Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Colombo June 15, 2012

Rain threat looms large again

38

Match facts

Saturday, June 16
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)

Big Picture

There was a time when winning the toss did more for a side's chances at the R Premadasa Stadium than its performance in a day-night match did. Batting under lights at the erstwhile Khettarama ground was so difficult that teams invariably chose to bat, and invariably won. And then came the 2011 World Cup. The playing square was relaid. New floodlights were installed. And the ghost of the Premadasa chase was laid to rest. With the white ball not doing as much at night now, the last five ODIs at the ground have been won by the side batting second. With the final two games of this ODI series to be played here, it evens things out further for these two well-matched sides.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan have alternated between taking punches and delivering them. They did that in the T20I series, which was tied 1-1. They split the first two games in the five-match ODI series as well, before rain decided to have its share in the third. More of it is forecast for tomorrow, but with a reserve day in place now, it would take a lot of water over two days to deny us a result.

On paper, Sri Lanka's top eight look as dangerous and as powerful as any top eight ever in ODI cricket. The three senior batsmen, the explosive Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, the fast-maturing Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal. Upul Tharanga is only 27, but is already closing in on 5000 ODI runs. Sri Lanka's major headache these days is to figure out the batting order.

Pakistan's batsmen have wobbled so much recently that their bowlers, especially the three quality limited-overs spinners, have had to work harder to deliver wins. Misbah-ul-Haq opted for the extra batsman, Asad Shafiq, in the third ODI but the wash-out denied him the opportunity to see whether the move would work.

As the series nears its end, both sides would want to start delivering more punches than they take.

Form guide


Sri Lanka WLLLL (Completed games, most recent first)
Pakistan LWWLW

Watch out for...

Not only have the Pakistan batsmen struggled to make the big runs of late, they have also struggled to make them fast enough. There has been a certain tentativeness in the line-up which has had them sweating even in small chases. While it makes games exciting, the batting requires more stability as well as firepower. Both are available; only lying dormant at the moment.

Not that it is a big concern right now, but Dinesh Chandimal has a top-score of 32 from his past seven ODI innings. In his short career, he has already impressed in England, South Africa and Australia, but his home average is yet to go past ten. He does tend to get tied down in sluggish conditions. Which is how they will be in Sri Lanka as long as he plays, and thereafter.

Team news

There was word that Mohammad Hafeez had injured himself during training, but he has been declared fit for tomorrow. Mohammad Sami is recovering as well from his thumb injury. The question is, will Pakistan abandon Asad Shafiq for Sami, if he is passed fit to play? Unlikely.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Azhar Ali, 3 Asad Shafiq, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Sohail Tanvir, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal

Sajeewa Weerakoon, the 34-year old left-arm spinner, had a watery international debut on Wednesday. No reason why he shouldn't get a second game tomorrow.

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

Stats and trivia

  • Four of the ten batsmen with the lowest ODI strike-rates in the last two years are Pakistani. (Min. 800 balls faced).
  • Younis Khan averages 20.75 this year in ODIs at a strike-rate of 89.72. His career figures are 32.33 at 75.64

Quotes

"If you take the last few months, our trend has been to do very well in one game and do badly in the other game. I think we need to stop that. As a team we need to work towards that. Consistency is a very big factor. If we play like we played the last game we will be a top team."
Tillakaratne Dilshan says Sri Lanka need to stop blowing hot and cold

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RANA1610 on June 16, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    HAFEEZ IS MR. UNDER 10, HIS AVERAGE MUST BE 12. LAST 7 MONTHS.

  • Raiyan24r on June 16, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    the pakistan batting line-up till no. 6 contains more of a test batsman.they need someone explosive to open,like kamran akmal.younus khan & misbah should retire from one dayers and give chance to players like shakeel,hammad etc.

