Pakistan vs Sri Lanka - 4th ODI - Preview
The One-Day International series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is nearing its end with the fourth match of series to be played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday, November 20, 2011. The first three ODI’s of the tour were played
at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The match holds great importance for both sides, as a win for Pakistan would give them an unassailable lead of three games to one, while a win for the Lankans would see them on even terms with the hosts.
Sharjah has been Pakistan’s favourite hunting ground in the past and the Men in Green would look to continue their dominance on the ground, though most players in the current Pakistani roster may not find conditions as friendly
as their predecessors did, because it has been eight years since they last played here.
The pitch at Sharjah has always been a batting paradise and it is expected that both sides will go with a strong batting line-up in order to reap the most of the surface; therefore, a high scoring game is expected on Sunday.
Sri Lankan skipper, Tillakaratne Dilshan, may beg to differ from this idea. Dilshan opines that a score of 250 would be a sufficient score, as according to International Cricket Councils (ICC) new rules, there should be two new
balls used in each innings, which favours the bowlers.
Dilshan said, “We have to get used to it. I don't think 300 and 350 runs are [now needed for] winning. Now 250 runs can be [enough for] a winnable target, with two new balls.”
Pakistan cricket team has been on a rise, whereas the Lankan team’s case is quite opposite. The Men in Green came from a series win over Zimbabwe, and have won four of their last five fixtures. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have
won just two.
Muhammad Hafeez has been the most consistent batsman for Pakistan in the last year or so. The batter was struggling in the first two games, but found form in the third with a blistering knock of 83 runs; he’ll be hoping to build
on that innings. Shahid Afridi has been out of action for couple of months, but now the leg-spinner is back and is hungry for wickets.
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene hold the key for the Sri Lankan team. The duo is vastly experienced, and can play big innings as well. Lasith Malinga is Sri Lanka’s main weapon with the new ball, and more often than not,
the bowler makes early inroads for his side.
Pakistan (probable XI): Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicket-keeper), Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir/Junaid
Khan/ Aizaz Cheema
Sri Lanka (probable XI): Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan (captain), Kumar Sangakkara (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Seekkuge
Prasanna, Dilhara Fernando/Chanaka Welegedara.