Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Colombo June 17, 2012

Stunned Pakistan seek to save series


Match facts

Monday, June 18
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)

Big Picture

Pakistan's batsmen deprived their team of a chance of winning the series, collapsing to lose seven wickets for 13 runs after reaching a position of advantage in the chase in the fourth ODI. An implosion of that nature can be dispiriting, the painstaking yet determined progress by their captain and an emerging top-order talent decimated by the ineptness of those followed. Not too long ago, in 2009 in Sri Lanka, such collapses cost Pakistan the Test series; they have another game to get their batting in order before the Tests.

That's if the weather permits them, though there's the insurance of a reserve day. The balance of power has shifted from spin to pace in the Sri Lankan bowling line-up, and the hosts' seamers have shown there's sufficient ammunition to defend a competitive score. Their batting has improved significantly, led by their experienced trio, after a forgettable performance in the rain-affected first ODI. Sri Lanka are a team on a high; Pakistan, with some sloppy fielding and misfiring batting, not so.

This Premadasa track is not the one that made the venue a fortress of sorts for the home team in the previous couple of decades. They face a good bowling unit but Pakistan's batsmen have a bigger challenge - that they don't end up becoming their own biggest threat.

Form guide

Sri Lanka WWLLL (Completed games, most recent first)
Pakistan LLWWL

Watch out for...

When he first began making a mark as an opener, Mohammad Hafeez's problem was that he squandered good starts, playing a false shot after settling in well. On this tour so far, he's struggled to get even the starts, with three ducks, two of them consecutive. His offspinners have been economical, but he isn't doing justice to the sound technique and solidity he usually offers with the bat.

Upul Tharanga has had a quiet series so far, with scores of 10, 18 and 4. He's just as much in need of a push; if picked tomorrow, he'll play his 150th ODI.

Team news

Sajeewa Weerakoon will think he's done enough to retain his place in the XI, picking up 1 for 49 with his left-arm spin. Sri Lanka could remain unchanged.

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

Umar Gul received treatment on the ring finger of his right hand during the fourth ODI. He was impressive at the start, but faltered in the batting Powerplay. For reasons of injury, or otherwise, Pakistan have Mohammad Sami to fall back on; he's recovering from a thumb injury himself.

Pakistan (possible): 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/Mohammad Sami, 11 Saeed Ajmal.

Stats and trivia

  • This year has been an expensive one for Umar Gul in ODIs. He's taken 15 wickets at 35.06 - his worst in a year - and has gone for 5.71 an over. His worst year, in terms of economy-rate, was 2010, when he went for 6.25 an over.
  • Among players who've scored more than 2500 runs in ODI cricket and not scored a single century, Misbah-ul-Haq has the highest average - 42.30.


"We needed six an over, and everything was under control. I don't know what happened after that."
Misbah-ul-Haq is speechless about Pakistan's harakiri

"Lasith gave us that momentum. A couple of overs of aggressive bowling put them on the back foot and created a bit of doubt in their minds."
Mahela Jayawardene credits Lasith Malinga for triggering Pakistan's collapse

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Yogi on June 18, 2012, 8:52 GMT


  • Naseer on June 18, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    Todays lineup Should be:

    1) Imran Farhat 2) Azhar Ali 3) Umar Akmal 4) Shahid Afridi 5) Hafeez 6) Misbha 7) Sarfraz 8) Tanvir 9) Gul 10) Sami 11) Ajmal

    Pk Allstars Linup: 1) Imran Nazir 2) Imran Farhat / Nasir Jamshed 3) Umar Akmal 4) Kamran Akmal 5) Shahid Afridi 6) Hafeez 7) Misbah 8) Razzaq 9) Rana/Asif 10) Aamir 11) Ajmal

  • Asim on June 18, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    i m not able to under stand that y our people have no idea about cricket, when they love it so much.

    Every one start to blame , misbah , Younas , Azhar ALi , Asad Shafeq , and other players who build teh innings. but they love Afridi , Abdul Razzaq , Imran Nazer , Umer Akmal & coo who come and smash.. if hit wel then fine and if got out then we again shouted on them & hate and critise them.

    My only request to u all that can u have better playing 11 for Pakistan colour so then plz post that. and dont only crisise the team. tell the solution not the problem.

    TOLD US YOUR BEST 11 FOR PAKISTAN. WHO will do this. i will wait

  • sachit on June 18, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @Laka_Kandy - Yes, It's stopped raining but it does not look promising at all...

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    It rained bit earlier today, but now seems fine

  • Sachin on June 18, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Perfect Pakistan XI: Kamaran Akmal, Ahmed Shezhad, Nazir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Mohd Hafeez, Fawad Alam, Abdul Razzaq, Sahid Afredi, Sohail Tanvir, Mohd Sami, Saeed Ajmal.

  • Rakesh on June 18, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @WickyRoy.paklover - for how many more years will people give the reason of team split and egos. Are these guys not professionals? where does ego come into picture?

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    sri lanka selectors should give chance to all in the squad.but always play same 11 even if they played well or not.that is unfair.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Insaalla pakistan win today is gemes i am bangladeshi

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Why Pakistan includes Younis khan in every format of games? He has been in a bad show since the world cup.

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