Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd T20, Hambantota June 2, 2012

Pakistan aim to square series


Match facts

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Start time 1900 (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

Pakistan landed in Sri Lanka with a new captain and a new coaching set-up. But then some old problems returned to trouble them. In the tour opener, the Pakistan batsmen squandered a good opportunity to take a lead in the two-match series. On Sunday, they can at best aim to square the series.

Pakistan have enough ability and experience in their ranks to bounce back. For that to happen, the batsmen will need to play a tighter game and rotate the strike more often - they played out 60 dot balls in their innings and crawled to 23 during the Powerplay overs.

Pakistan's bowlers were steady until the last few overs. However, the decision to play Mohammad Sami in the XI did raise a few questions. Players like Yasir Arafat and Hammad Azam, who are only part of the Twenty20 squad, could have been tested ahead of Sami, who has also been picked for the five-match ODI series.

Sri Lanka didn't play a great game, but were just a notch better - Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews made the difference. Sri Lanka's top-order trio which sporadically fired in the IPL, failed on Friday night. However, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara are as good as any in world cricket and if they can find some form, the talented middle order can put Pakistan under pressure on a slow pitch.

After a thumping win, Sri Lanka chose to stay away from practice on Saturday, while the Pakistan team trained in the evening. The match is expected to draw better crowds on Sunday as Monday is a public holiday in Sri Lanka.

Form guide

(most recent first)

Pakistan: LLLWW
Sri Lanka: WLWWW

Players to watch

Angelo Mathews had a forgettable IPL season with Pune Warriors. But he did bowl regularly in the tournament, his injury concerns taking a back seat. That experience seemed to help as Mathews bowled a mean spell on Friday. One of the most talented allrounders around, Mathews would look to translate his bowling success to his batting.

Like Mathews, Pakistan's Umar Akmal oozes talent. In the last year, though, he has lost his place in the Test team. But with his hard-hitting and technically-sound batting style, he continues to be a dangerous player in the shorter formats.

Team news

Pakistan's three allrounders - Hafeez, Afridi and Shoaib Malik - are more than handy given the conditions in Sri Lanka and with Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal being automatic choices, Pakistan could consider going for a batsman.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Umar Akmal, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Khalid Latif/Haris Sohail, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Shakeel Ansar (wk), 8 Sohail Tanvir, 9 Mohammad Sami/Hammad Azam/Yasir Arafat, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal.

Sri Lanka may field the same XI that won on Friday.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Dinesh Chandimal, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Thisara Perera, 7 Lahiru Thirimanne, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Kaushal Lokuarachchi, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11. Sachithra Senanayake.

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played each other eight times in T20Is, with Pakistan winning five.
  • Shoaib Malik is the leading run-scorer in Pakistan-Sri Lanka T20Is with 195 runs.


"A score of 132 was still chaseable but if your main batsmen fail then it's very difficult to win such games."
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez blamed the batsmen for the loss in the first T20I.

"I have enjoyed a fair amount of success as an opener in Twenty20, but my presence at the top depends on the team combination."
Mahela Jayawardene

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mantra on June 3, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Pakistan need consistent batsmen who won't collapse 4 out of 7 times if they wan't to have a chance to square up the series in hambantota . Why are shoaib malik , Mohammed sami , and shakeel ansar playing ? I know ansar is keeper , but can't you bring k akmal in to keep wicket . As for Sri Lanka they played well defending a paltry total , especially mathews , malinga , and kulasekara w/ the ball and debutants thirimanne , lokuarachi and senanayake . Sri Lanka should field the exact same playing 11 as last time , but jayawardene , sangakkara , dilshan , and mathews need to fire with the bat too , and chandimal should look to have a better impact in the next match . Both sides might want to try something new in preparation for the world t20 in Sri Lanka in October . Maybe Sri Lanka should give chamara silva , kapugedara , and both jeevan and ajantha mendis' another chance to prove themselves before the t20 world cup . And Pakistan could give misbah , younus , Arafat , and azam achance

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    this should be a very interesting series . im waiting to see the five match ODI series. where is razzak,unis khan & misba. can we see them in the ODIs ?????

  • Imran on June 3, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    its too early to say but i this gota change this team quickly.. shakeel ansar, khalid latif and shoab malik is crap.. sohail tanvir is very ordinary and he was lucky to get three wickets in match.. batting was disgracefull.. you are not playing ur best 11.. for next mactch atleat change shakeel ansar with umer akmal with gloves.. bring haris sohail in along with hammad azam.. but as you dont have much choice in this worst sqaud get any of malik or khalid latif in as well. (ideally asad shafeeq was very suitable in middle order)

  • adithya on June 3, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    @ilub.chandimal,pak is not an ordinary side.they are good team who are on their way to become no.1 team in the world.pak beat eng 3-0 in last drew the series with eng.they can't even beat eng even on a turning pitch.agreed pak lost 1st t20 but they will definitely comeback in this match and will win this match for sure.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Drop sami, bring in Hammad Azam. Let Umar play at 3 or 4. Let Shakeel WK to play down. May God help Shoib Malik

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Afridi is not happy with captaincy of Hafeez which he showed by his negative body language in last match and he is trying to make a lobby again with akmal and that is not good akmal is full of talent n foolishness coz he should not folloe afridi coz he has achieved the maximum which he could now he is declining while its start of u.Akmal n he is destroying himself n making Pakistan suffer with ALL this

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    In Shah ALLAH Pakistan are win the t20 2nd vs sri lanka

  • sikander on June 3, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    i agreed with most of them. best t20 players en allrouder imran nazir and razzaq are wat pakistan need. just waste of talant. i cannot understand pakistan slectors.

  • Vibhanu on June 3, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Although Mahela Jayawardane said his presence at the top depended on the team combination, I don't think he should change his position.As an opener he's been successful both one day and T20 format.Even in IPL 2012 he scored two half centuries as an opener in quick time, from few chances he got as an opener.I doubt Chandimal as a T20 player because he can't hold his nerves well.He dropped two catches an wasted 15 balls to take 9 runs plus, given away his wicket as a school boy.I tense situations he always showed incompetent attitude as an international player recently. Sri Lanka must check Kapugedara because if he finds his form then they can find a team combination which cannot be beaten easily.Hope everyone remembers last ball win over India in last T20 world cup where Kapu was on fire.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Why Shoaib i Playing????????????????????????????? Where is (Chief Selector) Iqbal Qasim?????? Why Abdul Razaaq or Imran Nazeer is not playing in T20 Formats????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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