Sri Lanka win toss, opt to bat against Pakistan in Asia Cup tie

Sri Lanka, in the absence of their two attacking all-rounders – Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera will be under pressure against Pakistan AFP


By CricketCountry Staff

Mirpur: Mar 15, 2012

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene has won the toss and elected to bat first in the crucial tie against Pakistan on Thursday.

The ever-so-unpredictable Pakistan face their first big test of the tournament when they take on an injury-hit Sri Lankan team, which was outclassed by India in its lung-opener, in an Asia Cup league match at Mirpur on Thursday.

Pakistan started their campaign on a winning note by beating Bangladesh even though it was a close shave for them given the home team’s fighting performance in a steep chase.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, failed in the chasing job against India.

Faced with a mammoth 304, the islanders fell short by 50 runs despite the fact that they have a batting order that runs deep and was expected to click in the familiar sub-continental environs.

But for the sheer unpredictability of Pakistan, both the teams seem quite a match for each other on paper.

Even Pakistan has a long batting order to boast off and they have the destructive Shahid Afridi, who can snatch a game but, like his team, is not consistent enough.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, also have major bowling issues to deal with. Their bowling attack, sans Lasith Malinga, came a cropper on a placid track and allowed the Indians to plunder runs in the lung-opener.

Malinga is expected to be back for Thursday’s match after being ironically left out yesterday due to his tendency to concede runs against India.

On the batting front too, there are concerns as the chase went haywire after skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s dismissal. The explosive Tillakaratne Dilshan would hold the key to a big score and the four-time champions would hope he fires after a rather disappointing start to the tournament.

Teams

Sri Lanka:

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Farveez Maharoof, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Farveez Maharoof, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal

Paksitan: Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema

Full Scorecard