Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Colombo August 13, 2014

Pakistan hope to spoil Jayawardene's farewell

  shares 27

Play 05:50
Arnold: Jayawardene's self belief set him apart

Match facts

August 14-18, 2014
Start time 1000 local (0430 GMT)

Big Picture

The umbrellas went up in Galle almost as soon as Angelo Mathews had swatted away the winning runs for Sri Lanka. Making their way back to the dressing room as the drizzle intensified, Pakistan's players must have wondered how on earth they lost the Test match after scoring 451 in the first innings. Whether it was their Test-match rustiness or an outcome of over-caution in their second innings, Pakistan simply didn't maintain their standard of play over five days. Against a team as buoyant as Mathews' Sri Lanka, you cannot afford to do that.

Over the following days, Pakistan's spirits were further dampened by news of Saeed Ajmal being reported for a suspect action. It is a cliche that Pakistan are at their most dangerous when they have their backs to the wall, but Misbah-ul-Haq's team will have to believe in that old cornered tigers line as it tries to square the series at the SSC. After a quietly impressive climb up the Test rankings under Misbah, Pakistan are in danger of dropping from third to sixth if they lose the series.

Beating this Sri Lankan side, at a notoriously difficult venue for wicket-taking, will be a difficult ask. More so when they face a team that will want to give its most-capped player a fitting farewell at his favourite venue. Mahela Jayawardene will play his 149th and final Test match, and Sri Lankan cricket will never quite be the same again without those silken drives and late cuts from their No. 4.

While filling the Mahela-shaped hole will be a headache in the long-term, Sri Lanka aren't without more immediate issues to sort out. The opening combination isn't yet settled, and a recall for Dimuth Karunaratne suggests the team management aren't quite convinced by Upul Tharanga. All three of their first-choice fast bowlers are battling one niggle or another, and a new-ball combination of Dhammika Prasad and Chanaka Welegedara doesn't look the most convincing, on paper.

Pakistan's batsmen will need to put pressure on Sri Lanka's bowlers, and not let Rangana Herath in particular get on top of them. There is a growing feeling among followers of Pakistan cricket that the formula that led to the team's rise under Misbah - of cautious batting and run-strangling by spin - is in need of change, and that the natural style of their younger batsmen such as Ahmed Shehzad should be given more space to express itself. A flat batting track and an injury-hit attack will afford Pakistan the opportunity to try and appease their fans. Whether they do so or not remains to be seen.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WDLWD
Pakistan LWLDL

In the spotlight

It is fitting that Mahela Jayawardene's final Test match was moved from the P Sara Oval to the Sinhalese Sports Club, where he has scored more runs than anyone else has at any other ground in the known universe. He has scored 11 centuries at the SSC in 26 Tests, and nothing in his recent form suggests he won't finish off with another, for old times' sake.

He will play the second Test, but it remains to be seen what Saeed Ajmal's state of mind will be, having been reported for a suspect action after the first Test. Pakistan will desperately want his action cleared when he undergoes testing, but before that will want him at his best at the SSC if they have any chance of squaring the series. Judging by the disparity between Ajmal's figures in Galle - 5 for 195 in 65.1 overs - and those of the rest of the attack - 7 for 418 in 114.2 overs - Pakistan's bowling will look a lot less threatening without its banker-cum-magician.

Teams news

Sri Lanka could make up to three changes, mostly due to fitness concerns. Eranga has been ruled out* with a hip injury, and left-armer Welegedara is likely to take his place. Kithuruwan Vithanage has a finger injury, and Lahiru Thirimanne could come in for him if he isn't fit enough to play. Sri Lanka also recalled opener Dimuth Karunaratne in the lead-up, and he could come in for Upul Tharanga, who has been inconsistent since his return to the Test side.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne/Upul Tharanga, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Kithuruwan Vithanage/Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Dhammika Prasad, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Chanaka Welegedara

Pakistan's batting fell away on the fifth day in Galle, and it was a collective failure after a promising display in the first innings. It's unlikely there will be too many changes, but Shan Masood could replace the inconsistent Khurram Manzoor at the top of the order.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Khurram Manzoor/Shan Masood, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 8 Abdur Rehman, 9 Mohammad Talha, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan

Pitch and conditions

The pitch at the SSC is expected to be hard but quite flat, with Mathews saying that he expected less help for the spinners than it had provided during the Test match against South Africa late last month. It has been raining quite frequently in Colombo, mostly at night, and the weather could eat into playing time, just as it did against South Africa.

