About the Match
Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 9 wickets in the 2nd Test match of the series to take a 1-0 lead; the two nations will face each other in the 3rd and final Test that starts from Jan 16 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium wherein the players from both teams will try to excel in all departments of the game to win the match for their respective sides. While the first match was drawn, the second one saw Sri Lanka dominating over the Pakistani contingent throughout and win the match convincingly; Pakistan will now try to level the series here whereas the Lankans will try their best to win again or settle for a draw to take the title home.
The Pakistani batsmen struggled in the first innings; barring Manzoor’s 73 runs off 136 deliveries, none of the other batsmen put up a fight against the Lankan bowlers. Though Manzoor and Hafeez tried to build a partnership, they could only post a 50-run partnership for the 2nd wicket and the team was all out for a meager 165 runs. The second innings was no better but the middle order fought hard; Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq shared the burden of building a total and posted a 129-run partnership for the 4th wicket. Sarfaraz Ahmed put up a valiant effort down the order by scoring 74 runs off 142 deliveries at a crucial juncture and partnered with Bilawal to post 67 runs for the 7th wicket. They could muster up 359 runs in total but couldn’t stop the Lankans from winning. While the bowlers were economical, they failed to break partnerships and though Junaid and Saeed Ajmal ended with 3 wickets each, the target wasn’t easy to defend and they lost the match by 9 wickets. The team will look to overcome their weaknesses and put up a better performance with bat and ball in the upcoming match.
Sri Lanka used its resources well and strategized with a practical approach to defeat Pakistan in the 2nd Test; they fought and played to their strengths to come up with a winning performance. In the first innings, the duo of Silva and Jayawardene posted a 139-run partnership while the latter along with Mathews again contributed 93 runs to the total to take their score to 388 runs. While Jayawardene posted 129 runs, Silva scored 95 runs and the batsmen showed great determination. Lakmal took a superb 4 wickets while Pradeep, Herath and Eranga took 2 wickets each to demolish the Pakistan battling line-up, making it a breeze for their batsmen to reach the target of 137 runs in the 2nd innings and win the match. Earlier, in the first innings also the bowlers were very successful with Pradeep and Herath taking 3 wickets each and Lakmal and Eranga taking 2 wickets each to stop the opponents from reaching a huge total. Their smart thinking has been a key to their success and they will look to win the final match to take the title home.
The Pakistan team will need to rethink their game plan and pull up their socks to come up with a better performance in all departments of the game; Sri Lanka on the other hand is eager to win the series. While Pakistan has the required fire-power and Sri Lanka looks confident, there isn’t much help expected from the pitch. There is a high possibility of a closely fought draw.
Draw, 2.87 @ Bet365
Pakistan failed in the previous test only because of their low first innings total. With their openers not firing and batting not being their forte, the chances are that Sri Lanka will be the side with higher first innings score.
1st Innings Lead:
Sri Lanka, 2.00 @ Bet365