  • on June 16, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    i thnk younas n umer akmal shld be restd...thy havnt prfrmd for bout an year in odi's n younas should retire frm odi crckt...new blood should come upfrnt..as bowlng is cncernd sami should be in playing eleven bcz aftr aamir pakistn could not prdc a express pacer...i pray tht we shall get our team cmbination right...misbah is not perfrming as well as he is capabl of bt one thng is clear tht in his captaincy pakistan win rate is lot more thn last couple ov years or may be before..i want him to be our captain n may luck favr our team

  • ExplicitPlatinum on June 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Well guys, I would like to bring something up. I was thinking about rotating Hafeez and Afridi in the batting order either when Pak bats 1st or last. Hafeez is a good builder but a terrible chaser. 10 overs are gone and Pak have put 15 runs on the board. How about letting Afridi bat at number 1 (In Hafeez's slot) and let Hafeez bat in Afridi's slot ONLY, when Pak chases. This assures that Pak gets a good start and there is no pressure for the batsmen coming in, as they will be influenced in playing their natural game. Hafeez batting in Afridi's NO. 6 slot, means that stability is given to the tail and Hafeez won't be scared of facing the newball, you can see fear in his eyes usually. But whenever Pak bats 1st, let Hafeez bat at NO. 1 and Afridi his usual spot. Afridi batting at NO. 1, shows that he can play like Gayle, Sehwag, or Watson. He's done this before for Hampshire. This is my view

  • on June 16, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    rain will spoil this last 2 odi's as well as test series ! sri lanka could have shifted the matches to dambulla where there is no rain at the moment

  • waqarikrammirza on June 16, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    i dont understand why they are scheduled for this series in this rainy season... thats most hated thing for me.. sitting and waiting for match to start all the day. i have been waiting for match in 3rd ODi with drink and bat in my hands but there was no match to watch.. pls rain doint spoil our cricket please..

  • khurramsch on June 16, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    come on man, if it was rainy season why they scheduled it at colombo? reserve days may give result but ruin the match by start stop. they should have scheduled it at dryer places. it is really frustrating.

  • khurramsch on June 16, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    balance of pakistan is not correct. going with only 5 bowlers not good option these days. pakistan badly need a batting medium pace allrounder to balance side as 6th bowler & good batsman. After razak & no hamad they should think to bring 1. afridi is bowling allrounder now.

  • on June 16, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Today Jun 16, the colombo wather for today Scattered T-Storms

    86°F

    81°F

    Scattered T-Storms

    Chance of rain: 60%

    Wind: SW at 7 mph

    Details

  • waqarikrammirza on June 16, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Umak Akmal must give more chances i don't know why he is unable to perform yet he should groom himself as this will flourish his future he should try to become a good batsman then the journey will start towards GREAT BATSMAN!!!!

  • RANA1610 on June 16, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    HAFEEZ IS MR. UNDER 10, HIS AVERAGE MUST BE 12. LAST 7 MONTHS.

  • Raiyan24r on June 16, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    the pakistan batting line-up till no. 6 contains more of a test batsman.they need someone explosive to open,like kamran akmal.younus khan & misbah should retire from one dayers and give chance to players like shakeel,hammad etc.

  • on June 16, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    i thnk younas n umer akmal shld be restd...thy havnt prfrmd for bout an year in odi's n younas should retire frm odi crckt...new blood should come upfrnt..as bowlng is cncernd sami should be in playing eleven bcz aftr aamir pakistn could not prdc a express pacer...i pray tht we shall get our team cmbination right...misbah is not perfrming as well as he is capabl of bt one thng is clear tht in his captaincy pakistan win rate is lot more thn last couple ov years or may be before..i want him to be our captain n may luck favr our team

  • ExplicitPlatinum on June 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Well guys, I would like to bring something up. I was thinking about rotating Hafeez and Afridi in the batting order either when Pak bats 1st or last. Hafeez is a good builder but a terrible chaser. 10 overs are gone and Pak have put 15 runs on the board. How about letting Afridi bat at number 1 (In Hafeez's slot) and let Hafeez bat in Afridi's slot ONLY, when Pak chases. This assures that Pak gets a good start and there is no pressure for the batsmen coming in, as they will be influenced in playing their natural game. Hafeez batting in Afridi's NO. 6 slot, means that stability is given to the tail and Hafeez won't be scared of facing the newball, you can see fear in his eyes usually. But whenever Pak bats 1st, let Hafeez bat at NO. 1 and Afridi his usual spot. Afridi batting at NO. 1, shows that he can play like Gayle, Sehwag, or Watson. He's done this before for Hampshire. This is my view

