Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Dambulla August 29, 2014

Ajmal return buoys Pakistan in series decider

43

Match facts

Saturday, August 30, 2014
Start time 1000 local (0430 GMT)

Big picture

A gap of three days between games can sometimes be a luxury in the manic schedule of an international cricketer. For Pakistan, the break and the ensuing change of scenery as the series shifts to Dambulla, is a chance to process the implosion in Hambantota. Their collapse gave Sri Lanka another shot at remedying an average record of ODI series wins at home.

For Pakistan, the series so far has been a tale of two chases, similar in their setting but vastly different in outcome - the first, conjured from thin air by Fawad Alam and Sohaib Maqsood, the second blown up in smoke by Sri Lanka's spinners on a helpful track.

But the second ODI in Hambantota wasn't just about the batting collapse. The Saeed Ajmal-sized hole in the Pakistan line-up could not be filled by the bowlers, especially towards the end of Sri Lanka's innings and Misbah-ul-Haq will know that the game slipped away from the side over the course of a mere 18 overs with the bat and in the field. While Sri Lanka were batting, Pakistan gave away 101 runs in the final ten overs and during their chase, went from 192 for 4 to 233 all out in just eight overs.

Pakistan, however, will be boosted by the return of Ajmal after his bowling action was tested in Brisbane, and may drop a fast bowler to accommodate him. However, it is the need to find consistency in the batting line-up that will be Pakistan's biggest challenge.

Despite having levelled the series, Sri Lanka have their own set of glaring problems. The failures of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga - who have stands of 18 and 14 - have been masked by the fluency Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews' remarkable form in the middle order. Lasith Malinga's yorkers haven't been as effective as they usually are and Nuwan Kulasekara, although marginally economical than Malinga, is still wicketless.

Form guide

Sri Lanka WLLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan LWLWW

In the spotlight

The lack of form of the fast-bowling attack has been one of the biggest concerns for Sri Lanka in this series. Kulasekara (6.15 runs per over) and Malinga (7.32) have been expensive so far in the series and the pair have just three wickets between them. Kulasekara has not picked up a wicket in seven matches since May 2014. Sri Lanka's spinners, who now carry the chunk of the responsibility, have been given some relief by Mathews and Thisara Perera but the fast bowlers will still need to step up.

Saeed Ajmal has spent most of the last week getting his action tested in Brisbane. That he will play on Saturday is almost certain, especially after Misbah-ul-Haq's statement that the side had missed the bowler on the turning track at Hambantota, especially in the Powerplays and towards the end of the innings. There will be added scrutiny on his action and on how he has coped with the doubts over his game. Ajmal was last reported for a suspect action in April 2009 in the middle of an ODI series with Australia in the UAE. While he was cleared a month later, the bowler kept up his miserly form for the rest of the matches, with figures of 0 for 42 (in nine overs), 0 for 20 and 1 for 40 (10 overs).

Team news

Sri Lanka are likely to stick with their misfiring opening combination and may field the same XI from Hambantota.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Ashan Priyanjan 7 Seekkuge Prasanna, 8 Thisara Perara, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Rangana Herath/Suraj Randiv

With Ajmal returning to the side, Pakistan may opt to drop either Junaid Khan or Mohammad Irfan. Sharjeel Khan, who replaced Younis Khan in the batting line-up, is likely to keep his place.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Sharjeel Khan 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Umar Akmal (wk), 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Fawad Alam, 7 Sohaib Maqsood, 8 Shahid Afridi, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Mohammad Irfan/Junaid Khan

Pitch and conditions

Rain is unlikely to be a concern in Dambulla and the teams will instead have to get their estimate of the pitch correct. There has been just one ODI at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in the last two years in which teams scored 211 and 126 in a rain-hit match. Shahid Afridi will have fond memories of this ground, however, after his 60-ball 124 against Bangladesh helped Pakistan to a 139-run win in the Asia Cup 2010.