Stats and trivia

  • Mahela Jayawardene needs 137 runs to finish with 3000 runs at the SSC
  • Rangana Herath needs four wickets to reach 250 in Test matches, while fellow left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman needs four to reach 100

    Quotes

    "If you take the last five or six games that we've played, we've played some really good cricket and it went down to the last over more often than not. We've been playing pretty good cricket."
    Angelo Mathews on Sri Lanka's recent run of thrilling Test finishes

    "Every game is a new game regardless of what happened in the previous game so we are looking forward to win this one to level the series and spoil Mahela's party."
    Misbah-ul-Haq reckons Pakistan can recover from their first-Test loss

    * August 13, 2014 3.30pm GMT: This preview was updated after SLC announced that Eranga had not recovered from his injury

    Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on August 14, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    I guessed the team correctly.

  • on August 14, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    again thirimanne included,i dont know why this happens,he is definitely somebodies blue eyed boy...cos he is in the team for no reason,a walking wicket to be gifted to the opposition,,

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on August 14, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    I think Mathews should bat at number 4 position after Mahela retired.

  • jgoogly on August 14, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I will be 75 soon and had the pleasure of watching and following the progress of cricket in Ceylon/Sri lanka. Fc de Saram, CI, Satha, Tissera, DH de Silva, Dulip mendis, Aravinda, Murali, I know that have missed many stars. The stage is set for the present Stars but I wish they continue to keep the flag flying high.

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on August 14, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    1. Tharanga 2. Kaushal 3. Mahela 4. Sanga 5. Mathews 6. Thirimanne 7. Dickwella 8. Dilruwan 9. Prasad10. Rangana 11. Welagedara

  • THEBEAST7 on August 14, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Never thought I would ever say this BUT, Please give Tharanga one LAST chance. Good to get Thirimanne in for Kithruwan (Who is NOT a test player yet) and send him in with Kaushal. Tharanga can bat low down the order. Come on guys, WIN IT FOR MAHIYYA!!!

  • on August 14, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Good luck Mr.jayawardena and the rest of the team !! We need one last great knock from our master batsmen . And win this game too !! (Specially for him)to have him a great good bye !! LOVE YOU GUYS ALWAYS !!

  • TeamSelector on August 13, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Pakistan have no choice but to go for a win. To get a win, they will need to take 20 wickets. To get 20 wickets, they will have to play five bowlers. Drop both openers & bring in Wahab Riaz & Umar Akmal.

  • on August 13, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    As a Sri Lanka I have no words to explain how we gonna miss MJ. The best leader I have seen in my era. About his batting, it is just like a text book of batting. You can refer to any page to learn how to bat. SL will miss him forever just as we miss magical Murali. What to do that's how life goes. Also sad to see Ajmal's case. He always remind me Murali. Hope he'll fine soon. SL must win this match in a special way. Hat off to MJ.

  • on August 13, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    I think once again game based on pakistani bating line if they perform well then there would be interest otherwise one-sided game is excepted, but v hope good fight from our team . Best of luck

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on August 14, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    I guessed the team correctly.

  • on August 14, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    again thirimanne included,i dont know why this happens,he is definitely somebodies blue eyed boy...cos he is in the team for no reason,a walking wicket to be gifted to the opposition,,

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on August 14, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    I think Mathews should bat at number 4 position after Mahela retired.

  • jgoogly on August 14, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I will be 75 soon and had the pleasure of watching and following the progress of cricket in Ceylon/Sri lanka. Fc de Saram, CI, Satha, Tissera, DH de Silva, Dulip mendis, Aravinda, Murali, I know that have missed many stars. The stage is set for the present Stars but I wish they continue to keep the flag flying high.

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on August 14, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    1. Tharanga 2. Kaushal 3. Mahela 4. Sanga 5. Mathews 6. Thirimanne 7. Dickwella 8. Dilruwan 9. Prasad10. Rangana 11. Welagedara

  • THEBEAST7 on August 14, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Never thought I would ever say this BUT, Please give Tharanga one LAST chance. Good to get Thirimanne in for Kithruwan (Who is NOT a test player yet) and send him in with Kaushal. Tharanga can bat low down the order. Come on guys, WIN IT FOR MAHIYYA!!!

  • on August 14, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    Good luck Mr.jayawardena and the rest of the team !! We need one last great knock from our master batsmen . And win this game too !! (Specially for him)to have him a great good bye !! LOVE YOU GUYS ALWAYS !!

  • TeamSelector on August 13, 2014, 23:26 GMT

    Pakistan have no choice but to go for a win. To get a win, they will need to take 20 wickets. To get 20 wickets, they will have to play five bowlers. Drop both openers & bring in Wahab Riaz & Umar Akmal.

  • on August 13, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    As a Sri Lanka I have no words to explain how we gonna miss MJ. The best leader I have seen in my era. About his batting, it is just like a text book of batting. You can refer to any page to learn how to bat. SL will miss him forever just as we miss magical Murali. What to do that's how life goes. Also sad to see Ajmal's case. He always remind me Murali. Hope he'll fine soon. SL must win this match in a special way. Hat off to MJ.

  • on August 13, 2014, 19:02 GMT

    I think once again game based on pakistani bating line if they perform well then there would be interest otherwise one-sided game is excepted, but v hope good fight from our team . Best of luck

  • on August 13, 2014, 18:24 GMT

    First of all get Khurram Manzoor Out of the team if you watch him it looks like he does'nt have any kind of tehnique I would take out Manzoor and open with Azhar Ali and get Umer Akmel jn and Get Wahab Riaz in place of Abdhr Rehman whatever Pakistan needs to win this one and must destroy Mahela party sorry to Sri Lankan freinds for not only theirs but our legend Mahela Jayawardene Hope Any one in Pakistan team sees this and think about it

  • Karnain on August 13, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    It's a pity that Saeed Ajmal has been reported for suspect action. Hope he'll be cleared after the tests. Anyway as a SL fan I'm happy that he will be playing on MJ's farewell test at SSC tomorrow. By the way Dimuth Karunaratne will not play tomorrow :(

  • on August 13, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    What a player Mahela Jayawerdene. A treat to watch in any format of cricket. Hats off and farewell. about the match. its going to be a batsmen friendly wicket. Pakistan lacked firepower and hunger in the first match and were rusty. The most hurting thing is negative mindset and playing too defensively. Umer shd be in the team for some quick runs. It looks like one dimensional batting line up.

  • t20cric on August 13, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Team 2 promotes Azhar as opener, Younis at 3 and Akmal at 4. Team 3 is the same as 2 but Shafiq is dropped for an extra bowling option. In all 3 teams there is no space for Manzoor but Rehman is also undroppable (there is no other spinner to replace him with) unless Pakistan decide to go only with Ajmal as spinner. Wahab Riaz makes it in all teams cuz he is ok with the bat and he is an attacking bowler with a lot of speed. But its hard to make a good team out of this squad that lacks all rounders and specialist left arm batsmen. Ideally Fawad Alam would definitely be playing as batsman (can also bowl part-time) and Sadaf Hussain would be in the team to strengthen this weak bowling attack.

  • t20cric on August 13, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    This pitch produces draws pretty often. If this game is even drawn then its ok for SL. Pakistan have to try hard in order to win. I'm sure SL would have learned from Sharjah and won't be playing for a draw from the beginning here. In order to win Pakistan must attack and obviously they need to get all of their attacking players in the team. I think Pakistan can try 3 teams. team 1: 1.Ahmed Shehzad, 2.Shan Masood, 3.Azhar Ali, 4.Younis Khan, 5.Misbah-ul-haq, 6.Umar Akmal, 7.Sarfraz Ahmed, 8.Abdur Rehman, 9.Wahab Riaz, 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.Junaid Khan team 2: 1.Ahmed Shehzad, 2.Azhar Ali, 3.Younis Khan, 4.Umar Akmal, 5.Misbah-ul-haq, 6.Asad Shafiq, 7.Sarfraz Ahmed, 8.Abdur Rehman, 9.Wahab Riaz, 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.Junaid Khan team 3: 1.Ahmed Shehzad, 2.Azhar Ali, 3.Younis Khan, 4.Umar Akmal, 5.Misbah-ul-haq, 6.Sarfraz Ahmed, 7.Abdur Rehman, 8.Wahab Riaz, 9.Mohammad Talha, 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.Junaid Khan Team 1 is the same as before but Akmal is in for Shafiq. Team 2 promotes Azhar continued.

  • mensan on August 13, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    I think now it's time that Pakistan should pick 5 best batsmen under 22 years from domestic cricket and get them trained by Inzamam/Yousuf/Ijaz for 1 year. Then they should be sent to England to play county/league for 2-3 seasons. They should not be allowed to play T20 even domestically. They should play only first class and one-day matches. After that they can be introduced to the test team.

  • on August 13, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    The weak links in the Pakistani line up: Khurram Manzoor & Mohammad Talha. Khurram Manzoor should be replaced with Umar Akmal and Azhar Ali should open and when Irfan becomes fit, he should replace Talha.

  • on August 13, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    Pakistan team cannot think even in dreams of defeating mighty SL in there own backyard. Match will end either in draw or SL wins. After this match Pakistan will drop to its original no.6 position in test cricket. Only 4 inform and fit SL players are enough to defeat this Pakistan side. Mahela will make merry on his last test at his favourite ground.

  • on August 13, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    where is fawad alam ????? he really deserves to be in the team specially in these spin friendly conditions

  • on August 13, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Khurram ManZoor do not suit in the team to pursuit the winning strategy and clearly showed the nervousness against the pace attack of SL

  • YsaKaru on August 13, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    My XI: 1.kaushal 2.dimuth 3.sanga 4.mahela 5.mathews 6.tharanga 7.dickwella 8.dilruwan 9.prasad 10.herath 11.binura GOOD LUCK BOYS!!!

  • on August 13, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Sad to see guys like Mahela, Sanga coming under pressure from board members who played a handful of games and joined the board for personal growth. It happened with Malinga and am quite possibly one of the reasons for Mahela to want out as well. We will find out more when both Mahela and Sanga completely leave cricket. Hopefully by then it would not be too late for a talent team riddled by a board that does nothing to help but all to hinder.

  • mzm149 on August 13, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Pakistan should include Shan Masood in place of Khurram Manzoor and Wahab Riaz in place of Talha. Asad Shafiq had lucky escape after playing one substantial knock (even though not a match-winning) after 20 poor ones. So Umar Akmal will have to sit out unfortunately. Rahman cannot be dropped because we have no other spinner. That is where Pakistan need a genuine all-rounder. Hafeez provided that advantage but Misbah didn't use him properly even when he used to play. If England can play with Moeen Ali as a sole spinner on pacey tracks (where he has done exceptionally well) ignoring his weak batting and glaring weakness against short ball, why can't Pakistan go with Hafeez.

    1. Masood 2. Shehzad 3. Azhar 4. Younis 5. Misbah 6. Shafiq 7. Sarfraz 8. Wahab 9. Rahman 10. Ajmal 11. Junaid

  • on August 13, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    Pakistan should play umar akmal instead of khurram manzoor. he did almost nothing after that 146 vs SA. this will be slow and flat wicket so opening is not an issue. Azhar Ali can open it. he is already facing more new ball overs than openers. so should be ok. Talha was also no way near his best and may be changed. It will be hard to win on this wicket but you never know. last match between SA and SL on this was almost a result oriented game. Paksitan need to be the one pushing for a result in this match. it is same situation like they faced earlier this year.

    SL will want to give a winning send off to 1 of their greats so they will make sure they wont give any chance to paksitan. will be a tough game.

  • birkat on August 13, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    It's a great example of Mahela's team philosophy that he is leaving at the right time. Not thinking about his personal milestones of playing 150 tests. He wishes to give a chance to a younger player and that is great thinking. Hopefully someone will grab the chance just like Kaushal Silva did when Dilshan retired to give the youngster a chance.

