Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Pallekele June 6, 2012

Pakistan hold the aces

Pakistan's excellent record in Sri Lanka backed up by their superior all-round strength clearly makes them the favourites in the ODI series
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In the last bilateral series played between Pakistan and Sri lanka, Pakistan came out comfortably on top, winning 4-1 in the UAE. The result, however, was not surprising considering Pakistan's excellent record against Sri Lanka. No other team has won as many matches against Sri Lanka as Pakistan have. In the 127 matches played between the two teams, Pakistan hold a distinct 76-47 head-to-head advantage going into the five-match ODI series. Their win-loss ratio of 1.61 against Sri Lanka is also second only to Australia's 1.89. While Pakistan have exerted complete dominance in home and neutral ODIs against Sri Lanka winning 63 matches and losing 34, the gap between the two teams in ODIs in Sri Lanka is much narrower. However, Pakistan remain the only visiting team to maintain an even win-loss record (a win-loss ratio of 1.00) against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.

India have played Sri Lanka more often in Sri Lanka and have won more matches than Pakistan. But Pakistan are comfortably ahead when the win-loss ratio is considered. Pakistan have won and lost 13 matches (win-loss ratio of 1.00) while India and third-placed Australia have corresponding numbers of 0.73 and 0.69 respectively. Most visiting teams have struggled to compete on the slow turners in Sri Lanka and this is reflected in the numbers. Both West Indies and England have been ordinary and have win-loss ratios of 0.50 and 0.40. South Africa's form in Sri Lanka clearly puts the problems of visiting teams in perspective. With just one win and nine losses in 11 matches, they have a very poor win-loss ratio of 0.11.

Visiting teams against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka (excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh)
Team Matches Wins Losses W/L ratio
Pakistan 28 13 13 1.00
India 51 19 26 0.73
Australia 25 9 13 0.69
West Indies 11 3 6 0.50
England 14 4 10 0.40
New Zealand 20 5 13 0.38
South Africa 11 1 9 0.11

Since 2000, Pakistan's record against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka has been less impressive. They have won six and lost nine matches (before 2000 they won seven and lost four). However, their batting and bowling stats illustrate how consistent they have been when compared to all other teams except Australia. In the same period, Australia have won two bilateral series in Sri Lanka (2004 and 2011). They have the best average difference (difference between the batting and bowling averages) and run-rate difference (difference between batting run-rate and economy rate) among all visiting teams. Australia's average difference of 6.42 is well ahead of second-placed Pakistan's -0.42. At the other end of the table are England and South Africa, who have corresponding numbers of -13.81 and -15.72 respectively. Pakistan and Australia are the only teams to boast a positive value of run-rate difference (0.03 and 0.19 respectively). England and South Africa are well behind on this front too with run-rate differences of -0.88 an -0.72.

* Matches against Sri Lanka only. Excludes Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

Batting and bowling stats of visiting teams in Sri Lanka since 2000 *
Team Matches Wins/Losses Bat avg/Bowl avg Avg diff Bat RR/Bowl ER RR diff
Australia 12 6/5 31.24/24.82 6.42 4.65/4.46 0.19
Pakistan 16 6/9 26.18/26.60 -0.42 4.47/4.44 0.03
India 30 13/14 28.75/29.75 -1.00 4.83/4.94 -0.11
West Indies 8 2/5 27.46/34.10 -6.64 4.63/4.91 -0.28
New Zealand 9 1/7 18.62/31.12 -12.50 3.81/4.41 -0.60
England 10 3/7 19.17/32.98 -13.81 3.68/4.56 -0.88
South Africa 8 0/8 23.56/39.28 -15.72 4.47/5.19 -0.72

In matches played between the two teams since 2009, Kumar Sangakkara has been the highest run-getter. Sri Lanka will again rely on Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene for stability in an otherwise inexperienced middle order. Tillakaratne Dilshan has averaged 45.30 in the same period with a century and two fifties and will be the key to good starts for Sri Lanka given his quick scoring. Pakistan emerged easy winners the last time the teams met in 2011 and their batting has been in top form against Sri Lanka. Both Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq have good averages and have scored four half-centuries each in the head-to-head matches. The firepower in the middle order, however, tilts the scales Pakistan's way. Not only do Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal have terrific strike rates, they have also been among the runs against Sri Lanka in recent contests. While Afridi's century (109 off 76 balls), however, came in a close defeat in the Asia Cup game in Dambulla, Akmal's 102 in Colombo set up a huge win for Pakistan.