  • on June 16, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    rain will spoil this last 2 odi's as well as test series ! sri lanka could have shifted the matches to dambulla where there is no rain at the moment

  • waqarikrammirza on June 16, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    i dont understand why they are scheduled for this series in this rainy season... thats most hated thing for me.. sitting and waiting for match to start all the day. i have been waiting for match in 3rd ODi with drink and bat in my hands but there was no match to watch.. pls rain doint spoil our cricket please..

  • khurramsch on June 16, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    come on man, if it was rainy season why they scheduled it at colombo? reserve days may give result but ruin the match by start stop. they should have scheduled it at dryer places. it is really frustrating.

  • khurramsch on June 16, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    balance of pakistan is not correct. going with only 5 bowlers not good option these days. pakistan badly need a batting medium pace allrounder to balance side as 6th bowler & good batsman. After razak & no hamad they should think to bring 1. afridi is bowling allrounder now.

  • on June 16, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Today Jun 16, the colombo wather for today Scattered T-Storms

    86°F

    81°F

    Scattered T-Storms

    Chance of rain: 60%

    Wind: SW at 7 mph

    Details

  • waqarikrammirza on June 16, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Umak Akmal must give more chances i don't know why he is unable to perform yet he should groom himself as this will flourish his future he should try to become a good batsman then the journey will start towards GREAT BATSMAN!!!!

  • nitharsh on June 16, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    hope rain doent not interrupt the match.If Srilankan batsmen avoids batting collaspe,surely they will win.Srilanka's batting is much better.Hope sanga clicks today.Praying for Srilanka

  • HamidYakub on June 16, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    Assalam-u-Alaikum i totally agree with PAK-92 about the four players especially Fawad Alam and Hammad Azam what wrong these two has done? its my question to selectors and Mr. Tuk Tuk Misbah who's presence in Pakistan middle order really hearts team Pakistan

  • HamidYakub on June 16, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Assalam-u-Alaikum i think sohaiil tanvir should be rested and sami should come in his place because sohail tanvir has taken only 1 wickt in odis in my opinion he is only a t20 specialist weather sami deserve place in odis and t20s both and may be test also depending on his fitness.

  • superstar100 on June 16, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    i think this series going to be waste if rains in sri lanka .... hope to se some cricket but for today there is another match so i will not be disappointed my fav is lanka but let's se match will take place or not

  • on June 16, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Hope To watch a good match. May the best side win!!

  • omar.choudhary on June 15, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    As like all the thousands of cricket fans out there, I do hope this match will not be cancelled. Sri Lanka, as Dilshan mentioned needs to be more consistent although they have a very talented and good bunch of limited over players. Pakistan needs to decide whether they will play Mohammad Sami or Asad Shafiq. As much as I like Shafiq's temperament and technique, he is not scoring enough runs in ODI cricket to justify his place, his average in ODI's is only in mid 20's or so. Mohammad Sami, in some respects is like Shoaib Akhtar, he can change a game on his day but he is too inconsistent, but recently he showed consistency in the earlier phase of this tour, the T20s and the 1st ODI. But the big question is where is Aizaz Cheema, he got 4 wickets in his last game vs Bangladesh in Asia Cup and he was consistent versing Sri Lanka in the UAE. Also I think if the team is experimenting players, why not the newer players in the squad. BEST OF LUCK, TEAM MISBAH! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

  • on June 15, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    Regarding Umar Akmal it is not that he is not scoring but it is his imaturity in shot selection as per situation in the match.He always think that he can hit four and six to any bowler at his will.This is stupidity.One has to give respect to bowler who bowl as per his field and against the type of batsman.

