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June 21, 2009
Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan captain, has said Pakistan's unpredictability was something his team needs to watch out for during Sunday's final.
Pakistan looked hapless in their opening-game defeat to England but bounced back strongly since, upsetting tournament favourites South Africa in the semi-final. "They've probably learnt a few things along the way," AFP quoted Sangakkara as saying. "They've always been a competitive side, temperamental, but you are always wary when you play against them.
"The greatest challenge they present is the fact they are unpredictable. Hopefully, we'll have enough strength to tie them down when need be."
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have progressed smoothly to the finals, with their varied bowling attack guiding them to six straight victories.
Their greatest success in limited-overs cricket so far has been the 1996 World Cup win, and two members of that side, Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan, are still key performers. Sangakkara was part of the side that was beaten in the final of the 2007 World Cup, and he is desperate to get his hands on a world title.
"A World Cup is a World Cup, isn't it?," he said. "We have guys in the team who've already tasted that victory and they've always told us there's no feeling like that."
It was only three months ago that the Sri Lankan team were attacked by terrorists during a tour of Pakistan, injuring several players. "Hopefully, there'll not be much emotion. I think we've got to control that part if we want to be mentally strong enough to do what we have to do tomorrow [Sunday]," he said. "I think the guys have moved on very well from where we were just after Lahore."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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