Stats and trivia

  • The two captains, Angelo Mathews and Misbah-ul-Haq, find themselves on a unique list of batsmen with most runs in ODI cricket without a century. While Misbah has scored 37 ODI fifties and 4576 runs in 148 matches, Mathews has 22 fifties and 3013 runs in 132 games.

  • Dambulla was also the venue for the most successful chase in Sri Lanka, between the two teams in August 2009.

  • Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan have had an ordinary series so far, giving away plenty of runs without too many wickets. In two games, Junaid Khan has conceded 139 runs in 17 overs at an economy rate of 8.17 and just one wicket. Mohammad Irfan has two wickets but has given away 113 runs in two games at a rate of 5.94

Quotes

"We know that Ajmal is a good bowler and that he's going to strengthen their bowling even more. But we know that he's a good bowler and we've played him well in the recent past. We'll look to play him positively and try to score runs against him."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews on the reasons behind the failures of his fast bowlers

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Masood_Indher on August 30, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    pak shouldn't drop sharjeel, open him with shehzad & irfan should be replaced by ajmal

  • lazyone on August 30, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    In last 5 ODIs in Sri Lanka, teams who won the toss have won the matches. So the toss might be a deciding factor in this match

  • Thar1ndu on August 30, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Best team to win WC 2015 for Sri Lanka:(same team of CB series in AUS 2012) 1.Mahela 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Chandimal(wk) 5.Thirimanna/Priyanjan 6.Matthews(c) 7.Tharanga 8.Thisara 9.Kulasekara 10.Malinga 11.Rangana/Sachithra/prasanna

    This team contains 7 batsmen in the lineup.It is very good to chase big targets in Aus/NZ conditions.We can use Mahela instead of kusal.Kusal is weak in opening in the fast traks.It has 4 fast bowlers,3 spinners.Let sanga to play as pure batsman.Mahela is very good at opening in the fast tracks.Let chandimal to bat@4 or higher or drop him without distroying his confidence.If we play this team surely the world Champs 2015 are sri Lankans.This team contains enough fire power.Tharanga is very good at lower middle order rather than opening.Priyanjan or thirimanna must be chosen depending on condition.kusal can join the team after the world cup.

  • on August 30, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    Pak fast bowlers should bowl yorkers at the death ad save runs how pak fast bowlers cant bowl yorkers surprised !!

  • on August 30, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    good but fast bowlers should learn to bowl yorkers waqar should teach them

  • on August 30, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    at least now srilanka cricket board should know about what is the weakness of our srilankan team.stability of the batting order and lacking of deck-hard pitching bowlers.in my point of view tharanga should be play as a middle order batsmen with his experience like he did in Australia couple years back.he did it great there.but today's game i prefer XI this: 1.tharanga 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Mathews 6.priyanjan 7.thisara 8.seekuge 9.Prasad 10.herath 11.malinga

    for upcoming series i prefer XI this: 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.sanga 4.MJ 5.Mathews 6.Tharanga 7.priyanjan 8.thisara 9.kule or prasad 10.herath 11.malinga

  • on August 30, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Im always worried that m.irfan will get injured again before the wc, but he needs game time aswell so...

  • Rizwanodayar on August 29, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    Both openers in Srilanka team should take more responsibility and play a long inning. Tharanga dose not have qualities a middle order batsmen should have those are ability to quickly settle in, match situation awareness and ability to power hitting. If he failed to deliver as opener, as he did in previous Australian tower SriLanka better look for another opening batsmen. I am hoping better show from fast bowlers this time who ever the playing as fast bowlers there bowling form is prime impotent in world cup.

  • on August 29, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    I've seen some unnecessary changes suggested by some of the fellows.... Wahab cannot be made sit out with current wicket taking form plus he is someone with genuine pace and u need bowlers like him in a place like Srilanka to get wickets. Pakistan had Srilanka on the ropes till the 40th over in both the matches. They gave away too many runs in the depth. Even though I would like to see Anwer Ali to be in the team but playing him in this decider would be a risk. Pakistani fast bowlers seem good.they just have to change their lengths in the final overs and keep it full. Shuffling batting order won't help much middle order can't be made to open the innings.so the only realistic change I see is Ajmal replacing Sharjeel.

  • riverlime on August 29, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    Ajmal cant play as freely as he once did, with the fear of increased scrutiny hanging over his head. He should have not played until he has had feedback from the testing facility. I still think he can spin the ball, but with the eyes of the world on him, he will not take risk to put extra revs on the ball, and that will draw his sting.

  • Masood_Indher on August 30, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    pak shouldn't drop sharjeel, open him with shehzad & irfan should be replaced by ajmal

  • lazyone on August 30, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    In last 5 ODIs in Sri Lanka, teams who won the toss have won the matches. So the toss might be a deciding factor in this match

  • Thar1ndu on August 30, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Best team to win WC 2015 for Sri Lanka:(same team of CB series in AUS 2012) 1.Mahela 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Chandimal(wk) 5.Thirimanna/Priyanjan 6.Matthews(c) 7.Tharanga 8.Thisara 9.Kulasekara 10.Malinga 11.Rangana/Sachithra/prasanna

    This team contains 7 batsmen in the lineup.It is very good to chase big targets in Aus/NZ conditions.We can use Mahela instead of kusal.Kusal is weak in opening in the fast traks.It has 4 fast bowlers,3 spinners.Let sanga to play as pure batsman.Mahela is very good at opening in the fast tracks.Let chandimal to bat@4 or higher or drop him without distroying his confidence.If we play this team surely the world Champs 2015 are sri Lankans.This team contains enough fire power.Tharanga is very good at lower middle order rather than opening.Priyanjan or thirimanna must be chosen depending on condition.kusal can join the team after the world cup.

  • on August 30, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    Pak fast bowlers should bowl yorkers at the death ad save runs how pak fast bowlers cant bowl yorkers surprised !!

  • on August 30, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    good but fast bowlers should learn to bowl yorkers waqar should teach them

  • on August 30, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    at least now srilanka cricket board should know about what is the weakness of our srilankan team.stability of the batting order and lacking of deck-hard pitching bowlers.in my point of view tharanga should be play as a middle order batsmen with his experience like he did in Australia couple years back.he did it great there.but today's game i prefer XI this: 1.tharanga 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Mathews 6.priyanjan 7.thisara 8.seekuge 9.Prasad 10.herath 11.malinga

    for upcoming series i prefer XI this: 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.sanga 4.MJ 5.Mathews 6.Tharanga 7.priyanjan 8.thisara 9.kule or prasad 10.herath 11.malinga

  • on August 30, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    Im always worried that m.irfan will get injured again before the wc, but he needs game time aswell so...

  • Rizwanodayar on August 29, 2014, 23:57 GMT

    Both openers in Srilanka team should take more responsibility and play a long inning. Tharanga dose not have qualities a middle order batsmen should have those are ability to quickly settle in, match situation awareness and ability to power hitting. If he failed to deliver as opener, as he did in previous Australian tower SriLanka better look for another opening batsmen. I am hoping better show from fast bowlers this time who ever the playing as fast bowlers there bowling form is prime impotent in world cup.

  • on August 29, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    I've seen some unnecessary changes suggested by some of the fellows.... Wahab cannot be made sit out with current wicket taking form plus he is someone with genuine pace and u need bowlers like him in a place like Srilanka to get wickets. Pakistan had Srilanka on the ropes till the 40th over in both the matches. They gave away too many runs in the depth. Even though I would like to see Anwer Ali to be in the team but playing him in this decider would be a risk. Pakistani fast bowlers seem good.they just have to change their lengths in the final overs and keep it full. Shuffling batting order won't help much middle order can't be made to open the innings.so the only realistic change I see is Ajmal replacing Sharjeel.

  • riverlime on August 29, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    Ajmal cant play as freely as he once did, with the fear of increased scrutiny hanging over his head. He should have not played until he has had feedback from the testing facility. I still think he can spin the ball, but with the eyes of the world on him, he will not take risk to put extra revs on the ball, and that will draw his sting.

  • on August 29, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    Best of luck Pakistan..

