wicket since more than 70 overs and Hafeez has scored 3 centuries in last 4 mataches. Some mystry in their relationship. B)

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    SL bowling certainly lacks that nip which only pace can bring about. i guess addition of chaminda eranga and nuwan pradeep would help a lot and in batting department it's up to SL juniors chandimaal and thirimanne the latter is injured so young players must perform rather than always expecting senior pros to perform!

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 27, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    SL players at the moment cant field, cant bat, cant bowl; looks like more than anything else their problem is the cricket ball in general.

  • -tanZeeEeel- on December 27, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    deAR Lankan's ! Don't lose your hearts ... YoUr team is stiLL verY GOOD ... tHE only thing that requirE is jusT .... little bit of tunninG. :) bEsT OF LuCk 2 u in FuTUrE ODI's ... for the opponents other then "PAKiStaN". ;) loNg LiVe Sri-PAk friendship! B)

  • on December 27, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    All those who have commented on one thing, stop going with same lot who are failing match after match. Give opportunity for young blood like Priyanjan and Vithanage in last match. There are many good players, but sadly the selectors are trying the Nelsonian approach, turn blind eye. Time to get some people with wisdom to the selection panel.

  • on December 27, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Asad Shafiq and Umar Amin has got so many chances to prove their batting skills in ODIs but they failed. They should not get any more chance again. Instead provide opportunities to domestic players who has career batting average of 40 + and the strike rate of 80 +. Pakistan have to improve their fielding as well. Sohaib Maqsood is really a good choice for team Pakistan. He has very good confidence on his batting and will definitely shine. Bilawal Bhatti should prove his all round skill. He has got few chances and not succeeded so far as required and have to grab these chances immediately before management overlooks. Team Pakistan also have to consider the replacement for Misbah ul Haq as he will not seems to continue after World Cup.

  • on December 27, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Sri lanka!!!! Pls add Jehan Mubarak,kapugedera, Mahela Udawatte and there are some fabulous players like Janaka Gunathilaka and few more players i dnt remember their names but still so usefull and handy. Only players like these can boost the team not with chandimal and thirumanne. I am a die hard fan of lanka but now im almost lost interest. All thanks to Sri lanka team after the loss of the finals of WC 2011. They really cant play any Biteral Series.

  • shanepe2003 on December 27, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Boost?.. I don't think even sustagen can do the job for this SL team..

  • Vetmahadeva on December 27, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Chandimal was never in any of the games played so far and got out at crucial time and his flamboyant stroke very early in the innings after two wickets have fallen in the fourth game sealed the series in favor of Pakistan. During the whole series he left the crease when a set batsman is needed to continue, and elicit the fall of wickets. Unless Chandimal realizes his responsibilities as a Vice Captain play a roll for the team the whole tour will be a disastrous one for Sri lanka. Chandimal shall shed off his cooking for captaincy through wits but by his bat.

  • Yousufahmed1 on December 27, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    OMG !!! Best young talented batsman Chandimal has not scored a single fifty since January after playing most of his matches on flat tracks while other young batsmen scoring ton after ton. And I remember he won emerging player award in SL awards this year and weirdly he was emerging player last year as well. What is going on with SL cricket.

  • Sugath on December 27, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Of Sri Lanka bowlers, Maliga appears to be not too keen as he was three to four years ago, just going through the over with no emphasis. Kuls seems over the hill, even though he tries. So the best thing now is to try new blood and there is a host of good talent available. Selectors must make decisions in the name of country and not of individuals. Priyanjan showed what new blood can do and so did Vithanage.Seems the Lanka team have no zest like in old days.

  • yvivekcb on December 27, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Another defeat on the cards for the Sri Lankans. They are clueless at the moment. It's better they drop overhyped Sangakkara for the match, he plays like a test match with strike rate of 65. Atleast some young star can be given a chance.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on December 27, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    i would prefer if Mali,Dil and Sanga rested 4 this dead rubber match. but look likes they all pay. these 3 played against NZ-"A" team,all T20 matches,against SL-A and Developement squad matches.it's too much match practice. unfortunately selectors has habit of playing these seniors each and every match weather it's dead rubber or against low ranked team. other team protecting their seniors 4 avoid playing against low ranked team and get the advantage against high ranked team. but our selectors play our seniors each and every match.if these seniors rested in last NZ series they could play against pak 100%.and result may say 2-2 at now and this match may not be dead rubber match

  • on December 27, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Srilanka should try their best and Pakistan should win this series 4-1. Even if Srilanka lose they should forget this series and move on. This is what we did after losing 4-1 to SA and e beat them in the very next series..

