Thursday, October 4, 2012

Preview, Sri Lanka versus Pakistan

A high stakes match between two Teams that have probably forgotten more about each other than most other Teams know sets up what will truly be a delicious Semi Final. That will have all drooling for a taste of the compelling edge of your seat action....

The winner will take a place in the T20, World Cup Final and a chance of ultimate glory with the loser being left to bemoan at a chance of 'what might have been'. Breath in the tension and feel all tingly over a near perfect setting for a classic as you allow me to delve into it a bit further..........

Likely Teams

Sri Lanka

The only undefeated Team in the Tournament, and during the Super 8's seemed to shift through the gears as they pleased to ensure their wins. Within the phase we saw the brilliance of the Team in terms of their nigh perfect balance in all departments and versatility of threat. 

High praise indeed!

Meaning this will be the unchanged line up

Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Jeevan Mendis, 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Akila Dananjaya, 11 Ajantha Mendis


The Men in Green were very professional in disposing of the previously unbeaten Australia. The adding of the all round talents of Abdul Razzaq to the side in the game gave the Team a great sense of balance meaning the same Team with turn out in this match

Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 2 Imran Nazir, 3 Nasir Jamshed, 4 Kamran Akmal (wk), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Abdul Razzaq, 8 Shahid Afridi, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Raza Hasan.

The Key Questions??????????????

1, Will Sri Lanka Deal With the Pressure?

The fact that it is a home crowd that will cheer their every move would tend to suggest that Sri Lanka would be like 11 men floating on Cloud 9 oblivious to everything around them. Except the inspiration that has created that atmosphere.

But, I would suggest it would provide a sharper focus on them for it means that the large percentage of the crowd is assessing their every move.

And when you are under the microscope, even from ones who adore you it is hard not to feel it.

As for Pakistan, well they always remind me of a group of children caught in their own little Worlds...

To the extent that The Apocalypse could be going on and they would not even have a bead of sweat on their collective brows

A Semi Final here with a raucous crowd against them- no prob at all!

2, Can The Pakistani Spin Dominate Sri Lanka's Batsmen?

The one game that stood out so far in this Tournament for Pakistan was the India game with their spinners being lessened in their threat due to the expert skills that the Indian batsmen had in playing spin. In this game, the Sri Lankan batsmen offer the same challenge to the bowlers of being true Masters of not only playing spin but dominating it.

Just look at the top of the order with the names of Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara who are almost disdainful against any spin attack.

To aide in this cause Umar Gul must lift and get early dismissals to allow the spinners to bowl on their terms.

For if there are not early break throughs, I can see even this collection of high class Pakistani spinners getting belted all around Colombo

3,Colombo, Sweet Colombo for Sri Lanka??????????

Everyone in World Cricket knows that The Premadasa is the definition of Sri Lanka's Bed to lie in

They have yet to play there this Tournament and with the pitch getting slower and lower and losing the bit of pace and bounce it had in it.

It seems they might enjoy it!- Big Time!

4, Can We Trust Pakistan's Batting?

The great weakness of Pakistan that resembles their unpredictability

With it shifting violently on a scale from brilliant to average to gouge your eyes out dreadful

There is little doubt of the talent and immense threat that exists within it, but it lacks consistency and more crucially temperament.

As seen in its often knee buckling ways of getting out that are as soft as butter.

Here in this game it has to perform or Pakistan are Dead Men Walking.

5, Beware The 'Slinga Malinga'

A bit of a Captain Obvious

But in the Tournament so far he has resembled a sleeping giant with him doing what is expected of him, but not dazzling us with his destructive prowess with the ball.

The English game saw that threat come out with him dismembering the English top order with his pace, guile and real threat.

Against a potentially fragile batting line up like Pakistans, The 'Slinga' could devastate 

Who Wins??????

Everything is in Sri Lanka's favour, and they should win.....

Though like the ODI World Cup last year where India took on the demeanour of being a Team of dynasty I see Pakistan very much in the same light in this Tournament

So they will win in a very tight and tough contest

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