  • PoeticCricket on August 29, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    Tharang should play in the middle order like he did well in the last triangular series in Australia & he is better than overrated Chandimal or out of from Thirimanna. Tharang has been a failure as an opener since he found out out side off stump channel when the ball is doing a bit earlier on. Tharanga has more than enough experience to see through an inning by supporting Angelo Mathews. Kusal must open. For the WC. Kusal, Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela, Angelo & Tharanga, they should be the first six choice batsmen for the remaining ODIs till WC.

  • on August 29, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    I really don't see Wahab Riaz's place in the team. Pakistan's batting is really fragile and having Anwar instead of Wahab is a better option. Anwar might be less potent with his bowling but he earned couple of man of match awards during South Africa series and deserves a spot in playing 11. If Ajmal's bowling actions tests come positive then he would have to go through a correction process and not sure sure if he would be part of the World Cup Squad. It's better to stop relying on him and focus on Zulfiqar or Hasan Raza.

  • on August 29, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    for Pakistan biggest concern is captain when batting doesn't score runs negative batting should retire at this age

  • on August 29, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    friends i am going to ask you few questions, 1: what not misbha on 3 tomorrow? and ask him to score his 1st ODI ton so that before worldcup our captain has 100 below his belt? 2: why not ask fawad to open? as he is playing fast bowlers better than every other player in our team? 3: as we are preparing for worldcup so hafeez will not be a good opener. use him as an all rounder and i have seen him played very well in depth overs? 4: if u play umar At 4 then ask him to play his natural game otherwise dont play him, play rizwan he will be better than akmal? 5: anwar ali is a future allrounder and will be very effective in worldcup, dont drop him ? 6: leg spiner is always useful in australia and newzealand, afridi is a key 7: wahab junaid and irfan will be very useful in worldcup but dont play junaid and irfan tomorrow because both are not in good form, try talha and anwar tomorrow 8: sharjeel should play t20 only?? 9: ahmed is playing very slow ask him to attack more

  • on August 29, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    I think Pakistan need double change junaid and irfan drop and bring saeed ajmal and anwer Ali in

  • t20cric on August 29, 2014, 18:13 GMT

    @ Khurram S Chaudhry: I agree that if they're going to drop a fast bowler it should be for Anwar Ali since they always have him on the field anyways as the sub fielder. Sharjeel should make way for Ajmal cuz he failed again like expected. It think in the next series they should drop Sharjeel from the squad & give Nasir Jamshed or some other opener a chance in the squad. I think the team should be 1.Ahmed Shehzad, 2.Mohammad Hafeez, 3.Fawad Alam, 4.Sohaib Maqsood, 5.Misbah-ul-haq, 6.Umar Akmal, 7.Shahid Afridi, 8.Anwar Ali, 9. Wahab Riaz, 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.Mohammad Irfan. Umar Akmal moves down cuz I think that he's more comfortable @ 6 but if they want to give him one more chance @ 4 then it makes sense. Junaid Khan makes way for Anwar cuz both Junaid & Irfan were poor but Junaid was marginally worse. This team looks like a string allround team that could win us the game & the series.

  • Aized.Syed on August 29, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Pakistan need 1 more proper spinner. Pakistan need to bring in Zulfiqar Babar in instead of Sharjeel. Zulfiqar can bat good, and he can also do a lot of damage to the batting side by bowling. Currently Sharjeel is out of luck, and not in good form. Sharjeel can score 7 runs in a match but Zulfiqar can hit atleast 20 runs in a match. Seriously, like that PCB is ruining Babar's little career that is left. I'm sure he can be a dangerous spinner like Ajmal too. he gets a lot of spin, please play him in the last odi.

