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Match Preview - Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2012

Pakistan is taking on Sri Lanka on Thursday in the Asia Cup match at Mirpur. When Sri Lanka went to UAE in November last year for a 5 match ODI series, they were completely dominated by Pakistan, who won the series 4-1. Sri Lanka would love to have an upper hand over Pakistan this time and will be looking to open their account in the tournament while Pakistan will look to increase their chance to reach the finals. In their first match, Sri Lanka were backsided by injuries to players like Malinga and Mathews, who has now been completely ruled out of the tournament and has been replaced by Shaminda Eranga. Mathews absense will be a huge blow for the team as it greatly affects their team chemistry.

Kapugedera was brought into the playing XI, but he didn’t disturb the scorers much. In the past 12 months, he has played the World Cup final and the three CB Series finals and failed to contribute in any of the games. His place in the playing XI is questionable.

Kapugedera’s innings list since world cup final
1-00v IndiaMumbai2 Apr 2011ODI # 3148
DNB-00v AustraliaAdelaide6 Mar 2012ODI # 3256
7-00v AustraliaAdelaide8 Mar 2012ODI # 3257
0000v IndiaDhaka13 Mar 2012ODI # 3259

Pakistan started the tournament on a winning note but not before Shakib-Al-Hasan almost took Bangladesh home. They must re-look their batting strategy. Sending Misbah-ul-Haq in the lower middle order will not prove effective as his role is not that of a pinch hitter and his style of batting in limited overs cricket has also come under the critic’s hammer. He has a  habit of consuming more deliveries than necessary, which puts additional pressure on the batsman at the other end. He is due for a big inning.

Further, Pakistan should be cautious about the over rate. Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was warned for his team’s slow over rate in  their match against Bangladesh.

Jayawardene says, " I have enjoyed batting up the order. I am more relaxed, I can play my shots It is easy to bat with Dilshan and it later flows with Sanga"

MATCH DETAILS: 
Venue: Sher-e-bangla Stadium, Mirpur
Timings: 1330 hrs IST
Channel Telecasting: Neo Cricket

PREVIOUS MEETING:
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi 
SL 218/9 (50) | PAK 219/7(47.2) | Pakistan won by 3 wickets with 16 balls remaining.

PROBABLE PLAYING XI:
PAKISTAN:
1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Younis Khan 4 Umar Akmal 5 Misbah-ul-Haq(c), 6 Asad Shafiq, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema
SRI LANKA:
1. Mahela Jayawardene(c), 2.Tilakrathne Dilshan, 3. Kumar Sangakara, 4. Dinesh Chandimal, 5.Lahiru Thirimane, 6.Upul Tharanga, 7.Thisara Perera, 8. Farvez Maharoof, 9.Nuwan Kulasekara, 10.Seekkuge Prasanna, 11. Lasith Malinga.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Mohammed Hafeez: Hafeez had a cracker of an ODI against Bangladesh. He had missed out on his chance to make a ton and would like to make one on Thursday.

Mahela Jayawardene: Had he played for 5 more overs, Sri Lanka would have won their game against India. That’s how brutal was his innings. His strokes looked textbook-like and he too , like Hafeez, was too good to miss out on a ton.

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