Pakistan Afridi Ajmal
Pakistan will want to start the ODI series on a winning note. Reuters

Pakistan will look to build on the ODI series win at South Africa when they host Sri Lanka for a five-match bilateral in the UAE, starting with the first one-dayer in Sharjah on Wednesday.

Where to Watch Live

The first ODI is set for a 4.30 pm IST start and a 4 pm PST start with live coverage on Sony Six HD and Sony Six in India. Coverage in Pakistan will be provided by Geo Super. Viewers in Pakistan can live stream the match free online by clicking HERE. To catch the match via live streaming free in Sri Lanka courtesy Carlton Sports Network click HERE. Viewers in the U.S., click HERE.


If the preceding T20 series, a two-match rubber which ended 1-1, is anything to go by then the one-day international series promises to be a cracker with both Pakistan and Sri Lanka looking good, while having plenty of chinks in their armour.

Neither side will be too uncomfortable with the conditions in the UAE, of course, with the designated hosts Pakistan having the slight advantage having played so many of their "home" series here of late.

After a turgid first T20, where too many runs was not the order of the day, Pakistan and Sri Lanka followed that up with a run-fest in the second T20 with almost 400 runs in total scored by both teams combined.

"It matters how you perform on the day," Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, fresh from a 2-1 series at South Africa, said. "I think Sri Lanka really came back in the second Twenty20 after losing the first game. They looked an improved side

"This is what you are going to associate with the Sri Lanka team, that they really are fighters and can come back strongly. We need to repeat the good performances. We need to really show some good skills to beat them."

The Pakistan top order finally showed some consistent form in the series against South Africa and Misbah has called on his batsmen to keep that level up when they lock horns with Sri Lanka as well. "Especially in batting we need to build very good partnerships," Misbah added. "Top order batsmen need to carry on once they get starts.

"That's what we proved in South Africa. [Ahmed] Shehzad was getting runs here and he got a hundred in South Africa that really helped Pakistan. That's what we were missing in the UAE [against South Africa]."

Sri Lanka Perera Sangakkara
Sri Lanka players celebrate a Pakistan wicket in the second T20, December 13. Reuters

Skipper Angelo Mathews feels the contest will be decided on how the Sri Lanka batsmen cope with the dangerous bowling attack of Pakistan. "We know Pakistan are a very dangerous team when it comes to the shorter formats," Mathews said. "They have one of the best bowling line-ups in the world, a good mix of spin and fast bowlers.

"Our batters need to be on guard to try and counterattack and be positive. We had an exciting Twenty20 series and we look forward to the one-day series as well."

Team news: Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez's place in the first XI will be under scrutiny after the Pakistan T20 skipper was dropped for the final one-dayer against SA.  Misbah might also opt for a more experienced attack after the young bowlers came for some hammering in the second T20 against the Lankans.

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera ensured his place at the top of the order with a sparkling innings in the second T20, and Mathews and co. will have a decision to make on spinning all-rounder Seekkuge Prasanna, who was impressive with the bat, but not so much with the ball.

"Prasanna is a guy who can hit the ball out of the park any time," Mathews said. And he is a very gutsy player. He is a very good all-rounder for us and we hope to see him doing well."

Squads: Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti, Harris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Sohail Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera; Seekkuge Prasanna, Ashan Priyanjan, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachitra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kithuruwan Vithanage.

Expected lineups: Pakistan: Shehzad, Sharjeel, Hafeez, Maqsood, Misbah (capt), Akmal (wk), Afridi, Tanvir, Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid.

Sri Lanka: Dilshan, Kusal Perera Sangakkara (wk), Chandimal, Mathews (capt), Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Prasanna, Kulasekara, Senanayake, Malinga.