Pathirana in line for Debut as Sri Lanka search for victory

Published : 9:56 am  July 15, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


 reads | 


Teams (from):
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Ashan Priyanjan, Sachithra Senanayake, Sachith Pathirana.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Anwar Ali, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Shafiq, Mukhtar Ahmed, Bilal Asif, Immad Wasim, Ehsan Adil.

Under-pressure Sri Lanka are likely to hand an ODI debut to leg-spinning all-rounder Sachith Pathirana in one of the few changes in the team’s bowling composition for the second ODI against Pakistan today at the Pallekele International Cricket ground as the hosts look to square the five-match series.

Pakistan raced to victory in the first ODI played at Dambulla last Saturday on the back of a fine double contribution from Mohammed Hafeez (103 and 4 for 41), a performance that exposed Sri Lanka’s batting and bowling in the post Mahela Jayawardene-Kumar Sangakkara era.

However, Sri Lanka will not make any changes to the batting line-up, hoping that the misfiring batters may find form but will shuffle its bowlers considering the conditions in Pallekele.
Sri Lanka’s top order got starts but could not capitalize leaving Dinesh Chandimal to shoulder the burden in taking them to below par score of 255 for 8 in Dambulla.

“There won’t be any changes in batting line up,” skipper Angelo Mathews declared at the pre-match press conference. “As of now, I don’t like to meddle too much with the batting order. I need my team to settle down. Results might not come immediately but we need to stick to one batting line-up,” explained Mathews.

However Sri Lanka’s main concern is the form of vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne who is yet to prove himself to be a perfect replacement to retired Sangakkara. Mathews will also be hoping the rest of the batting will make tangible progress in order to tame the high-riding Pakistanis.
However, the former Josephian cricketer admitted that there would be few changes to the bowling considering the dew factor in the day-night game.

As of now, I don’t like to meddle too much with the batting order. I need my team to settle down. Results might not come immediately but we need to stick to one batting line-up

“There’s prediction of rain tomorrow and also considering the dew factor, there’s a chance of changing the bowling line-up,” he said.
Chairman of Selectors Kapila Wijegunawardene shared similar sentiments.
“We have not finalized the changes but definitely there will be few in the bowling department,” he added.

The former Sri Lanka U-19 captain Pathirana, hailing from Trinity College Kandy, the same school that batting great Sangakkara mastered his art of playing cricket, had spent hours in the nets preparing for the game yesterday, an indication that the 26-year-old may win his ODI cap today. He has taken 86 List A wickets at 22.58.

Pakistan on the other had may look to extend their great run in the series, having already clinched the Test series 2-1. They look in pretty good shape and their skipper Azhar Ali will hope his two senior charges Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik will continue to shine as they did in Dambulla.