It is only early in the Asian Cup for 2012 but these early matches can be very important and if you have a slow start their is a possibility of major consequences at the end. Sri Lanka lost to India in Dhaka while Pakistan narrowly beat Bangladesh in the series opener.
Match Information :
March 15, Dhaka
Starting Time: 1400 Local Time
How the Teams Stand:
Pakistan may have a win to their names but they did escape what looked to be the first upset of the tournament against Bangladesh. Pakistan had a great start to the match with Hafeez and Jahmshed getting to 135 without loss of a wicket. The main problem was in the middle order where no one managed to get a start and Pakistan were eventually guided to a modest 262 thanks to Umar gul’s efforts. Sri Lanka remain to be a very strong batting team but you need balance to be a good cricket team and at the moment the bowling looks very shabby. In the 1st match they really struggled without Lasith Malinga leading the bowlers and someone like Kulesakera needs to take charge and take some responsibility.
Saeed Ajmal continues his wonderful form with the bat and he played a major role in getting Pakistan ahead when Bangladesh were chasing. 2 for 45 doesn’t resemeble how Ajmal played some an important rule especially since his wickets were only Mortaza and Abdur Razzak but at that point Bangladesh looked to cruise home with wickets in hand but Ajmal showed his skill and great form to take 2 quick wickets. Seekkuge Prasanna is inexperienced at international level but this is his chance to secure a spot in this Sri Lankan XI during the Asian Cup. Sri Lanka’s bowling has been all over the shop this year and with only 8 wickets from 8 matches he would like to play a major role on the Bangladesh pitches.
In the 2nd Match India set a very good total so their is a lot for the batsman as it is becoming a very flat pitch but is still quite slow giving the spinners most benefit.
Angelo Matthews has been sent home after failing to show he is fit. Eranga has been rushed in as a replacement but it is unlikely he will take part in this match. Malinga didn’t play in Sri Lanka’s opener but it is likely he will feature against Pakistan in replace of Lakmal.
Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Upul Tharanga, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Farveez Maharoof, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 S Prasanna.
Pakistan should play the same XI.
Pakistan (likely) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Azhar Ali, 3 Younis Khan 4 Umar Akmal 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema.