Daijiworld Media Network
Colombo, Jun 16: Hello, and a warm welcome to one and all for the 4th ODI between Sri lanka and Pakistan from the R Premadasa stadium. It is another hot day at Colombo, but we cannot predict the forecasts in this part of the world. Both teams are locked at 1-1 after rain had the final say in the 3rd ODI. However, we do have a reserve day for the remaining two games.
Pitch Report: It is clear at the moment and the forecast is for some showers later. The pitch looks good, there are runs to be scored on the surface. A score around 240 will be good for the team batting first.
Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat
Mahela: We cannot control the situation regarging the forecasts. We will bat first. We have no changes in our team. We have to play a tactical game against Pakistan. This is a tough series and we need to play well.
Misbah: Not too worried about losing the toss. Our new ball bowlers have done very well in the series so far and hope to do the same again. We must play as a unit to get a positive result. No changes in our teams as well.
Pakistan (Playing XI): Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq(c), Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed(w), Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene(c), Thissara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Sajeewa Weerakoon.
The biggest takeaway for Sri Lanka from the second ODI was all-rounder Thissara Perera's bowling performance. Till then, he had always shown glimpses of being as effective with both bat and ball. While he has continued to play those crucial finishing knocks in the death overs, the wickets column never justified his billing as a genuine all-rounder. That perception is sure to take a beating after he virtually ran through the Pakistan middle order picking up 6 wickets in the process. He completely overshadowed Tillekaratne Dilshan's composed century which was responsible for the hosts putting up a score of 280. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene's call to demote himself down the order worked as he kept the scoreboard moving after the 30 over mark. In the washed out 3rd ODI, Sri Lanka had included left arm spinner Sajeewa Weerakoon. It will be interesting to see how he uses the opportunity.
The visitors lost the second ODI by 76 runs, but at one point of time, when Azhar Ali and Misbah-Ul-Haq were batting, it looked like they would coast to victory. Ali displayed immense patience and application as he compiled a solid 96 after coming in to bat at the start of the innings. Unfortunately for his side, no other batsman put up even half a fight with Perera and the other bowlers making the most of a few bad shots. On the bowling front, Saeed Ajmal's no show and Umar Gul's indiscipline should be a cause of worry for them. Mohammad Hafeez was his usual economical self, conceding just 30 runs in 8 overs, but the side will want him to shine with the bat as well.