Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Pallekele

Sri Lanka hope to reverse UAE defeat

The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran

June 6, 2012

Comments: 57 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

Thursday, June 7
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)


Misbah-ul-Haq and Mahela Jayawardene at the one-day series' trophy unveiling, Pallekele, June 6, 2012
Misbah-ul-Haq and Mahela Jayawardene with the trophy their teams are playing for © AFP
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The Big Picture

The drawn Twenty20 series in Hambantota, in which there was little to separate the teams, has set up the five-ODI contest nicely. The pattern of both T20s was the same: the batsmen made just enough runs and the bowlers used the swing and seam available in the evenings to defend modest targets.

Sri Lanka will hope to improve the recent head-to-head record, having lost five of their last six ODIs to Pakistan. Four of those defeats were in the UAE in 2011, a tour in which Pakistan were superior across formats. Sri Lanka's batting had depended heavily on Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and the rest were unable to build on their sound foundations. Sri Lanka found stability late into their tour of South Africa, where they won two dead rubbers, and made the finals of the CB Series in Australia, at India's expense.

A big reason for Sri Lanka's revival was contributions from players like Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne, who took the burden off the senior batsmen. The support cast grew in confidence and the allrounders provided good balance in foreign conditions. However, Sri Lanka ran out of steam during the third final of the CB series and arrived in Bangladesh for the Asia Cup looking jaded and lost all three games. Despite the heartening performance in Australia, Sri Lanka have a lot of catching up to do, having won only eight of their last 24 games. Their key players, who were part of the IPL, will also have to make the adjustment from Twenty20 cricket to the 50-over format.

Pakistan's recent form has been more impressive. After suffering a 4-0 loss against England in the UAE, they won the Asia Cup in a close final against Bangladesh. The ODI squad led by Misbah-ul-Haq is stronger than their experimental Twenty20 team as well, and it has been strengthened by Sohail Tanvir's retention. Tanvir impressed during his Twenty20 comeback and was chosen as a replacement once opening batsman Nasir Jamshed was injured. Pakistan are a batsman short, though, and could be stretched if Misbah and younis Khan fail. It will be up to the unpredictable Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi to step up.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

Pakistan WLWWL
Sri Lanka LLLLW

Watch out for...

Umar Gul had a poor opening Twenty20 in Hambantota, conceding 43 in four overs. He allowed Sri Lanka the crucial 30-odd runs at the end, when they were struggling to post a decent score. Gul was dropped for the second Twenty20 but Pakistan are unlikely to bench him for too long.

Thisara Perera kickstarted Sri Lanka's turnaround in South Africa with an unbeaten 69 off 44 balls in Kimberley to help chase 300. Perera has since formed a healthy partnership with fellow allrounder Angelo Mathews, giving Sri Lanka a balanced team. Jayawardene rates him highly for his ability to clear the boundary, and Perera showcased his skills in the first match Hambantota, striking 32 off 16 balls

Team news

With Jamshed not in the squad, Pakistan have Imran Farhat to partner Mohammad Hafeez at the top. Azhar Ali is another option for opener; he scored 58, against England, in his only innings in that position. Pakistan will have to decide if they want to pack their team with specialist bowlers, or go with an extra batsman in the middle order.

Pakistan (likely) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Imran Farhat/Azhar Ali, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Umar Gul, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Sohail Tanvir/Mohammad Sami, 11 Aizaz Cheema

For Sri Lanka, Rangana Herath returns to the squad after a long rest but they may use him sparingly in the ODIs, given his heavy workload in the Tests. Jayawardene didn't rule out opening the innings with Dilshan.

Sri Lanka (likely) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Rangana Herath/Sachitra Senanayake, 11 Lasith Malinga

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan are the only team to have an even ODI record against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. They have played 28 matches, won 13 and lost 13.

  • Pakistan have played two ODIs at Pallekele, losing their first and winning the next.

  • Among current batsmen, Mahela Jayawardene has the most runs (1563) against Pakistan.

Quotes

"That kind of record builds your confidence a little bit but it's a new series and different conditions. You have to perform again from the start."
Misbah-ul-Haq on Pakistan's recent record against Sri Lanka

"Pakistan's record against us speaks for itself; they have played much better cricket than us during the Asia Cup and even in the UAE. It's up to us to lift our game individually as well as a group."
Mahela Jayawardene

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

we want hammad azam instaed of sohail tanvir, ahmad shezad instead of azhar ali as an opener , haris sohail instead of younis khan and raza hasan instead of abdur rehman in pakistan one day squad

Posted by desxtop on (June 7, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

GOOD LUCK TEAM PAKISTAN GOOD LUCK TEAM PAKISTAN GOOD LUCK TEAM PAKISTAN

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

Very bad team selection for pakistan. Kamran Akmal is the best wicketkeeper bataman in Pakistan right now. Instead of him they are selecting Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz's bat is just like a tailender. The tailenders like Sami, Tanveer can bat even better than him. Pakistan selectors should know this first. And the second thing is Imran Farhat. I think there are so many batsmen better than him. Why they are selecting him again and again? It was very pleasing to watch pakistan team before and it was because of their extar ordinary skillfull players. Now they become very boring to watch because of some very ordinary players....

Posted by hetti on (June 7, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

Any news about Ajantha Mendis? i strongly believe that he should be in the playing 11 for the up coming T-20 world cup.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Srilanka occasionaly flops in their batting.so its better to use jeevan mendis in place of herath.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

My XI - Dilshan- Sanga - Chandimal - Mahela - Thirimanna - Mathews- Mendis- Thisara- Kula - Sachithra- Malinga.

hope they will try this batting order too.. Nothing to lose... Sl already lost lot at home.

Posted by priceless1 on (June 7, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

@Sanjaya Kulathunga without those three in the team ,i say Big Problems for the Pakistan rather than to SL

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

Its raining heavily in pallekele

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

What magic Pakistan is waiting to see from Umar Akmal, he should be out of the team for ever as he has a very school boy type temperament and body language.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2012, 7:09 GMT)

Mahela,Kumar,Dilshan, Matthews you all are out of form now.can u coop with Ajmal,AFRIDI AND Hafiz.?????????????????????

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