About the Match
Making a sweeping comeback by winning the 2nd ODI by 77 runs, Sri Lanka managed to level 1-1 against Pakistan in the 3-match ODI series to keep the competition going. They face off for the title on 30th Aug at Dambulla with both sides eager to give it their all and emerge victorious. While Pakistan will want to make up for the test series defeat by clinching the ODI title, the home team will only be waiting to boost the morale of the camp that has many youngsters, in preparation for the tougher campaigns ahead. It will be interesting to see both the teams compete hard to dominate each other from the beginning, giving the spectators a thrilling match to witness on Saturday.
Executing their batting strategy with finesse, Mathews led the team from the front scoring 93 off 115 and partnered with the evergreen Jayawardene, who posted 67 off 74 balls, to establish a 122-run stand for the 4th wicket. This renewed the innings after a top order crash though Tharanga started well with a 27 off 30 balls; Perera once again proved his all-rounder skills by scoring a thunderous 65 off 36 balls and continued the partnership with Mathews to add 87 for the 7th wicket. He also took 3 wickets which demolished the opponent batting line-up and was rewarded the man of the match for his outstanding performance with both bat and ball. Malinga, Herath and Prasanna took 2 wickets each to further break the spirits of Pakistan and led their team to victory by 77 runs with 6 overs to spare. The team has a well-balanced side of all-rounders, established batsmen and specialist bowlers, making it a formidable team to reckon with.
Wahab Riaz continues to be the danger-man in the bowling squad, as he claimed 4 wickets in the 2nd ODI making up for the absence of Saeed Ajmal, along with Hafeez, who took 3-39 and created quite a few upsets in the Sri Lankan batting line-up. Junaid Khan is also looking good though he needs to contain the leakage of runs; he dismissed Dilshan quite early in the match to give the first break to the team. Facing a target of 310 runs, Ahmed Shehzad and Hafeez steered the innings confidently to give a strong 96-run partnership for the 2nd wicket, both crossing the half-century mark in style with 17 boundaries between them. However, after their dismissal, the batsmen failed to live up to expectations and the collapse couldn’t be stopped. Misbah stepped up this time but his 36 off 51 wasn’t enough to get them through. It was all over by the 44th over and players like Afridi and Maqsood suffered against the Sri Lankan onslaught. They will need to pull up their socks and give it their best with a well-coordinated effort from batsmen and bowlers if they want to take the trophy home.
Sri Lanka has shown much better application in all departments of the game, in comparison to the Pakistan team and they play as a well-knit unit. While the visitors will come back stronger in the final match, the home team looks well placed to take the series.
Sri Lanka, 1.66 @ Bet365