ABOUT THE MATCH
Pakistan has only pride left to play for when they end their T20i series against a second-strong Sri Lanka team at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, on October 9. The match is scheduled to start at 18:30 local time.
Sri Lanka is touring without several senior players, including Lasith Malinga, due to security concerns and yet has won both games in this series so far. Batting first in both matches, Nuwan Pradeep (seven wickets) and Isuru Udana (five wickets) have proved their worth with the ball to lead the tourists to their two wins.
Pakistan has a strong squad for this series but have simply fallen well short on both occasions. They should be favorites for this final match of the series, but the two games so far have proved this Sri Lankan side has more strength in depth than anticipated.
Sri Lanka has batted first on both occasions so far – Pakistan’s choice in the first game and their own last time out. If Pakistan wins the toss, they may be keen to bat first this time out.
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
Though temperatures will drop from close to 30 to the mid-20s going into the evening in Lahore, the match is still set for sunny conditions and absolutely no rain.
Pacemen have taken wickets on a fast Lahore pitch, but the Sri Lankan batsman has proved that – early on, at least – the bounce and fast outfield are conducive for some good batting scores too.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF PAKISTAN
Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Haris Sohail, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF SRI LANKA
Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Shehan Jayasuriya, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha
- Fakhar Zaman returned to bolster the batting line-up last time out, and Haris Sohail could be added this time after two failures by Umar Akmal so far.
- On the bowling front, Wahab Riaz started ahead of Faheem Ashraf. His performance was one of the better ones for Pakistan.
- Pakistan’s dip in the T20i form has continued in this series, with the batting falling well short in both games so far.
- Mohammad Hasnain took a hat-trick (across two overs) in the first game but it proved the only highlight of an otherwise disappointing home performance Pakistan bowled out for 101 chasing 166 to win.
- Last time out, they fared a little better bowled out for 147 – but it was again well short of the target of 183 to win in Lahore.
- Sri Lanka has been unchanged for both matches so far and may stick with their winning line-up for a third consecutive match after confounding expectations with their inexperienced side so far.
- Sri Lanka has won a T20 international series for the first time in five attempts. Despite lacking the majority of their senior players, they posted 165/5 led by Danushka Gunathilaka’s 57 from 38 balls in the first game, before Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana took three wickets each to help bowl Pakistan out for 101.
- Then, Bhanuka Rajapaksa hit 77 from 48 balls in just his second T20 international before four more Pradeep wickets helped dismiss the hosts for 147 chasing 183 to win.
- Sri Lanka’s 35-run win sealed the series victory with a game to spare.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
Pakistan remains favorites for this final game and can restore some pride though they are going to have to show significant improvement with bat and ball after two complacent defeats against this under-strength Sri Lankan side.
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