With the Five match ODI series still balanced at 1-1, and rains forecast for the two remaining ODIs scheduled for Saturday and Monday, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has made a provision for reserve days for both these encounters. Due to logistical issues, the plan to move both these games to Hambantota had to be dropped. Hambantota is the only area not affected by rains at the moment.
June 16, RPS stadium, Colombo
Starting Time: 1430 Local Time (0900 GMT time)
Going by history, the pitch at the RPS stadium in Colombo will favor the batmen. A score of above 250 should be a good total.
Both teams are likely to go in with an unchanged side from the 3rd ODI which saw a total of just 6.2 overs being bowled.
T.Dilshan vs Younis Khan:
Both these men shoulder the responsibility of playing a long and steady innings for their respective sides on a pitch that is not too difficult to bat on. There is a likelihood of rains resulting in a heavy outfield, and they are both capable of applying themselves in such conditions.
The recent success of the Pakistan Cricket team has been attributed to their bowling line up, while the batsmen have often consistently failed to deliver the goods. With the RPS pitch traditionally favoring the batsmen, a Pakistan victory seems unlikely without a contribution from their top or upper middle order. Younis Khan, who has scored just 9 runs in the ODI series, will find himself batting under good conditions at a ground where he has scored 472 ODI runs at an average of 42.9, which in the current line up is second best only to his captain, Misbah Ul Haq’s record of 249 ODI runs at 62.25
D. Chandimal vs Azhar Ali:
A battle between the two youngsters to win the advantage for their respective teams in this well fought series, should be an interesting one. In the series thus far, Azhar Ali is the highest run-getter for his side while Chandimal is yet to make an impression, but is never too far from striking form.
S Afridi vs Thissara Perera:
Shahid Afridi needs no introduction. His statistics with both, bat and ball have helped his team to victory on numerous occassions in the past. On the opposing team, he has a performer in Thissara Perera, who with his excellent all round performance in the 2nd ODI, has displayed that he too can tilt a game in his side’s favor. Afridi, on the other hand finds himself struggling with both, bat and ball in this ODI series. A tight 10 over spell coupled with a quickfire 40 with the bat from this veteran, could make all the difference in this crucial encounter.