  • on August 29, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    i think poor captaincy by misbah. he shuld played a bowler in the second and first odi instead of sharjeel. pak shuld have gone with six bowlers. umar akmal shuld be told that he cant play shot like these at the top. he needs to be more responsible or else sarfraz shuld be given a chance instead of him. misbah who got angry when afridi got out but why? any other batsmen wuld also have gone for hitting instead misbah shuld blame himself and his captaincy although i respect misbah and he is a good batsman but the real preesure came on misbah and started blocking to many balld with ahmad shahzad while fawad alam shuld have come in for umar. Tom team:1)ahmad shahzad 2)hafeez 3)maqsood 4)fawad 5)misbah 6)umar 7)afridi 8)ajmal 9)wahab 10)junaid 11)irfan

  • Desihungama on August 29, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Doesn't matter what Umar Akmal says he is clearly not comfortable batting up top. Sharjeel is another case who is best suited for T20, possibly in India/Bangladesh only. I rather see Fawad bat up top.

  • on August 29, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    Dhammika Prasad should replace on behalf Kulasekara or Malinga, He can bat well at number 8,9 for aggrassive finish or go for a big total and put pressure on PAK.

  • on August 29, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    More likely Sharjeel will be out. and if they are dropping any fast bowler then they should also bring Anwar Ali for that. Sharjeel hasnt done anything since his 1st innings or so. Main thing will be batting for pakistan.

    Ahmed - Hafeez - Fawad - Umar - Misbah - Maqsood - Afridi - Anwar/ Junaid - Wahab - Ajmal - Irfan

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on August 29, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    This clearly says SL selectors has no guts to drop Kula wicket less in last 7 ODI's If they afraid to give chance to fresh seamer why they can't give Chance to at least Dhammika Prasad. Bowled very well in last Pak test series and got wickets in those spin friendly wickets. Even though he is expensive he has great ability to get first 2-3 wickets quickly.

  • on August 29, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    Batting order needs to be changed. Fawad and Maqsood need to come up.

  • shahnoor-haque on August 29, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    Drop misbah and bring ajmal.Mark my words we will win the series.

  • mumtaz78 on August 29, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    Please drop Malinga and bring Dammika Prasad, he is more aggressive in bowling in the resent matches and would be better in tail end batting comparing to Malinga.....And he playing with full heart.....I hope some one will agree on that

  • SLbunty on August 29, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    I think Tharanga had done his part as an opener in both ODIs & unfair to blame him for low 1st wicket stands! The reason for the low 1st wicket partnership was the failure of Dilshan in both ODIs! In both ODIs Tharanga stayed at the wicket until the first 50 runs up on the board, helping to maintaining a run rate around 6/over beyond first 10 overs.

  • KingOwl on August 29, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Misbah has played 148 matches and Angelo has 132. Isn't Misbah something like 15 years older than Angelo? What was Misbah doing all that time?

  • mensan on August 29, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    Pakistan should have played Zulfiqar Babar instead of Sharjeel in last match.

  • Jeewaka9999 on August 29, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    Ple Selectors give a chance to Other fast bowlers..We don't need 120 Km/h speed low full toss bowling fast bowler as our leading fast bowler..See his stats 157 matches 168 wickets..Is this enough? So when playing, Kula puts lot of pressure on Malinga too..Bcoz he is the one who has to take wickets..Last SL vs SA tour in SL, Steyn ,Morkel and Mcleran were the main wicket takers..In current series Wahab has taken 7 wickets in 2 matches so far..So we should not give lame excuses for our fast bowlers..other thing Among Kula's wicketless last 7 matches he went wicketless in 3 matches in England

  • nickexplore on August 29, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    Hard for SL to build a solid start with Dilshan out on review for an underedge he missed by some way in the last outing at Hambantota. Snicko and Hotspot should be in place for all international matches, so that caught behinds and bat pads can be accurately adjudicated by the TV umpires, in the same way Hawkeye Tracker technology is used for lbw referrals. Dilshan and Tharanga will forge a good partnership soon.Their record together is good and they are class players.

  • on August 29, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    Sharjeel Khan is very talented, he's a good find but have zero temperament. I haven't seen him got out to a good ball yet, he just throws his wicket away! Either train him or replace him with Sami Aslam/Babar Azam/Haris Sohail. Sad to see why the selectors don't give chances to these players!

