Sri Lanka claim four wickets in three overs
Two wickets in two balls by Wanindu Hasaranga has strengthened Sri Lanka’s hold on the match. Ifthikar Ahmed ended a long wait for a boundary, the previous one was a four wide. That shows the control the Sri Lankan bowlers had on the match. They have not given any room or pace for Pakistan to find their timing and the bowling was backed by good fielding. A great catch, the skier well judged by Pathum Nissanka, to dismiss Khushdil Shah triggered the slide, with three wickets coming in two overs. After 16 overs, Pakistan are 95/7, losing four wickets in three overs.
Two quick wickets boost Sri Lanka
Runs are hard to come by and the loss of Fakhar Zaman and skipper Babar Azam has given the Sri Lankan bowling a big boost. Sri Lanka should try and restrict Pakistan to 140-150. With two new batters around, Sri Lankan spinners should fancy their chances. Still they have manged to keep the Pakistan batters quiet. After 12 overs, Pakistan are 78/3.
Tidy bowling by Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan bowlers have tried their best to arrest the run flow and managed to get the wicket of the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan, the skier caught by the wicketkeeper, to give debutant Pramod Madushan his maiden Twenty20 international wicket. So far the Sri Lankan bowlers have stuck to the plan and not allowed any easy runs on a wicket that is not easy for strokeplay. After 7 overs, Pakistan are 53/1.
The toss and the teams
Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Sri Lanka have made two changes to the squad: Dhananjaya de Silva comes in for Charith Asalanka, and debutant Pramod Madushan replaces Asitha Fernando.
Pakistan also have made two changes: Shadab Khan, man of the match in the previous game against Afghanistan, is injured while Naseem Shah has been rested. Usman Qadir and Hasan Ali will play today.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Hassan Ali, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir and Mohammad Hasnain.
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (captain), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wicketkeeper), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka and Pramod Madushan.
Preview: Spinners expected to play a big role
Dubai: Sri Lanka and Pakistan have good bowling options and spinners could play a big role in the final Super 4 match of the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday (September 9).
The second-day pitch, used by Afghanistan and India, wears a dry look and should help the bowlers. Toss could be vital as batting second will be easy on this pitch, as usual.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism