Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in the second and final Twenty20 (T20) match of the series at the R Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.
Having won the first T20 match by 29 runs, Pakistan will be eyeing a clean sweep that will make this series memorable for them. They outplayed Sri Lanka in the Test series, before defeating Sri Lanka in the ODI series as well, and they are close to winning this T20 series 2-0.
The top order of Pakistan have produced a lot of runs throughout the tour and across all formats of the game. Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez have been simply unstoppable on this tour. This released the pressure off the middle order batsmen and that helped them play the attacking brand of cricket.
Their bowlers were also brilliant and have troubled the Lankan batters throughout the tour. Most important fact that powered Pakistan to such a position was they have played as a cohesive unit and they did not hold themselves back which helped them to play good all-round cricket.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have a lot of reasons to worry about. Whatever they have tried against Pakistan has not worked. They have picked five uncapped players for the T20 series but that too did not work for them in the first T20. The skipper Lasith Malinga has proved to be one of the most expensive bowlers and that is not good for the home side.
"I didn't bowl very well. If I'm an experienced bowler in T20s, I didn't do much for the team. The others are all young bowlers and they're all learning. I have to do better than that if we want to win the match. I am not really consistent. If I can consistently bowl the lengths that I want to bowl, I can manage my four overs. But at the moment I'm struggling with that.
"In any T20s the batsmen go quickly in the last five overs. The two overs I bowled in the last five weren't great. So that was a big reason for giving 175 runs. There could be a better bowler than me. I've handed that over to the selectors. They can remove me from the team at any time. No matter who you are, you can't guarantee how long you'll be able to play for Sri Lanka," Malinga said in an interview to Espn Cricinfo after the first T20 match.
The top order has also failed to produce a lot of runs. Sri Lanka will be desperate to salvage a win and square the T20 series.
Expected Lineups: Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedara, Angelo Mathews, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Milinda Siriwardene, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lasith Malinga (C), Binura Fernando.
Pakistan: Mukhtar Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed/ Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi (C), Mohammad Rizwan, Anwar Ali, Yasir Shah, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan.
Where to Watch Live:
The 2nd T20 international game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will start at 7:00pm local time (7:00pm IST, 2:30 BST, 1:30pm GMT, 6:30pm PST) with live coverage in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, on Ten Cricket and Ten HD. The live streaming option will be available on Tensports.com.
Cricket fans in Pakistan can stream the match live on GeoSuperTv.
Viewers in the US can watch the match live on Willow TV and live stream the game on Willow TV Online.