Sharjah jumps into 2nd encounter of the cricket festival with a match between two prominent Asian teams. Besides the galaxy of stars who constitute the backbone of a side, both the squads have a bunch of talented young players included in the team to gain experience. Having done so well in the past season both the teams have a right to be proud of their successful achievements.

While Sri Lanka crushed a strong England team 3 - 0 in the one-day series played on their own soil, New Zealand humbled Pakistan 3-2 in a similar series followed by ending up the tests with a fighting 1-1 draw. With such a remarkable performance, both the teams take the field with high morale and equitable fighting spirit.

Sharjah is not a new cricket center for them. A cursory glance at the two teams past performance at this fabulous cricket venue will indicate that Sri Lanka enjoys a slightly higher percentage of victories over their opponents. Sri Lanka played 57 matches at Sharjah, won 20 and lost 37 while 2 ended in tie, achieving a success ratio of 36.84 percent.

In comparison New Zealand played 21 matches, won 6 and lost 14 with one ending in a tie thus achieving a success rate of 30.95 only. The figures may have some statistical value that cannot be considered a yardstick for today's match or for that matter the whole tournament. The victories and defeats make or break the figures.

The 1st match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was a very thrilling encounter. The pitch was sporting as well as lively. The pitch generating the right pace and the bounce, the ball posed no difficulty to the batsmen to play strokes. The track also helped the spinners. The batsmen playing the right game were quite successful in scoring runs. The same is expected in today's encounter.

The Sunday's contest was so thrilling that the spectators received their money's worth besides enjoying spectacular cricket. Let us hope the match takes a similar shape today. Although the cricket observers rate Sri Lanka as the favorites for showing unflinching courage and fighting spirit against Pakistan, the team asserting more in the field and playing better shall win.