Do-or-die battle for SL cricket team

15 March 2012 04:48 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The ever-so-unpredictable Pakistan face their first big test of the tournament when they take on an injury-hit Sri Lankan team, which was outclassed by India in its lung-opener, in an Asia Cup league match today (Thursday).

Pakistan started their campaign on a winning note by beating Bangladesh even though it was a close shave for them given the home team`s fighting performance in a steep chase.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, failed in the chasing job against India.

Faced with a mammoth 304, the islanders fell short by 50 runs despite the fact that they have a batting order that runs deep and was expected to click in the familiar sub-continental environs.

But for the sheer unpredictability of Pakistan, both the teams seem quite a match for each other on paper. Even Pakistan has a long batting order to boast off and they have the destructive Shahid Afridi, who can snatch a game but, like his team, is not consistent enough.

He can be the game-changer one day but can also be a complete letdown the next. But Pakistan can bank on his leg-break bowling which comes in handy almost always.

Their openers notched up good scores against Bangladesh but the experienced middle-order comprising the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq failed to fire.
 
The bowling too was unimpressive against a side which is considered a minnow at the international level. Pace spearhead Umar Gul was expensive and would have to get his act together quickly as his form is crucial to the team`s chances.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, also have major bowling issues to deal with. Their bowling attack, sans Lasith Malinga, came a cropper on a placid track and allowed the Indians to plunder runs in the lung-opener.

Malinga is expected to be back for tomorrow`s match after being ironically left out yesterday due to his tendency to concede runs against India.

On the batting front too, there are concerns as the chase went haywire after skipper Mahela Jayawardene`s dismissal. The explosive Tillakaratne Dilshan would hold the key to a big score and the four-time champions would hope he fires after a rather disappointing start to the tournament. 


For a batting order that runs till number nine, the effort against India was not good enough.

"Three-hundred, I thought, was gettable on this wicket," Jayawardene said after the defeat last night.

"We batted really well but we made quite a few mistakes [too], and that has probably cost us the game."

What also hurt Sri Lanka was the absence of their two attacking all-rounders -- Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera -- both of whom are out injured.


Teams :

Pakistan : Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Abdur Rehman, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Younis Khan

Sri Lanka
: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne.


(PTI)

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  Comments - 9

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  • anura Thursday, 15 March 2012 05:35 AM

    We are going to win this match. simply because Kapuwa is not in the team this time. Come India come Kapuwa that's the vital sign for Indian runners.

    limatc Thursday, 15 March 2012 05:53 AM

    pls note that , there is something fishy when playing with india , politcal pressure on our boys to lose the game , this is sure , pls analyse , we sold the world cup for money , all world knows , we even gave runs in CB seriies in AUS , now the asia cup , we did not elect to bat after toss win , check for all these , cannot blame the boys , it is the top rulers have told them to lose to IN due to politics , slowly analyse all depts , then one will know this fact

    prabath Thursday, 15 March 2012 05:54 AM

    No point carrying Kapu further, a bowling allrounder (may be Sachitra) would be a better choice. Thira needs to play along the ground when playing through the field, Tharanga needs to drop the ball in gaps for singles, Chandimal needs to keep the head down when going for big shots..... all have to hold on to the catches!!!

    Fazli Thursday, 15 March 2012 06:21 AM

    OK Guys, its time to redeem your fame. Give the opponents due respect. Play the game to its merits.
    There should be NO let ups. Ofcourse you can do it.
    Good luck guys.

    MM Thursday, 15 March 2012 06:23 AM

    All the best of luck SL...................

    Chalitha Thursday, 15 March 2012 06:57 AM

    What is more iportant is we should pick up an allrounder inorder to replace a one like angelo or thisara.. picking up a useles fellow like kapu, chamara silva would ruin the whole balance of the team & spirit as well. So selectors plssss plsss pick the team with some sence.

    Mahroof Thursday, 15 March 2012 03:24 PM

    mahroof

    GOOD LUCK AND BEST WISHES FOR OUR BOYS.

    Jumbuli Jumba Thursday, 15 March 2012 08:54 AM

    With Mali's new look, Sri Lanka seems to have a winning chance this time!

    Ane Anichchan Thursday, 15 March 2012 08:59 AM

    So "Kapuwa Kapothie" this time and should have a chance in this do or die battle!


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