Ahmed Shehzad-Mohammad Hafeez
Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez have come in handy with the bat at the top of the order for Pakistan.Reuters

Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in the fifth and final ODI of the series at Hambantota on Sunday. Pakistan have already won the ODI series and now they would be looking forward to wrap it up in style. 

A 4-1 win in the series will not only help Pakistan inch closer to seal a berth in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which will be held in England, but they would also like to carry this winning momentum into the two-match T20 series. 

Post the retirement of the big guns -- Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene -- the weaknesses of this Sri Lankan side has popped out in front of Pakistan.

Both the batting and bowling departments have shown signs of weaknesses in spite of the presence of their pace spearhead Lasith Malinga. Malinga's fitness has been a concern and it reflected in most of the recent matches.

Pakistani cricketers played Malinga, who once gave batsmen around the world sleepless nights thorugh his toe-crushing yorkers and amazingly deceiving slower deliveries, with ease all through the series.

It is clear that Sri Lanka are going through a phase of transition after the retirement of their veterans, but they would like to salvage a victory that would boost their morale ahead of the T20 series. Angelo Mathews will have to choose his side wisely against an upbeat Pakistan in the final ODI. 

This series was devoid of any nail-biting finishes apart from the second ODI which Sri Lanka won with a lot of hiccups. Kusal Perera's innings in that particular ODI reminded the fans of Sanath Jayasuriya but the former failed to deliver similar performances in the next two ODIs.

Dinesh Chandimal has been consistent with the bat but others also need to step up to fill in the gap created by the retirement of Sri Lankan stars Sangakkara and Jayawardene.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's batting order has been held strongly by Mohammad Hafeez, skipper Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad and Shoaib Malik. These four have done the bulk of scoring in this series without any problem whatsoever.

At the same time, Pakistani bowlers stuck to the basics and bowled in good areas. Yasir Shah has been impressive throughout this tour and as a result he has also been picked for the T20 series. One would believe Pakistan surely did not miss the services of their veteran off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. The visitors are unlikely to alter their winning combination for the fifth and final ODI.

The weather:

The weather reports suggest that there is hardly any chanc of rain but strong crosswinds might just help the pacers to get the ball to swing both ways. 

Expected lineups

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (C), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Ashan Priyanjan, Milinda Siriwardene, Sachith Pathirana, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (C), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan.

Where to Watch Live:

The fifth ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will start at 2:30pm local time (2:30pm IST, 10am BST, 9am GMT, 2pm 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 stream the game on Willow TV Online.

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