Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20 Match Prediction2019-10-08
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan
A rare and first T20I series win opportunity for Sri Lanka!
Pakistan will win the match & level the series 1-1!
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Having won the ODIs 2-0, the first T20I on Saturday was supposed to be an easy prospect for the Number 1 ranked Pakistan against the Number 8 ranked Sri Lanka.
Pakistan had the momentum, the numbers skewed in their favor with 6 consecutive wins against Sri Lanka in this format and even won the toss, opting to chase knowing that it would be difficult bowling with the dew-laden wet ball later. Sri Lanka debuting two Bhanukas – Minod and Rajapaksa. Gunathilaka and Fernando were watchful in the first 3 overs and the former decided to cut loose in the 4th over scoring 16 runs. Powerplay ended without any damage and Lankans were well placed at 64/2. Gunathilaka continued from where he left in the ODIs and notched up his half-century and departed soon for a well made 57 off 38.
Sri Lanka was well set at 117/1 to launch themselves with settled Fernando and Rajapaksa at the end of 14 overs. Fernando risked Shadab Khan’s throw and paid the price. Soon Rajapaksa followed scoring a promising 32, the first of Hasnain. After two mighty blows over the ropes, Shanaka became the second victim of Hasnain. This year had already seen 4 international hat-tricks, Hasnain joined the list adding some specialty to it by splitting the hat-trick across two overs, two spells and becoming the youngest ever to achieve an International hat-trick. In hindsight, 166 didn’t look like a tall run-chase during the innings break. If at all, it smelt of a win for Pakistan, who had done well in the last 10 overs, things followed would have surprised even die-heart Lankan supporter.
The key wicket of Babar Azam in the second over opened the match. Umar Akmal’s return lasted one ball, and Ahmed Shehzad’s for 8. It meant Pakistan was down to 30/3 in the powerplay, having been undone by pace on a pretty placid pitch. Pakistan did put on a rearguard through a 44-run stand between Iftikhar and Sarfaraz. But that partnership, spread over 7 overs doing nothing to improve their required rate, did Pakistan more haram than good. Starting from Iftikhar’s run out, the host lost their last seven wickets for 33 runs across 37 balls. Pradeep and Isuru Udana finished with 3-wicket hauls while Hasaranga picked two.
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Pakistan has few areas of concern going into this crucial second game. Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, both failed on their comeback trail and time is running out for this pair to prove their selectors. Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Pakistan Skipper, also would hope to return to form after another failure. Asif Ali looked rusty and is short of match practice. On a positive note, Mohammad Hasnain, the tearaway fast bowler, gave a glimpse of his potential by becoming only the ninth cricketer to pick up a hat-trick.
Pakistan is missing the experience of Malik and Hafeez in the middle order. A third series loss on the line after their 11-series unbeaten streak. Trying to emulate that streak while finding the ideal combination for the world event that takes place in Australia will be a balancing act for coach Misbah-ul-Haq. Key Players: Babar Azam: A century to start the series and the following two innings were not up to Babar Azam standard. He was the leading run-scorer in the recently concluded T20 Blast held in England. Shadab Khan: After an impressive outing the Caribbean Premier League, Shadab will be livid with his performance so far in this series. Pakistan will need a more impactful Shadab Khan in their team. He would hope to level the series with a turning spell.
Mohammad Amir, SI Wasim, Babar Azam, F Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hasnain, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed
For Sri Lanka, without their front-line players, they had punched above their weight and challenged Pakistan with the hunger of this inexperienced lot. Shanaka, captaining Sri Lanka for the first time was impressive in his bowling and fielding set up. Barring the 28/5 in the first ODI, Lankans have given their heart out and matched Pakistan in all the departments in this series. Gunathilaka continued his impressive run, Fernando and Rajapaksa showed some promise in his brief innings.
Skipper Shanaka is the best finisher for them in the current set-up. Spinners Sandakan and Hasaranga are gaining confidence with every outing in this format and they will be the cog of the spin formation for the mega event in Australia. Pradeep has 5 wickets from his last two outings Key Players: Danushka Gunathilaka: 14,133 and 57 are his scores so far in this series. Another score, with it their series win, he would cement his spot in the Lankan limited over set up. A big opportunity in the reckoning for this opener Wanidu Hasaranga: Since his debut against the Kiwis, the leggie has been amongst the wickets in all the matches played. He has 6 wickets so far from his 4-match International career with an economy of 6.2.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Wanidu Hasaranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha
The weather forecast is promising with little or no chance of rain playing spoilsport.
The track could again turn out to be on the slower side, with bowlers looking for variations. The average score will be around 160 runs.
The pattern has been the same throughout the series with Pakistan preferring to chase, which they are comfortable with. Whoever wins toss it is going to be Lanka batting first.
It’s not every day that you get to witness the level of humbling Lankans have done to Pakistan. But then, it’s Pakistan, and as has been the case with them for decades, you just never know. They can come up with a ruthless performance to level the series 1-1.
Pakistan will win the match & level the series 1-1!
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