About the Match
The stage is set for a scintillating title clash between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup Final on Saturday, Mar 8th at Dhaka; both teams had a great run this year as they emerged on top of the table, with convincing wins so far. While Sri Lanka scored an emphatic victory over Afghanistan to seal their place in the finals, Pakistan defeated hosts Bangladesh to make it to the top and left India with no chance whatsoever. It is a befitting end to this prestigious tournament wherein the two best teams will take on each other head to head and give their all to emerge victorious.
Shahid Afridi’s tremendous return to form has come as a blessing in disguise for the team ahead of the Asia Cup Finals against Sri Lanka and the upcoming World T20 series later this year. His powerful knock of 59 runs off 25 deliveries against Bangladesh became the second-fastest ODI half century as he smashed away 7 sixes and couple of boundaries before getting run-out. Ahmed Shehzad also displayed his best as he scored a deserving century after toiling hard right from the start of the chase. Mohammad Hafeez and Fawad Alam also are in good form and will be key factors; Misbah hasn’t been at his best but will definitely come out stronger in a crucial situation.
Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal are other strong players who are in good shape but need to be more focused here. The bowling department hasn’t disappointed yet with Saeed Ajmal, Hafeez, Umar Gul and Talha being the key wicket-takers so far but they need to be sharp against the Lankans, who would be better prepared to attack them. The players are buoyant with their performance so far and will need to hold their nerves together in case of a pressure situation.
The Lankans have sailed through the tournament with authority and there is no stopping them now; backed up by players like Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera who are in top form with the bat and a tight bowling squad consisting of Lakmal, Malinga, Thisara Perera, Mendis and Silva. While their performance was outstanding in all the previous matches, the top order collapse against Bangladesh in the last match came as a surprise.
However, Angelo Mathews once again proved his dependability by taking charge and posted 74 not-out to take his team safely to an unbeaten finish in the run up to the finals. The batsmen must come out all guns blazing against the Pakistani contingent and the bowlers need to repeat their brilliant performance yet again to take the title home.
Both teams are equally matched with the right combination of talent, player forms and all-round performance in all aspects of the game. While the Lankans stumbled a bit in their last match against the hosts, their previous performances have been nothing short of herculean; however, Pakistan has peaked at the right time and with their never say die attitude, they look better placed to emerge victorious.
Pakistan, 1.90 @ Bet365