  • shahnoor-haque on August 13, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    One thing is for sure pakistan cannot win this test match.Because we will know ssc is Mahela's favorite ground and he would love to make his last test memorable.So I don't expect much from pakistan and they should be satisfied if this match ends in a draw.

  • on August 13, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Mahela should play one more to make 150 tests and 12000 runs. and end the year in style vs New Zealand, in New Zealand Hagley ovel which is scheduled to play from 26th to 30th December. Or he needs to play 244 runs more in two innings which is tough.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 13, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    Mahela should play one more to make 150 tests and 12000 runs. and end the year in style vs New Zealand, in New Zealand Hagley ovel which is scheduled to play from 26th to 30th December. Or he needs to play 244 runs more in two innings which is tough.

  • shahnoor-haque on August 13, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    One thing is for sure pakistan cannot win this test match.Because we will know ssc is Mahela's favorite ground and he would love to make his last test memorable.So I don't expect much from pakistan and they should be satisfied if this match ends in a draw.

  • birkat on August 13, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    It's a great example of Mahela's team philosophy that he is leaving at the right time. Not thinking about his personal milestones of playing 150 tests. He wishes to give a chance to a younger player and that is great thinking. Hopefully someone will grab the chance just like Kaushal Silva did when Dilshan retired to give the youngster a chance.

  • on August 13, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    Pakistan should play umar akmal instead of khurram manzoor. he did almost nothing after that 146 vs SA. this will be slow and flat wicket so opening is not an issue. Azhar Ali can open it. he is already facing more new ball overs than openers. so should be ok. Talha was also no way near his best and may be changed. It will be hard to win on this wicket but you never know. last match between SA and SL on this was almost a result oriented game. Paksitan need to be the one pushing for a result in this match. it is same situation like they faced earlier this year.

    SL will want to give a winning send off to 1 of their greats so they will make sure they wont give any chance to paksitan. will be a tough game.

  • mzm149 on August 13, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Pakistan should include Shan Masood in place of Khurram Manzoor and Wahab Riaz in place of Talha. Asad Shafiq had lucky escape after playing one substantial knock (even though not a match-winning) after 20 poor ones. So Umar Akmal will have to sit out unfortunately. Rahman cannot be dropped because we have no other spinner. That is where Pakistan need a genuine all-rounder. Hafeez provided that advantage but Misbah didn't use him properly even when he used to play. If England can play with Moeen Ali as a sole spinner on pacey tracks (where he has done exceptionally well) ignoring his weak batting and glaring weakness against short ball, why can't Pakistan go with Hafeez.

    1. Masood 2. Shehzad 3. Azhar 4. Younis 5. Misbah 6. Shafiq 7. Sarfraz 8. Wahab 9. Rahman 10. Ajmal 11. Junaid

  • on August 13, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Sad to see guys like Mahela, Sanga coming under pressure from board members who played a handful of games and joined the board for personal growth. It happened with Malinga and am quite possibly one of the reasons for Mahela to want out as well. We will find out more when both Mahela and Sanga completely leave cricket. Hopefully by then it would not be too late for a talent team riddled by a board that does nothing to help but all to hinder.

  • YsaKaru on August 13, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    My XI: 1.kaushal 2.dimuth 3.sanga 4.mahela 5.mathews 6.tharanga 7.dickwella 8.dilruwan 9.prasad 10.herath 11.binura GOOD LUCK BOYS!!!

  • on August 13, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Khurram ManZoor do not suit in the team to pursuit the winning strategy and clearly showed the nervousness against the pace attack of SL

  • on August 13, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    where is fawad alam ????? he really deserves to be in the team specially in these spin friendly conditions

  • on August 13, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    Pakistan team cannot think even in dreams of defeating mighty SL in there own backyard. Match will end either in draw or SL wins. After this match Pakistan will drop to its original no.6 position in test cricket. Only 4 inform and fit SL players are enough to defeat this Pakistan side. Mahela will make merry on his last test at his favourite ground.