Dhaka, Mar 14: Sri Lanka are in a must-win situation as they face Pakistan in the Asia Cup on Thursday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. A loss on Tuesday to India, has put Sri Lanka under pressure.
The Mahela Jayawardene-led Sri Lanka, who arrived in Bangladesh with a lot of confidence after finishing second in Australian tri-series, are in danger of crashing out early.
The format of this four-nation tourmament does not allow teams to relax unlike the tri-series in Australia where each side played against the other four times before the finals.
Here, they play only once against each other. If Sri Lanka are handed a defeat by Pakistan, then will have only one game left, against hosts Bangladesh. Even a win there might not be enough to take them to the final on March 22.
For Pakistan, who won the opening game, can move closer to a final berth with a win here against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka will have to recall Lasith Malinga, who was surprisingly left out against India. In such a crunch game, Malinga will have a huge role to play.
Pakistan survived a scare against Bangladesh on Sunday before winning by 21 runs. After a good batting start, they collapsed to post a modest total before their bowlers came to rescue the team.
The venue is the same for all games and it would be interesting to see what a captain does upon winning the toss. Jayawardene's decision to chase proved him wrong on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka are without all-rounder Angelo Mathews. He missed the tri-series finals and the opener here. He is nursing an injury and later in the day on Wednesday, Jayawardene revealed that he was out of Asia Cup due to calf injury.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shahid Afridi, Azhar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Sachithra Senanayake, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal.
Umpires: Steve Davis and Paul Reiffel (Both Australia)
Third Umpire: Sharfuddoula (Bangladesh)
Match Referee: David Boon (Australia)
Match starts at 1.30 PM IST
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