In the same period, Pakistan have completely dominated the bowling stats. The top three wicket-takers in head-to-head contests are Pakistan bowlers. Afridi, in particular, has been outstanding and has picked up 25 wickets at 25.88. With Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul in the line-up, Pakistan definitely have the advantage. Sri Lanka, without Muttiah Muralitharan, will undoubtedly need Lasith Malinga to fire. However, Malinga has not been at his best against Pakistan in recent matches picking up 13 wickets at an average of 33.69.

Batsmen in Sri Lanka-Pakistan ODIs since 2009
Batsman Innings Runs Average SR 100/50
Kumar Sangakkara 16 598 39.86 73.46 0/4
Mahela Jayawardene 15 475 31.66 77.48 1/3
Tillakaratne Dilshan 11 453 45.30 86.94 1/2
Upul Tharanga 13 409 31.46 70.27 0/4
Younis Khan 15 496 35.42 73.69 0/4
Umar Akmal 11 470 52.22 98.94 1/4
Misbah-ul-Haq 11 357 44.62 70.27 0/4
Shahid Afridi 13 335 27.91 124.07 1/1

Pallekele, the venue for the first two matches, has hosted four ODIs so far with the team batting first coming out on top twice. Since 2010, the Premadasa stadium has hosted nine matches with the team batting first winning two and losing six. This is in sharp contrast to the stats at the venue between 2000 and 2009. In that period, the team batting first won 40 and lost just 16 matches. Both pace bowlers and spinners have better averages and economy rates in Colombo as compared to their numbers in Pallekele.

Venue stats for Pallekele and Colombo (RPS) since 2010
Venue Matches Wins/losses (batting first) Average/RR (bat first) Average/RR (chasing) Pace (avg, ER) Spin (avg,ER)
Premadasa stadium, Colombo 9 2/6 22.55/4.28 36.30/4.84 26.81/4.42 29.91/4.38
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium 4 2/2 32.36/5.36 28.30/4.81 27.59/5.36 33.04/4.68

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fahii on June 9, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Pak clearly dominated the asian cricket, SL/Ind dominated now & then , SL before 1996 WC was not good enough, india was average team but peaked in this WC, Pak always came back strongly.

  • getsetgopk on June 8, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Speaking of asian cricket, Pakistan does hold the aces. The other two India and SL they got thrashed by Pakistan and lets not talk about Bangladesh lol

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    Good stats of Pakistan agt. SL... but CricInfo put the picture of (Pak vs Eng - Afridi performs) where as we are talking about Pak vs SL... isn't ?

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    PAK hold edge over all asian teams by good margins great record of PAK team good keep it up in future as wll !

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    These stats are from an era where Sanath was dominating. Everything will reverse in time to come, unless Sri Lanka can find a similar talent.

  • 9ST9 on June 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    It is also interesting to note that since 2000, Sri Lanka have done well against Pakistan IN Pakistan. They won the ODI's 2-1 on that 2009 tour (the lahore attach took place on this tour), they won a Tri Series in PAK in 2004, and won the ODI series 3-0 in 2000.

  • Muttee on June 7, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    biggest shock is South Africa's numbers. Unbelieveable

  • 9ST9 on June 7, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - it IS true. last time they were here they were thrased 5-0. I think the win came in 1992/93. Pakistan have always been Sri Lanka's bugbear. 2006 Champions trophy, 2007 World T20, 2009 World T20 on all these occassions Pakistan proved to be the obstacle.

  • Udendra on June 7, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Pakistan should be commended for their superb performance in SL against SL. But don't be taken, SL will want to rectify it soon.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 7, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    According to this stats, South Africa only won in Sri Lanka (ODI) only once. Please tell me that isn't true

  • Fahii on June 9, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    Pak clearly dominated the asian cricket, SL/Ind dominated now & then , SL before 1996 WC was not good enough, india was average team but peaked in this WC, Pak always came back strongly.

