|Pak, S Lanka clash in T20 semis today|
04 October 2012
COLOMBO: Former champions Pakistan will look to reach their third ICC World Twenty20 final in four editions when they take on Sri Lanka in the first semifinal here at the R Premadasa Stadium today, Geo News reported.
The Pakistan vs Sri Lanka match will begin at 6:30 pm according to Pakistan Standard Time.
Pakistan had defeated Sri Lanka in 2009 T20 final. Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has termed Greenshirts as favorite and advised them to play Lasith Malinga carefully.
Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan captain, sounded quite confident at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday. “We believe as a team we can beat them (Sri Lanka),” he said. “Players are playing with positive intentions and they have prepared for it. We are not relying on any one player, we are finding a new match-winner.”
Pakistan hold a clear edge over Sri Lanka in Twenty20 Internationals, winning six of the nine meeting between the two sides.
The Greenshirts have won two matches and lost one against the islanders in World Twenty20s. Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in the final of the 2009 tournament.
Hafeez said he and the team management were happy with the team’s progress.
R Premadasa Stadium suits spinners more than pacemen and the Pakistan captain said it would be a good contest between the slow bowlers from both sides.
Pakistan are expected to go with the same combination which played against Australia in their last Group 2 match.
In the game against Australia on Tuesday, their spinners bowled 18 of the 20 overs. However, they might be required to rethink their strategy as Sri Lankans are good players of spin bowling.
Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, predicted an exciting semifinal “up against a good quality team” and said his team were looking forward to it. “I think we’ve played each other quite frequently, it’s been a good contest,” he said.
Jayawardene said they weren’t thinking too much about Thursday’s wicket. “For us tactically it’s all about how we go about and play to our strength and how Pakistan responds to our tactics. We just need to keep changing, on the day on the field we need to react. That’s the way to go against Pakistan.”
He said Sri Lank would be ready for the contest.
Speaking of the battle between Ajmal and Mendis, Jayawardene said: “Those guys have been playing for almost I don’t know five-six years now, so I don’t know whether there’s enough mystery in it. Lot of the guys have played them, you have to give them credit that they are two quality spinners.
Pakistan (probable): Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan.
Sri Lanka (probable): Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Akila Dananjaya, Ajantha Mendis.
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