Pakistan’s One Day International series against Sri Lanka moves on to Sharjah for the third game, with the teams tied at 1-1 after two games in the United Arab Emirates.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Date: Sunday, December 22 2013
Start time: 11:00 GMT
Live on: PTV Sports (Pakistan), CSN Sports (Sri Lanka)
Weather: According to Accuweather, Sharjah will be mostly sunny but with some clouds around and the potential for some rain showers during the day.
The ODI series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is interestingly poised at 1-1 after the visitors won a tense second game by two wickets with just two balls remaining.
Pakistan batted first and made 284-4 from their 50 overs, a not insurmountable target at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The hosts were indebted to 124 from Ahmed Shehzad, made from 140 balls.
Shehzad batted until the 46th over to anchor the Pakistan innings, although he received very little support.
This result came after the first game in Sharjah, which was also a close one that was won by 11 runs by Pakistan.
Debutant Sharjeel Khan also scored 61 from 61 balls opening the innings, while former captain Shahid Afridi finished with a flourish as he scored 34 from 12 balls.
In reply, Sri Lanka managed to keep pace thanks to Kusal Perera’s 64 opening the innings, but no other batsman passed 50 as they were dismissed for 311.
Now, the five-match series returns to Sharjah in what promises to be a crucial encounter.
Pakistan (from): 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
Sri Lanka (from): Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Ashan Priyanjan, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Seekkuge Prasanna
In the second ODI, Ahmed Shehzad scored a well-paced 124 from 140 balls and he will be crucial again for Pakistan.
He scored a great deal of maturity in what was a relatively cautious innings, and if he continues in this form he will set another superb platform for his team.
Still one of the world’s best batsmen, if Sangakkara manages to score heavily, the Sri Lankans will be in a superb position to win this game and take the series lead for the first time.