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Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka 1st T20 Match
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After a clinical drubbing of Sri Lanka in the five-match One-Day International series, Pakistan will carry forward momentum into the second half of the limited-overs leg when they kick-off the three-match Twenty20 International series in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (October 26). While the first two T20Is will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, the series is set to conclude at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Cricket Betting Tips Free That the final T20I is scheduled to played in Lahore has been a bone of contention for the Sri Lankan team with senior players expressing their reservations of travelling to Pakistan. Suranga Lakmal and Chamara Kapugedera were in the team bus back in 2009 when terrorists launched their attack. It was natural for them to have their apprehensions. In the end, regular T20I skipper, Upul Tharanga, Lakmal, Kapugedera, Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Milinda Siriwardene and Akila Dananjaya ended up pulling out of the series, given that Sri Lanka Cricket had rejected the players- proposal of having two separate T20I squads for the series - one for the UAE leg and the other that would travel to Lahore.
Cricket Betting Tips In August, SLC chief Thilanga Sumathipala was enthusiastic about taking cricket back to Pakistan, stating that rest assured the national side-s players would have no hesitation to travel to the land that was deprived of international cricket for years together now. However, as the series came closer, it was a different story. The World Series XI tour of Pakistan in September was assurance of the effort that the Pakistan Cricket Board was willing to put into hosting cricket in the country. Thisara Perera, who was a part of that touring team, was more than satisfied with the arrangements made by the board, on the back of which his fears were allayed. With the all-rounder offering no resistance to travelling once again to Pakistan, he was named Sri Lanka-s T20I captain for the series - which he termed as a dream come true. It-s Perera-s first tryst with captaincy for Sri Lanka, and he will hope to turn Sri Lanka-s recent run in limited-overs cricket around.
Without the services of his regular teammates at his disposal, Perera was handed a relatively inexperienced side. Six players from the ODI squad were retained, while Dasun Shanka was flown down from the Caribbean from the -A- side. Danushka Gunathilaka, who served a suspension for a breach of discipline has been brought back into the squad after the sentence was reduced, along with other T20I regulars in Dilshan Munaweera, Isuru Udana and Chathuranga de Silva. Perera, who himself has had a disappointing series with a top score of 38, will want to turn his form around to lead from the front come the T20I series, hoping a change in format brought a change in fortune for the seemingly Cricket Betting Tips hapless visitors.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are boosted by the return of Mohammad Amir who was ruled out of the one-day series with a shin injury. The squad is almost identical to the side that took on the World Series XI in Lahore last month with Sohail Khan being the only absentee. Mohammad Hafeez, who played last played a T20I Cricket Betting Tips Free in the West Indies in March, has been reinstated in the 20-over setup to create an all-rounder heavy squad alongside Imad Wasim and Shoaib Malik. The bowling unit-s success in the one-dayers will only bode well for the hosts who have constantly kept Sri Lanka-s batsmen under control and caused them trouble to trigger a collapse of sorts. The top order is in fine touch, and an even better middle order, with Shoaib Malik specifically, in top-notch form. He not only provides runs, but those vital overs in the middle to dry up runs and apply pressure on the opposition.
Ahmed Shehzad, who had come under immense criticism after his failures in the two ODIs he had played in with scores of 0 and 8, retains his place in the T20I squad. The last T20I he played against the World XI, he scored a match-winning 89. As much as it will be a chance for him to validate in the spot in the squad, it will be for Fakhar Zaman too, who has strung a series of average scores in the ODIs.
With a short turnaround time between the ODIs and T20Is, Pakistan will go into the three-match series as favourites. But with new faces coming into the Sri Lankan fold, they would hope to spring a surprise and at least pick up one win in the limited-overs format in the UAE before making their way to Lahore on an even keel, if not better.
Sri Lanka (From): Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Minod Bhanuka, Sadeera Samarawickrama(w), Ashan Priyanjan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera(c), Chaturanga de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Jeffrey Vandersay, Isuru Udana, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage, Mahela Udawatte, Sachith Pathirana, Vikum Sanjaya
Pakistan (From): Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan, Aamer Yamin, Fahim Ashraf, Umar Amin, Rumman Raees