  • SandipManjrekar on December 27, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    UMAR GUL is too hot for LIONS that made them completely hapless in this series. They have no answer to this guy so as to put some decent on the board to give some chance to fight for their bowlers. Sadly SL bowlers are not good enough as they were some years ago. This tour eventually become miserable for them since long time & there is no hope of revival just because of lack of good resources or say options in both department,i.e., Bowling as well as Batting. Players are not responsible for this. It's selectors as well as Administrators of SL cricket board who were & are accountable for this as they had not shown any future planning or intent to show some visions for SL cricket. Ex-cricketers who became selectors now are looking their own game into these new talents & didn't allow them to settle irrespective of outcome. The selectors need to be replaced immediately by some firm members who could stand on good cricketing base.

  • Yousafahmed11 on December 27, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    What boost? SL will lost test series too.We have hyped players by fans. I donot think we may qualify for super8 in next WC with this team. It is time to give pension to all seniors and pick all players from U19 or U15. They would play better cricket. At least competitive cricket.

  • on December 27, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Chandmal has been doing much better in this series batting at 4. By moving up bowlers to bat ahead of him, his confidence has been diminished. But at no.4, he seems to be regaining his confidence. And priyanjan should just replace thirimanne as he is not odi material. As for the bowling, drop malinga until he realises that every ball being a yorker is not effective, it's just made him predictable. And his mediocre bowling has put pressure on the other bowlers, ruining the entire bowling unit. Even though sl has lost this series, they have had good findings in priyanjan and vithanage, return of prasanna and slowly regained form of chandimal is good news as well.

  • lukecannon on December 27, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Chandimal should be replaced by Vithanage.. He's a good young cricketer. This is a dead rubber. I hope Mathews seize this opportunity to expose our young blood to international cricket. Thirimanne should not get a game. He's not ODI material. But a solid test batsman with his technique. Kusal Perera is exactly like SJ. One good knock and few consecutive failures. Need to be more consistent if you want to survive in this environment. Maybe SL could open with Vithanage or Chandimal and see if they have what it take to open like India did with Roshit Sharma. Make it 3-2 please. Would have loved to watch the boys take the series. But dont dissapoint us today as well. Also Sangakkara shouldnt be ball watching for such an experienced legend of the game.

  • NAYANADINI on December 27, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    No need of boost or horlicks. We just need the youngsters to contribute. Win or loss is secondary. Winning at the cost of grooming the youngsters will sink our already bleak future to a grave sitation.

  • on December 27, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    There should be another bowler with malinga's class or atleast 80% of malinga's class to support him, because there is so much pressure on him.If malinga don't get a wicket team losses, so he tries to get wicket on every ball and this is the main problem he became so predictable..

  • cricket2u on December 27, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    main issue is bowling department after murli retirement only wicket taking option is malinga but malinga work load superior no other considerable support by others.

  • anver777 on December 27, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Like mention here, SL must win today's game convincingly & get that all important boost & confidence before the test series !!!! Go Lions GO !!!!!

  • Habi on December 27, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    For SL-every new comer is starting to play like Jaysurya. When Kaushal debuted everybody hailed him like they hailed Chandi when he scored match winning 100 against IND-A led by Raina. Hope Priyan doesn't go their way. Now SL fans want more allrounders in team. IMHO this will help in T20s but not in ODIs where rotation is also important. Merely picking young blood will not help. You need Big3 to guide them and they should do by rotating their batting order without thinking about their 50s/100s & avrgs for team's cause. Tharanga is good in middle order as he showed during SA tour. On bowling front what wrong Mendis did? Just coz he was sorted out by teams you guys dropped him for WC final and since then using him sporadically affecting his performance and confidence. Atleast now give him long run. Post Vaas / Murali SL is struggling to take wickets. Ageing Herath alone can't win you matches. Now Mali has been sorted out by all teams they need good bowlers. What happened to A Dhananjaya

  • on December 27, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    I feel sorry for chandimal and mathews . As i see the real problem is sri lankan management is not good . but all the blame is on those two . I invite all to see the real picture . Who fraught almost all the matches in this series ? Arent they ? but they had to make risk . Cricket is not all about making 100 s and 50s . Most importantly did chandimal had good place to bat for 100s and 50 s last few matches . And also is 50s has very big differences with 40s he had with a match winning effort in 2nd match . Any way forget all this . What is the management doing with batting lineup . Always silly to send a bowler to bat at 35th - 40th over . Please stop cricket in sri lanka if we cant find a batsman who can bat at that period . Move again to chandimal , management put bowlers before him and also messed the match with bad approach sending thirimanna before him most of last matches he played . As i see chandimal should play at 4 for some time and gain confidence .

  • Kristy on December 27, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    As some one already mentioned below why Mahela or Sanga cannot take captaincy again? Everyone say they are legends... and best of best. they why not contribute as captain for there country.. with immense of experience they have I think best option for SL for 2015 world cup is make Mahela as Captain and Mathews/Sanga vice captain.. On the bawling attack.. I think Malinga is the problem. if he is doing well (take wickets with less runs given) other bowlers can take wickets since batsman are under pressure...

  • on December 27, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    i think pak will win again there bowling is very strong !!!!

  • TZ9383 on December 27, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Umar Gul is make the difference

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 27, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Some relief to SL on the return of afridi back to pakistan. Pakistan should play their full strength side as 3-2 will not be a fitting result to this one sided series.

  • on December 27, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    we need to find good attacking bowlers....currently we are only relying with Malinga and Kulasekara, if both fail other opposition team will cash on runs big time...because other bowlers want even giving enough pressure..

  • on December 27, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    I agree with Tamsil Ahmed.But I have my doubts whether Mahela will take up the captaincy for the third time

  • Merrick1234 on December 27, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Sri Lanka has been unfortunate with Dinesh Chandimal. Appointing Mathives as captain and Chandimal as vice captain would have been a good move had chandimal lived up to expectation. Both didn't deserve a permanent place in the team when they were appointed. Mat hive struggled first few matches but quickly settled down and proved the selectors right. Why ? Because like Sangakkara Angelo is also an intelligent cricketer. Chandimal like many other talented cricketers has only talent. He doesn't come out as a thinking cricketer who can get adjusted to situations. So when there are so many other youngsters knocking on the door it's not fair for Sri Lankan cricket selectors to keep one slot blocked for chandimal who is not living up to promise .

  • Andrew-Silva on December 27, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    WHAT ABOUT Kusal Perera? He has managed a miserable total of 125 runs in 10 ODI innings, at an Ave of 12.5. THIS IS A RECORD, WORSE THAN A tail-ender. In last 10 ODIs, ONLY TWICE he reached double figures! (0 v NZ - 6 v Eng - 4 v Au - 4 v Ind - 2 v Ind - 9 v SA - 64 v Pak - 16 v Pak - 7 v Pak - 8 v Pak). Kusal's overall ODI Ave is just 22.0 in 16 innings! This is a real encumbrance for the SL front-order and causes a cumulative burden for the middle-order as well, whenever building/chasing a target! Andrew, you have published an article about Tharanga's batting inconsistency, when he had failed to put-up a significant score in 4 ODIs, just after making a match winning score of 174 in WI, 2013 July! Why don't you talk about what's happening now? Whether you agree or not, SL's biggest problem is MISSING a capable opening partner for Dilshan. If they want to DISCARD a PROVED SUPERLATIVE RESOURCE like Tharanga forever, why don't they promote Thirimanne to open, who is a SOLID opener..?

  • lazyone on December 27, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Umar Gul is making the difference here. Before his return the teams are evenly matched. Now Pakistan has got the momentum. They will easily win today if they don't make any changes to the team.

    Don't know why Sri Lankan selectors give so many chances to chandimal. He has never been in good form in the recent past. He got t20 captancy when he is not even in the playing XI. There many other youngsters who can perform well. We saw that in the last match.