  • PAK-92 on June 15, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    We have too any slow batsmen in our team which is why when they get out cheaply, Umar Akmal is burdened with pressure and doesn't get huge scores he is capable of. Considering the circumstances he comes into bat and the position in which he is sent, I beleive he has done reasonably well with an average of 38 and strike rate of 84. Now if the top order was scoring consistently and Umar was coming in at number 4, I have no doubt in my mind that he would have an average of 50, and be on the same level as Virat Kohli. Kohli has benefited by batting alongside players like Tendulkar, who take most of the burden and allow Kohli to showcase his talent. Unfortunately this is not the case with Umar Akmal. The entire blame for this goes to the team management, who seem to be the only people that do not realise that Umar needs to be batting higher up the order, either at number 3 or 4. Umar has a bright future ahead but has been shown no confidence by the board. Promote him up, and he will shine!

  • PAK-92 on June 15, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    We need to rebuild our team for the World Cup in 2015. Misbah and Younis will not be around then so why not try younger, fresher and better players now. The likes of Hamad Azam, Ahmed Shehzad, Fawad Alam and Imran Nazir need to be included. The fact that Ahmed Shehzad is not in the current squad and Imran Farhat is, disgusts me. And what wrong has Hamad Azam done that he doesn't get to play?

  • on June 15, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    I really really hope that tomorrow's game will go on uninterrupted. I'm really looking forward to seeing the match and I was furious when the last match got washed out. My favorites beside India are Sri Lanka so I am rooting for them. Also, I really hope that the 3 senior batsmen, Sanga, Dilshan and Mahela will score some good runs and we'll get to see some class batting from all 3 of them.

  • sifter132 on June 15, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    "On paper, Sri Lanka's top eight look as dangerous and as powerful as any top eight ever in ODI cricket" BWAHAHAH...for real?? Yeah it's not bad, but come on!! Look at 2001 Australia for example: their 8 was Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting, Bevan, 2 x Waugh bros, Symonds and Harvey. Beat that! A few years later it was Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting, Clarke, Symonds, Hussey, Watson, Hopes. The South African teams of the 90s used to bat all the way down to #9 or further with guys like Klusener, Pollock and Boucher coming in down low to back up an already very good top 6. Look also to India when Dhoni and Yuvraj were at 6 and 7 behind 5 big run scorers. Comparing Mathews and Perera's lower order batting to those guys is a bit insulting. Think before writing please!

  • on June 15, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    Pakistan will win inshallah... :)

  • Ra_Thore on June 15, 2012, 20:21 GMT

    Whenever India is not playing, SL are my favourites. Go tigers go.

  • on June 15, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Asad Shafiq over Sami?? I think it should be Asad Shafiq over Umar Akmal. Asad Shafiq looks to be far better batman. He should be given more chances.

  • on June 15, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    some sri lankan batsmen who failed to score even a half century during this series. but they hang on the team without a problem.

  • Sinhaya on June 15, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    No rain tomorrow. Go to Google and type Colombo weather and see what wunderground and timeanddate says. We should have uninterrupted cricket tomorrow.

  • Desihungama on June 15, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    There is absolutely no point in playing Younis if Asad is in. Let's be realistic. Will Younis be around till next WC? Yes, he will be but will he be an asset or burden by then? A burden in ODI's most likely. So, then can't we give a longer run to Asad at this position so he may establish himself? The only rational thought I could come up with is that these older players know their days are numbered and are trying to cling on to the spot and play as many games possible to make as much money possible before retiring. Doesn't bode well for the board.

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    younus khan should be rested and in place of him sami should be given ball;;;;umar gul is not impressive eather;;;i would have loved Anwar Ali here;;;in these swinging conditions he swings them big with pace

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Please Younis and Misbah, Retire from the cricket, give a chance to hammad and asad plz...

