Pakistan and Sri Lanka lock horns in a two-match T20 series which has the No. 1 ranking in T20s up for grabs for both teams.
What: Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka, second T20I
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE.
Date: Friday, December 13, 2013
Start time: 16:00 GMT
Weather: Much like the first ODI, it will be lovely weather as predicted by bbc.co.uk/weather with an average temperature of the mid 20s.
TV Info: Not shown in the UK, available in Pakistan on PTV Sports and in Sri Lanka on CSN Sports.
Rankings in formats other than Test cricket aren't spoken about often, but prior to the T20 series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the visitors did mention that they were out to protect their No. 1 ranking in T20s. They've held the top spot since last year's World T20, but they've already suffered a blow in staying at the top.
If Pakistan win the second T20, too, they will displace Sri Lanka at the top. If Sri Lanka win the game, they will remain at top but lose some points. It's not a massive issue when it comes to T20 cricket, but it's clearly important enough for Sri Lanka to have it on the back of their minds.
Pakistan won the first game by three wickets after Sri Lanka posted 145 in their two overs. Barring Angelo Mathews' 50 for the visitors, nobody else really impressed. Pakistan did enough to get by, and the collection of 30-something scores saw them home and helped them to the win in the end. Most significant was Shahid Afridi's 39 off 20 balls, a frenzied knock which many have come to expect from the all-rounder.
The venue remains the same for the second match and the teams should too. While it might be a little bit of hit-and-giggle cricket, with the World T20 coming up next year this is an ideal time for teams to focus on their final prep and to see which players fit into the overall makeup of the teams.
Shahid Afridi blows hot and cold with the bat, but he has been in impressive and consistent form with the ball. If he has now finally found a way to perform at the top of his game in both disciplines, he will most certainly be Pakistan's main man.
Dinesh Chandimal is a talented youngster who can hit the ball a mile, but his performances in international cricket have come up short lately. It might just be a little bit of mental strength that's lacking for the youngster. If he finds a way to overcome those challenges, he'll be a real menace.
Pakistan (from): Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Zulfiqar Babar, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Haris Sohail, Usman Khan.
Sri Lanka (from): Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Lasith Malinga, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Sachithra Senanayake, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis.
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