  • on December 27, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    every time we are supporting srilankan,till end,but the srilankan selectors should need a good brain power to select a best team for a imprtant match like 25th dec.if mahela not playing odi,why you should not think to steady the middle order from upul tharanga.he is second only mahela in average of batting.dinesh chandimal have confident,but he have lot of overconfident.mathews have cool mind,always cool cant take a world cup dream,even a series too. sanath ayyah we need gud team or attacking team like pass srilankan teams

  • ajithabey on December 27, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    my team for this game will be Dilshan,Perera,Dimuth,Sanga,Priyanjan,Vithanage,Mathews,Prasanna,Sachithra,Kulasekera,Lakmal

  • rshan1994 on December 27, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    SL should rest Senior players today. They don't have anything to loose but they can atleast give a chance to youngsters to gloom.

  • on December 27, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    drop chandimal bring kandampe

  • on December 27, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    Chandimal has to out from the team. There is no balance in the team and importantly SL seems to have no penetration. SL batsman are not scoring leaving that to low order and asking too much from low order.

    It is very sad to see SL cricket in this position. Come ON SL you are much much better than this

  • romirom on December 27, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    haris sohail should get chance in tis game. But i think misbah wil give asad a game as a practice for test match.

  • on December 27, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    I feel that mahela should be made to re consider his captaincy till the 2015 world cup as mathews needs to groom under him n chandi should be dropped till he gets his form back..do any 1 agree with me ????

  • on December 27, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    the batsmen who have performed well should be rested but I believe both misbah and hafeez will be eyeing the most runs in a year lol..afridi is out..hafeez is a mean guy so he won't sit out..but shahzad can as he is not in that race..in this case hafeez should open with sharjeel..it will be unfair not to give sharjeel another chance then maqsood , haris , misbah , akmal , anwar , bhatti , gul , junaid and ajmal..

  • Tal_Botvinnik on December 27, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Hopefully in this match we rest people like Malinga, Kula and give Youngsters more opputunities. The XI should be. Kusal, Dilshan, Chandimal, Ashan, Kithruwan,Sanga, Matthews,Thissara,Prasanna,Sachitra,Lakmal. Lakmal. THis game is just dead rubber.

  • on December 26, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    Mr Fernando makes much of Herath's absence yet omits to mention other things. Selectors gambled for a spin future of Senanayake and Seekuge Prasanna which has failed dismally. Senanayake has gone wicketless for the entire series having taken 0/195. Seekuge has fared barely better and averages near 70 per wicket. The once person who can't be blamed for this fiasco is the world-class Ajantha Mendis who has been on the bench and ignored by selectors.

  • on December 26, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Ovdiesly, Pakistan will beat Sri Lanka in last ODI as well!!!!11

  • Sageleaf on December 26, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    I feel SL might win the final ODI. But as per Rameez Raja's comments, SL has military kind of fast bowling and will not help their cause to win matches. Their bowling looks so horrible in last two ODI's. They have to look for young fast bowlers and Malinga is totally out of shape and rhythm and getting hammered by the Pakistan batsmen. Just look at the tapes how he bowls. No direction and more on leg side but the field placing are on the right. Kulasekera looks totally lost and Tissara Perera is wondering how to bowl. They all are feeding the Pakistan batsmen to score. I wonder why Sanga does not come closer to the stumps for SL fast bowlers as all the Pakistan batsmen are clearly out of the crease when facing SL fast bowlers. Which help then to dominate the series so far. It's refreshing to see Priyaranjan batting so well and wonder why Chandimal is still in the side along with Mathews. I think both have not proved yet that they deserve a place in the side.

  • shahnbej on December 26, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    For next ODI, Pakistan should try as many youngster as possible as it is good time to check the bench strength. And it is totally ok if Misbah and Hafiz drop from match, believe me it won't hart if we lose the match.

  • Yasi_Gee on December 26, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    Is Shalitha Poorage having a laugh? Where was he during first 4 matches? Here are the economy rates of SL bowlers that he suggested in his team: Malinga - 6.35, Kula - 6.29, Perera: 7.80 and Dilshan - 7.95. The most economic bowler for SL is Matthews. Malinga can't catch a football? Get rid of ageing players and give youngsters chance.

  • on December 26, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    i think shod play this team need to play sl dilshan,kusal,chandi,sanga,ashan,angi,kithruwa,prasanna,kula,sachitra,lasith i dont think drop chandi ahed of 2015 wc he is best batsman on the au pitches & he shud drop t20 fomat. i think sl have 3-2 best for sl ahead off test

  • on December 26, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    They should drop chandimals Vice captaincy tag and T20 captaincy tag. Angies form is good even after getting the captaincy. Even when Chandimal scores a thirty or forty its at the expense of slowing down the team run rate by blocking balls. Has no awareness of getting ones and twos. Blocks majority of the balls and then goes for the home run hit and get out. He is under pressure to find form and we need to drop his vice captaincy tag on him and make him earn the spot again by performing. Nothing wrong in dropping the vice captaincy. Thilina Kandamby was the VC during the England tour and was dropped for 5th ODI for failing. Thank God. Lasith Malinga needs a personal trainer. He is in no shape to be a fast bowler or fielder at international cricket these days. Has a pot belly like MP's in the Sri Lankan parliament. No wonder he has lost venom in his bowling, because he is really out of shape..

  • on December 26, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    MISBAH should be rested, and try hafeez as a captain in ODI too. Moreover, haris sohail should be tried at 4, and anwar ali for billawal bhatti.

  • Cric_fever_forever on December 26, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    why cant hafeez be played as opener tom?? y?? y cant sherjeel be replace by haris sohail?? i hav heard big time about him. sharjeel wont do much tom either. ajmal is also human need rest fans forgot that. rehman should replace them. anwer ali for shahid afridi. y cant they do this??

  • on December 26, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    i dont think they will change the batsmen playing in tests. so that they can enter test series more confidently like hafeez and misbah. hafeez , misbah will be there. however anwar and haris should get a game. afridi is already out and another1 might be bhatti or even try resting umar gul if he has some issues with fitness. maqsood has cemented his place already so they can give him a rest as well. sharjeel has failed after1 game but should be given last game to show what he can do. 1 fifty may not be able to carry him for longer.

    team management do come up with strange selections so lets see what they give us tomorrow. all this is just a guess. they have their own mind.

    if misbah and hafeez playing then i hope both could acheive the records for pak. hafez if playing can jump to top scorer of year and misbah if playing can score 60 more and get most runs since 2007. if afridi is not there then hafeez will be playing for his bowling as well.

  • Sports4Youth on December 26, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    I hope the team is selected as suggested by Andrew. I am just praying that MISBAH does not come up with some funny ideas. My worry is that now with the series secured Misbah may go back to Tanvir.

  • mensan on December 26, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Haris Sohail needs a chance in place of Afridi. Also maybe Anwar Ali in place of B. Bhatti..

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Srilankas bowler should wake up

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    SL want to WIN this match then play this team. 1. DILSHAN 2. KUSAL 3. SANGA 4. CHANDIMAL 5. THIRIMANNA 6. PRIYANJAN 7. MATHEWS 8 PERERA 9 SENNAYAKE 10. KULASEKARA 11. MALINGA. Most important they need to play positively. Malinga/ kula 20 overs, Senanayake 10, Perera 8, Mathews 8, Dilshan 4.

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Pakistan should go for 4-1 and play with full power so that they may pounce on the opponents ruthlessly in tests also. Asad Shafiq must be kept away from ODIs as he's pathetic in ODIs despite of many chances given. He's not a short format material. He should be tested in tests ONLY. Anwar Ali should be given an opportunity in place of Bhatti. Haris Sohail needs to wait as the current XI should bask in their momentum and flow. He's a class act but to be tested in later series in the upcoming year. Hafeez should go for another milestone!!! Good luck both the teams!!!

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Pakistan should take this rare opportunity to try & test the bench strength and see the captaincy potential in any 1 of umar akmal or ahmad shahzad. For that to happen they must rest hafeez, misbah and ajmal in the last match. my playing 11 will be: 1.Sharjeel Khan 2. Ahmed Shehzad, 3. Sohaib Maqsood 4.Umar Akmal 5. Asad Shafiq, 6 Haris Sohail, 7 Bilawal Bhatti, 8. Anwar Ali/Sohail Tanvir , 9. Abdur Rehman 10. Umar Gul 11. Junaid Khan,

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Pakistan has finally given opportunity to new faces. For the dead rubber Anwar Ali and Haris Sohail should get a chance in place of Junaid Khan & Shahid Afridi respectively. Pakistan have to improve their fielding as well. Over all good series for team Pakistan and morale boosting achievement.