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Totally agree with @Stark62... bringing in Asad Shafiq will not solve the problem!... we need to break this line up 4 consecutive defensive batsmen coming after 1 another... Umar akmal should be promoted up the order... hammad azam should come in as he can be that extra batsman with a good strike rate and provide help to bowlers at the same time... Keeper is definitely not helping we need a batting wicket keeper.... and lastly IMRAN NAZIR must be brought back as opener he can give starts that will allow pak to chase big targets more comfortably!!!

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    all i have to say is.....Imran nazir imran nazir imran nazir..........

  • on June 15, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Rain is the only saviour for Pakistan..At least in paper Sri Lanka look a Far superior team..Probably the most balanced team in the world ATM on paper

  • xChaos on June 15, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Who knows what'll happen? I bet Sri Lanka's got this one, they've finally gotten the batting order.

  • on June 15, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    2dy n ysterday no rain in ni8s bt .....still overcast

  • getsetgopk on June 15, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Seriously I dont remember when was the last time Pakistan batting pulled off a victory, our batsmen are unfortuanately not up to the task, umar akmal, hafeez are flukes, misbah and younus khan are spent forces, a wicket keeper that is more like a goal keeper and then expecting Afridi to do it all on his own, we need batsmen, the current crop is useless.

  • Stark62 on June 15, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Bringing in Shafiq won't make a difference!

    What is he going to do?

    Get 30 runs off 50 balls?

    You need someone at the top, that is going to be aggressive and put the opposition under pressure but the top 4/5 is heavily loaded with defensive batsmen and that is the problem.

    Ever wondered why, Misbah has never got a century in ODI's? Because he plays too slowly and gets many not outs!!

  • on June 15, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Sri lanka seems have found a very balanced and talented XI after long time. They might short of one top quality spinner. Once they find that missing piece and once the youngsters get matured they will be the favorites to win the next WC.

  • on June 15, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Younis khan quit Please :( And for what hamad azam is droped from odis :( m.sami for shoail tanvir n azam for younis khan <3

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on June 15, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Younis khan quit Please :( And for what hamad azam is droped from odis :( m.sami for shoail tanvir n azam for younis khan <3

  • on June 15, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Sri lanka seems have found a very balanced and talented XI after long time. They might short of one top quality spinner. Once they find that missing piece and once the youngsters get matured they will be the favorites to win the next WC.

  • Stark62 on June 15, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Bringing in Shafiq won't make a difference!

    What is he going to do?

    Get 30 runs off 50 balls?

    You need someone at the top, that is going to be aggressive and put the opposition under pressure but the top 4/5 is heavily loaded with defensive batsmen and that is the problem.

    Ever wondered why, Misbah has never got a century in ODI's? Because he plays too slowly and gets many not outs!!

  • getsetgopk on June 15, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Seriously I dont remember when was the last time Pakistan batting pulled off a victory, our batsmen are unfortuanately not up to the task, umar akmal, hafeez are flukes, misbah and younus khan are spent forces, a wicket keeper that is more like a goal keeper and then expecting Afridi to do it all on his own, we need batsmen, the current crop is useless.

  • on June 15, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    2dy n ysterday no rain in ni8s bt .....still overcast

  • xChaos on June 15, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Who knows what'll happen? I bet Sri Lanka's got this one, they've finally gotten the batting order.

  • on June 15, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Rain is the only saviour for Pakistan..At least in paper Sri Lanka look a Far superior team..Probably the most balanced team in the world ATM on paper

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    all i have to say is.....Imran nazir imran nazir imran nazir..........

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Totally agree with @Stark62... bringing in Asad Shafiq will not solve the problem!... we need to break this line up 4 consecutive defensive batsmen coming after 1 another... Umar akmal should be promoted up the order... hammad azam should come in as he can be that extra batsman with a good strike rate and provide help to bowlers at the same time... Keeper is definitely not helping we need a batting wicket keeper.... and lastly IMRAN NAZIR must be brought back as opener he can give starts that will allow pak to chase big targets more comfortably!!!

  • on June 15, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Please Younis and Misbah, Retire from the cricket, give a chance to hammad and asad plz...