  • getsetgopk on June 8, 2012, 4:12 GMT

    Speaking of asian cricket, Pakistan does hold the aces. The other two India and SL they got thrashed by Pakistan and lets not talk about Bangladesh lol

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:58 GMT

    Good stats of Pakistan agt. SL... but CricInfo put the picture of (Pak vs Eng - Afridi performs) where as we are talking about Pak vs SL... isn't ?

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    PAK hold edge over all asian teams by good margins great record of PAK team good keep it up in future as wll !

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    These stats are from an era where Sanath was dominating. Everything will reverse in time to come, unless Sri Lanka can find a similar talent.

  • 9ST9 on June 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    It is also interesting to note that since 2000, Sri Lanka have done well against Pakistan IN Pakistan. They won the ODI's 2-1 on that 2009 tour (the lahore attach took place on this tour), they won a Tri Series in PAK in 2004, and won the ODI series 3-0 in 2000.

  • Muttee on June 7, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    biggest shock is South Africa's numbers. Unbelieveable

  • 9ST9 on June 7, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - it IS true. last time they were here they were thrased 5-0. I think the win came in 1992/93. Pakistan have always been Sri Lanka's bugbear. 2006 Champions trophy, 2007 World T20, 2009 World T20 on all these occassions Pakistan proved to be the obstacle.

  • Udendra on June 7, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Pakistan should be commended for their superb performance in SL against SL. But don't be taken, SL will want to rectify it soon.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 7, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    According to this stats, South Africa only won in Sri Lanka (ODI) only once. Please tell me that isn't true

  • ejsiddiqui on June 6, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    For decades Spin has been Sri Lanka's strong hold in home series, but this time spinning tracks could go seriously against them. There is no doubt that Pakistan has the best spin attack in the world with Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez while Abdur Rahman and Raza Hasan in waiting.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on June 6, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    wow, pakistan's win-loss ratio in sri lanka is incredible. for a stat that spans a fairly long time, it says a lot about the quality of the pakistani units travelling to sri lanka

  • Nadeem1976 on June 6, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Sri lanka has advantage at home and i don't think it will be easy for Pakistan to beat them at home at all. however it will be intriguing series to watch.

  • Sinhaya on June 6, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    This will be an exiting series by all means. Sri Lanka will not be easy pushovers at home.

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  • Sinhaya on June 6, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    This will be an exiting series by all means. Sri Lanka will not be easy pushovers at home.

  • Nadeem1976 on June 6, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Sri lanka has advantage at home and i don't think it will be easy for Pakistan to beat them at home at all. however it will be intriguing series to watch.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on June 6, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    wow, pakistan's win-loss ratio in sri lanka is incredible. for a stat that spans a fairly long time, it says a lot about the quality of the pakistani units travelling to sri lanka

  • ejsiddiqui on June 6, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    For decades Spin has been Sri Lanka's strong hold in home series, but this time spinning tracks could go seriously against them. There is no doubt that Pakistan has the best spin attack in the world with Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez while Abdur Rahman and Raza Hasan in waiting.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 7, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    According to this stats, South Africa only won in Sri Lanka (ODI) only once. Please tell me that isn't true

  • Udendra on June 7, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Pakistan should be commended for their superb performance in SL against SL. But don't be taken, SL will want to rectify it soon.

  • 9ST9 on June 7, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - it IS true. last time they were here they were thrased 5-0. I think the win came in 1992/93. Pakistan have always been Sri Lanka's bugbear. 2006 Champions trophy, 2007 World T20, 2009 World T20 on all these occassions Pakistan proved to be the obstacle.

  • Muttee on June 7, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    biggest shock is South Africa's numbers. Unbelieveable

  • 9ST9 on June 7, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    It is also interesting to note that since 2000, Sri Lanka have done well against Pakistan IN Pakistan. They won the ODI's 2-1 on that 2009 tour (the lahore attach took place on this tour), they won a Tri Series in PAK in 2004, and won the ODI series 3-0 in 2000.

  • on June 8, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    These stats are from an era where Sanath was dominating. Everything will reverse in time to come, unless Sri Lanka can find a similar talent.