  • BlueJayBanter on December 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Give Haris Sohail a proper run of things!

  • damith91 on December 26, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    Chandimal's place is a major question.Don't forget that he is the vice caption also.So he need to perform and take the responsibility.Ashan played a brillaint knock and kithruwan is not bad too as a new comer.If thirimanne is clear to play then he should play ahead chandimal.And alsoNow selectors have to take a decision about chandimal soon.

  • on December 26, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    After every series against Aus and SA pak team becomes more dangerous.

  • Lashari.1 on December 26, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Pakistan should give Haris Sohail a chance in place of not available afridi and also give a chance to Asad Shafique and Anwar ali in place of Misbah ul haq and Bilawal Bhatti so the misbah can lead Pakistan in tests with freshness. he is playing consistently so he should make himself on rest and bring in asad shafique in the final ODI against Srilanka.

  • on December 26, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Pakistan's turnaround seems to be triggerd by some positive selection and that bhatti & anwar blitz against SA

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  • on December 26, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Pakistan's turnaround seems to be triggerd by some positive selection and that bhatti & anwar blitz against SA

  • Lashari.1 on December 26, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Pakistan should give Haris Sohail a chance in place of not available afridi and also give a chance to Asad Shafique and Anwar ali in place of Misbah ul haq and Bilawal Bhatti so the misbah can lead Pakistan in tests with freshness. he is playing consistently so he should make himself on rest and bring in asad shafique in the final ODI against Srilanka.

  • on December 26, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    After every series against Aus and SA pak team becomes more dangerous.

  • damith91 on December 26, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    Chandimal's place is a major question.Don't forget that he is the vice caption also.So he need to perform and take the responsibility.Ashan played a brillaint knock and kithruwan is not bad too as a new comer.If thirimanne is clear to play then he should play ahead chandimal.And alsoNow selectors have to take a decision about chandimal soon.

  • BlueJayBanter on December 26, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Give Haris Sohail a proper run of things!

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Pakistan has finally given opportunity to new faces. For the dead rubber Anwar Ali and Haris Sohail should get a chance in place of Junaid Khan & Shahid Afridi respectively. Pakistan have to improve their fielding as well. Over all good series for team Pakistan and morale boosting achievement.

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Pakistan should take this rare opportunity to try & test the bench strength and see the captaincy potential in any 1 of umar akmal or ahmad shahzad. For that to happen they must rest hafeez, misbah and ajmal in the last match. my playing 11 will be: 1.Sharjeel Khan 2. Ahmed Shehzad, 3. Sohaib Maqsood 4.Umar Akmal 5. Asad Shafiq, 6 Haris Sohail, 7 Bilawal Bhatti, 8. Anwar Ali/Sohail Tanvir , 9. Abdur Rehman 10. Umar Gul 11. Junaid Khan,

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Pakistan should go for 4-1 and play with full power so that they may pounce on the opponents ruthlessly in tests also. Asad Shafiq must be kept away from ODIs as he's pathetic in ODIs despite of many chances given. He's not a short format material. He should be tested in tests ONLY. Anwar Ali should be given an opportunity in place of Bhatti. Haris Sohail needs to wait as the current XI should bask in their momentum and flow. He's a class act but to be tested in later series in the upcoming year. Hafeez should go for another milestone!!! Good luck both the teams!!!

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    SL want to WIN this match then play this team. 1. DILSHAN 2. KUSAL 3. SANGA 4. CHANDIMAL 5. THIRIMANNA 6. PRIYANJAN 7. MATHEWS 8 PERERA 9 SENNAYAKE 10. KULASEKARA 11. MALINGA. Most important they need to play positively. Malinga/ kula 20 overs, Senanayake 10, Perera 8, Mathews 8, Dilshan 4.

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Srilankas bowler should wake up