About the Match
Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan in the 2nd T20 match to level the series 1-1; hence retaining their No.1 spot in the T20 rankings. The upcoming ODI matches between the two nations start on Dec 18 and both sides will look to take the first advantage here. While Pakistan has been consistently performing well in the one-day format, Sri Lanka is also looking confident in all departments of the game though they have played relatively less cricket. It will be interesting to see the contest between the Pakistani bowlers and the Sri Lankan batsmen as they try to dominate the other and win this first ODI of the series.
Sri Lankan batsmen played a brilliant innings in the 2nd T20, posting 211 runs with the fall of only 3 wickets; and the bowlers did a magnificent job of defending the score and helping the team win the match by 24 runs. Kusal Perera batted fearlessly, posting an excellent 84 runs from just 59 deliveries and his 100-run partnership with Dilshan built the strong foundation that the team needed. Later on, Perera and Sangakkara posted a 78-run partnership for the 3rd wicket that saw to it that the visitors got a good total to defend; the bowlers delivered with the ball, making early in-roads into the Pakistan batting line-up. Senanayake claimed 3 wickets whereas Kulasekara, Prasanna and Perera with his all-round performance got 2 wickets each to win the match and level the series. The upcoming ODI series will also get to see a good mix of experience, talent and enthusiasm from the youngsters and the team is confident to keep the wins coming their way.
The team lacked the luster they exhibited so far and ended up being on the losing side in the previous match. The bowlers, except for Ajmal, couldn’t deliver and failed to get breakthroughs early on. The newcomers, Bhatti and Usman were thrashed by the Sri Lankan batsmen and the team had to pay a heavy price for this; too many runs were given away and the batsmen failed to keep their nerves and reach the target. Sharjeel Khan got his half-century in just 25 balls and looked promising, however in his attempt to score some big runs, he fell victim to Prasanna’s full toss. The rest of the top order collapsed and though Shahid and Sohail did a remarkable job, they couldn’t sustain against the brilliant Sri Lankan bowlers. However, the team is looking forward to some incredible performances by their batsmen and bowlers in the ODIs and is well placed for a win here.
The teams are neck to neck in terms of performance, spirit and the will to win matches for their countries; while Pakistan has the home advantage here, Sri Lanka has done very well to settle down quickly and adapt to the conditions. Both teams have the resources and it will be a clash between Pakistan’s famed bowling and Sri Lanka’s gutsy batting prowess. Though the Pakistanis are looking confident, Sri Lanka seems better placed to win the first ODI on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka, 1.80 @ Bet365
Pakistani openers have failed to fire more often than not. On the other hand, Sri Lankan opening pair performed fabulously well in previous game. With Lankan pair having good experience with them, I think they will score better without any wicket down.
Highest Opening Partnership:
Sri Lanka, 1.90 @ Bet365