  • palla.avinash on August 29, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    Ajmal should have been tested in Cardiff rather in brisbane,not just him all the suspected bowlers.

  • SLcric54 on August 29, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Sri Lanka should really provide a strong opening start. It would set a good foundation for batsmen to come and achieving a score of 300+ is probable if we bat first. Same applies if we chase too. We can't always rely on the lower order to fire too. Furthermore, the new bowl spell, should be more tight/ attacking. Wickets are key. Also I've noticed that usually in the finals, the underperforming players rise to the occasion. So I expect Tharanga/Dilshan and Malinga/Kulasekara to do so. In addition to this, I expect the Pakistanis to do well with the bat. Let's hope to have a close finish...

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Mohammed hafeez and shahid afridi are the all rounders of pakistan so. Best of luck for the decider

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    I think pakistan should drop sharjeel khan and bring ajmal because Pakistan has one batsman more in this line up

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    Hope Dhammika Prasad will be selected instead of Kulasekara who is clearly out of form. Prasad should be seriously considered for the next World Cup as his type of bowling will be much required in Australian conditions.

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Sharjeel should have to drop becoz if hafeez comes in the first few overs then there is no use of him on the top!!!

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on August 29, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Most Sri Lankan pitches hardly help seamers. Early wickets or tight overs at the start is bonus. By maintaining immaculate line and length will help build pressure on opponents. I think if both Malinga or Kulasekara, stick to their usual strengths, that would be good enough. Senanayake's absence is more evident than seamers wicket less performance. Big hopes on batting, once again in order to win, for either team.

  • cric1984 on August 29, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Pakistan Should Drop Afridi, to come in Ajmal because Afridi is not doing good in this series while 3 fast bowlers are doing good. So Afridi should be droped by mangement. This will perfect balance team of Pakistan. Good Luck Pakistan

  • on August 29, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Sri Lanka should replace Kule with Prasad and Inclusion of Ajmal is a big threat for Sri Lankan No 7 to no 9 Batsmen

  • on August 29, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    inshallah pakistan win the match

  • on August 29, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    welcome back Ajmal all the very best

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 29, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    welcome back Ajmal all the very best

  • on August 29, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    inshallah pakistan win the match

  • on August 29, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    Sri Lanka should replace Kule with Prasad and Inclusion of Ajmal is a big threat for Sri Lankan No 7 to no 9 Batsmen

  • cric1984 on August 29, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Pakistan Should Drop Afridi, to come in Ajmal because Afridi is not doing good in this series while 3 fast bowlers are doing good. So Afridi should be droped by mangement. This will perfect balance team of Pakistan. Good Luck Pakistan

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on August 29, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    Most Sri Lankan pitches hardly help seamers. Early wickets or tight overs at the start is bonus. By maintaining immaculate line and length will help build pressure on opponents. I think if both Malinga or Kulasekara, stick to their usual strengths, that would be good enough. Senanayake's absence is more evident than seamers wicket less performance. Big hopes on batting, once again in order to win, for either team.

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Sharjeel should have to drop becoz if hafeez comes in the first few overs then there is no use of him on the top!!!

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    Hope Dhammika Prasad will be selected instead of Kulasekara who is clearly out of form. Prasad should be seriously considered for the next World Cup as his type of bowling will be much required in Australian conditions.

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    I think pakistan should drop sharjeel khan and bring ajmal because Pakistan has one batsman more in this line up

  • on August 29, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Mohammed hafeez and shahid afridi are the all rounders of pakistan so. Best of luck for the decider

  • SLcric54 on August 29, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Sri Lanka should really provide a strong opening start. It would set a good foundation for batsmen to come and achieving a score of 300+ is probable if we bat first. Same applies if we chase too. We can't always rely on the lower order to fire too. Furthermore, the new bowl spell, should be more tight/ attacking. Wickets are key. Also I've noticed that usually in the finals, the underperforming players rise to the occasion. So I expect Tharanga/Dilshan and Malinga/Kulasekara to do so. In addition to this, I expect the Pakistanis to do well with the bat. Let's hope to have a close finish...