Pakistan lead the five-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka 1-0 after a nervy 11-run win in the first match. Mohammad Hafeez scored a brilliant hundred to set his team up for the win, and although Sri Lanka responded well, they just couldn't get over the line.
What: Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka, second ODI
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Date: Friday, December 20, 2013
Start time: 11:00 GMT
Weather: Accuweather says it will be warm and sunny with a few clouds around. It's another day/night fixture so temperatures will cool later on and dew could be a factor.
TV Info: Not shown in the UK, available in Pakistan on PTV Sports and in Sri Lanka on CSN Sports.
Although Pakistan won the first ODI, they'll probably be the less happy of the two sides. After reducing Sri Lanka to 221-7, their bowlers allowed the opposition to get away and the tailender so very nearly cleared an unlikely win.
Nonetheless, a win is a win and it will go a long way in boosting Pakistan's confidence.
What was most encouraging for the hosts is that their batsmen were far more convincing than usual. There wasn't the usual implosion of batsmen, and almost everyone contributed.
Barring Ahmed Shehzad's fumble of 11 off 22, everyone else played a vital role in helping Pakistan post 322-5 in their 50 overs.
Perhaps it's a symptom of facing Dale Steyn and company for such a long time. When batting against that kind of bowling, everything else must feel like a breeze.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will need to improve on their bowling. The attack isn't inexperienced, but their bowlers were very expensive. Only one, Seekkuge Prasanna, managed to keep his economy rate under five.
Pakistan's bowlers were more effective, but it was perhaps Misbah-ul-Haq's use of his bowlers that nearly cost his side the victory.
Despite Shahid Afridi doing well with the ball, picking up two wickets and keeping the scoring rate tight, he still somehow finished the game with three overs to spare.
Instead of using Afridi in a holding role, something which he has been good at over the last few months, Misbah opted for some of his less experienced charges.
Not much will change in the shift of venues. There might be a little bit more in the track for the bowlers at Dubai, but another high-scoring encounter seems the most likely outcome.
Shahid Afridi's contribution with the ball over the last few months has been solid. When used alongside Saeed Ajmal, he puts a stranglehold on batsmen in the middle overs.
If he is used properly, that will be key—and if he can find a bit of oomph with the bat, Afridi's all-round contribution cannot be matched.
Thisara Perera is an outstanding all-rounder, but he had a very, very poor first match. His bowling was expensive, with figures of 6-0-53-1. His batting was equally so, managing just six off siix.
If he can turn his fortunes around, though, he'll be key for Sri Lanka.
Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Junaid Khan, Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Bilawal Bhatti
Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ashan Priyanjan, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kithuruwan Vithanage
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