Winners and Losers from Sri Lanka's Tour of Pakistan

Alex Telfer@@troyspeerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2014

Winners and Losers from Sri Lanka's Tour of Pakistan

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    The dust is still settling in Sharjah after Pakistan's thrilling victory over Sri Lanka, but who will be enjoying their flight home and who will be disappointed with their work over the past few weeks?

    There were several standout performances over the course of the T20, ODI and Test series, and although Angelo Mathews' team will be bitterly disappointed with the final result, they proved they were more than a match for their hosts.

    Let's take a look at the individual winners and losers from both sides of Sri Lanka's long tour of way of the United Arab Emirates.

Winner: Angelo Mathews

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    Best moment: An unbeaten 91 and 157 in the Abu Dhabi Test.

    Angelo Mathews has long represented the future of Sri Lankan cricket, but taking over the captaincy with luminaries such as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara still around was never going to be easy.

    But after this tour, the 26-year-old has fully established himself as the leader, and that can only be a good thing for a team for whom stability seems to be a rare commodity.

    A half century in the first T20 and four decent contributions in the ODIs were surpassed by 401 runs in the Tests at a Bradman-esque average of 103.00.

Winner: Junaid Khan

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    Best moment: Taking 5/58 in the first innings at Abu Dhabi to help dismiss Sri Lanka for 204.

    The rise and rise of Pakistan's new pace-bowling sensation Junaid Khan continues apace with the 24-year-old looking more like the successor to Messrs Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib as every game passes.

    Bowling skilfully throughout the Tests and ODIs, the left-arm seamer reaped 27 wickets in total while his control and composure also kept the opposition's run rates down.

Winner: Ahmed Shehzad

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    Best moment: Scoring 147 in the first innings of the Sharjah Test.

    Have Pakistan finally found a replacement for stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq? Although those two players still have more to give, Ahmed Shehzad represents the future.

    Playing across all formats, the 22-year-old shrugged off two low T20 scores to enjoy a prolific ODI series before adding 285 runs at an average of 57 in the three Tests.

    Generally scoring at a decent rate also, Shehzad has a golden opportunity to establish himself as Pakistan's premier opener for years to come.

Loser: Lasith Malinga

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    Worst moment: Getting smashed for 78 runs off 10 overs in Dubai for the return of just one wicket.

    Is Lasith Malinga's international career on the wane?

    Having already retired from Test cricket a few years ago, the wild-haired paceman struggled to make an impact in the white-ball formats of this tour, bowling inconsistently and appearing to lack fitness.

    Expensive and unable to provide his usual threat at the start and (more importantly) end of innings, the 30-year-old went for more than a run a ball before heading to Australia to participate in the Big Bash League.

    However, as reported on ESPNcricinfo, the Sri Lankan cricket board have recalled the T20 mercenary over a "fitness issue."

Loser: Asad Shafiq

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    Worst moment: Scoring 13 runs in three consecutive ODI innings.

    After his decent run against South Africa in October culminating in an epic century at Durban, Asad Shafiq's confidence would have been sky high.

    A few games later and the 27-year-old will be fearing for his future, after a dreadful run of scores saw him make just 74 runs from eight innings in the UAE.

    Will Pakistan's notoriously volatile cricket board retain patience with Shafiq for the upcoming Asia Cup?

Loser: Sachithra Senanayake

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    Worst moment: The all-rounder's first Test was a huge disappointment, scoring just five runs and remaining wicketless from 23 expensive overs.

    Big things were expected from Sachithra Senanayake on this tour, but after bowling well in the two T20s, the 28-year-old struggled to contribute.

    Despite figuring in all five ODIs, the Kolkata Knight Rider ace failed to produce a single wicket from 49 overs and scored just 55 runs.

    With his confidence depreciating, Senanayake endured a nightmare debut in the highest form of the game and found himself on the sidelines for the remaining two fixtures of the series.