Pakistan take on Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the five-match series at Dubai.
Armed with a Test series win under their belt and a 1-0 lead, Pakistan (3/4 at SportingBet
) are favourites going into this second ODI. Sri Lanka, quite simply, have been inconsistent in their play since the end of the World Cup and the pressure on captain Tillakaratne Dilshan is mounting to show the results. Sri Lanka 11/10 at Blue Square to level the series.
Dilshan (4/1 at SportingBet
) will know that only positive results will help. The side has lost to the Aussies in both, the ODIs and the Tests and to Pakistan in the Test series preceding the ODIs. Another series loss could lead to an axing although he has been given the captaincy till the end of the year.
Shahid Afridi’s return to ODI cricket was much spoken about and he ensured that it wasn’t a letdown. He grabbed three wickets in the first game to win the man of the match award and will clearly be a bowler to get away for the visitors.
Pakistan has a huge plus from their three-pronged all-rounders. In Mohammad Hafeez (7/2 at SportingBet
), they have an opening bat who can bowl his six-eight overs of restraining off-spin. Afridi can pick his wickets with his brand of really quick leggies while possessing the ability to turn games around with his six-hitting ability. Abdul Razzaq (16/1 at SportingBet
) is a medium-pacer who can bat in the lower-middle order and win games for his side with his feet-clearing manoeuvres.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are struggling to get a decent set of 11 on the field. Out of form Mahela Jayawardene (4/1 at bet365
) may miss out of the game as well, with a knee-injury, adding further pressure to the under-fire Sri Lankan batting. A total of 131 was way below par and if Sri Lanka have to entertain thoughts of winning, their top-order needs to take much more responsibility. Jeevan Mendis could get a look-in for this game.
Without too much to defend, Pakistan were able to take on Sri Lanka’s biggest bowling weapon, Lasith Malinga. Don’t discount him out yet, especially if Sri Lanka can put a little pressure on the opposition with the runs on board.
Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2nd ODI starts at 1500 hours local time (1100 hours GMT). Pakistan v Sri Lanka second ODI live streaming on bet365.